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Stop Reading Tom Friedman: Reason #354 and #355

I am sure, I am preaching to the choir here: Friedman is totally overrated..

Dan Drezner: "Psssst... Tom Friedman... texting is really not the problem"

Salon: "The War Room Hack Thirty is a list of our least favorite political commentators, newspaper columnists and constant cable news presences, ranked roughly (but only roughly) in order of awfulness and then described rudely. Criteria for inclusion included writing the same column every week for 30 years, warmongering, joyless repetition of conventional wisdom, and making bad puns." (HT: Andrew)

ENDNOTE: Needless to say, the Economist is always a great read and the best adult magazine. So many English language publications wrote this week that Germany "ended" the military service. The Economist's newsletter got it right: "Germany is to suspend military conscription from next July. It will remain in the constitution but the move ends what has been a cornerstone of post-war German identity."

Happy Thanksgiving!


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Joerg Wolf on :

Economist also presents an interesting Gallup poll, which shows that young Germans are much less supportive of US leadership than older Germans. This contrasts with most other European countries: [url][/url] I can't find the original Gallup poll anywhere. Can you?

Pat Patterson on :

I was a regular reader of Thomas Friedman as he was one of the first to point out the dynamics of an emerging capitalist and entrepeneurial society in India. But for reason he opted to go with the "...kept the trains on time" crowd and has steadfastly ignored the devastation this type of croney capitalism has on the Chinese people.

Joerg Wolf on :

Yeah, he used to be pretty okay, even good, especially "From Beirut to Jerusalem"

Pamela on :

Oh, the Tom Friedman who keeps the faith on man-made global warming? Here's a pic of his house. No carbon footprint there, no siree.

Pat Patterson on :

As to the difference between ended and suspended the relative portions of the law I would classify that as hair-splitting as most of the articles, off of the AP feed, say: BERLIN (AP) - Germany's defense minister announced Monday the nation will end conscription in July 2011 and switch to a slimmed-down volunteer military service of some 185,000 troops focused on missions abroad. The law may still be in part of the Basic Law but if the practice is no longer implemented that saying it has ended seems perfectly logical. The articles go on to say nothing about new rules or regulations or even that the law still exists but that seems besides the point to maintain clarity and emphasize that Germany is going to rely on volunters and create an entirely professional corps of officers and enlisted men.

Joerg Wolf on :

obviously, I am not a native speakers, but "ended" sounds pretty permenent/final/definite, while "suspended" is much less so.

Pat Patterson on :

Most definitely as in American idiom ended could also mean the act of hanging up the phone or the cessation of life.

Joe Noory on :

What's painfully obvious is that the Economist "newspaper" (they insist you call it that,) is run by snide 24 year olds. As to Salon's "War Room", it conforms nicesly to the Clinton era leftist (continuing to the present-day) notion of War: something that you do to your fellow citizens who don't agree with you politically. It's all "scorched earth", all the time with these asshats. SO it should come as no surprise that they can't tell the difference between enlistment and conscription. Initially, neither could the German press reporting on what they thought the meaning of the move was. The passive-aggressive “pacifist”left has lost its’ hobgoblin and its’ imaginary foil, and all they could manage was anti-Vietnam-War era [url=]bleating[/url], and were unable to even imagine even imagine what the social dynamics of an all-volunteer force are. Instead they replayed the same canned "[url=,,5851756,00.html]death camp of world peace[/url]" trash that would have kept the Cold War alive indefinitely.

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