Ed Hancox Yeah Frank, I thought that whistleblowers were suppose to have insider info on official malfeasance; this hearing just seems like second-guessing decisions made (some bad) on a chaotic situation in the heat of the moment. Where's the scandal?
Ed Hancox I'm not seeing anything earthshaking here. Reality is that the situation in Libya was incredibly unstable, Amb. Stevens thought the trip to Benghazi was worth the risk. Sadly the attack occurred, but this was basically a warzone.
Ed Hancox Yeah, here's a blog post I wrote about the election in Zambia back in 2011. It talks about the role China played in their election: http://edsworld365.blogspot.com/2011/10/africas-new-king-cobra.html
Ed Hancox The idea of an F-15 as crowd control sounds a bit daffy, as does the suggestion that four extra guys from Tripoli could have prevented the attack, esp. since Hicks states that the casualties came in the initial wave of the attack.
Ed Hancox I didn't have that luxury; I packed up and went to a school on the other side of the country from my home. But your point is well-taken (and maybe going to school far from home is also a good idea).
Ed Hancox There is also much more to the college experience than simply taking tests. As I've gotten older, I find that the skills I learned and relationships I built in college have helped me immensely, including in my career.
Ed Hancox It's great that you can bring a personal perspective from your time in Ethiopia to a post like this. Extrapolating the Ethiopian experience to an entire, very diverse continent has its flaws. Yes, the Chinese have the same MO, but not every other country has had the warm response that you describe from Ethiopia; I would point to Zambia as an example.
Ed Hancox It's Carla Del Ponte, not "Carla Del Pone". It's not surprising that she has brought up the possibility of the Syrian rebels using Sarin; she also published information about the organ harvesting ring that the Kosovar Albanians ran using organs from captured Serbian soldiers during the Serbia-Kosovo conflict; a fact the US/UK would like to ignore about our Kosovar friends... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hunt:_Me_and_the_War_Criminals
Ed Hancox That question is easy to answer. Different rebel groups have overrun a number of Syrian military facilities. It's not a stretch to imagine there were some stocks of Sarin in one of them. The rebel use of Sarin actually makes a lot more sense, given the relatively small amounts of gas that are alleged to have been used. That fact supports a scenario of rebels finding some Sarin at a Syrian military site, rather than the Syrian military using the gas themselves since agents like Sarin are really only effective, from a military standpoint, when used in large amounts.
Ed Hancox You lost me at "According to Breitbart" If what I've heard of Hick's testimony - that they should have sent a jet to fly over the site to scare the crowd away - is indicative, this will be more smoke than fire. Again.
Ed Hancox Toure's view is awfully simplistic. First, can you name a country in the world that has truly "open borders"? Every country I can think of has some level of control over who is allowed to enter/leave... So even if we get past that rhetorical fallacy, Toure seems to be arguing at cross purposes: on one hand, he says that we will be attracting legions of highly-skilled technical workers, which will boost the economy; on the other hand he's talking about attracting masses of people from the world's poorest countries, which would seem like a potentially huge drain on the economy. Toure accomplished his mission: to get people talking about Toure. But it is hard to take his proposal seriously. And a serious debate is what is needed in terms of immigration reform.
Ed Hancox I would disagree with your statement "but no generation has the time and patience to stick with one sole issue..." Look at the Marshall Plan that rebuilt post-war Western Europe. It took longer than a decade and cost billions, but it put West Germany on a solid footing (and look at Germany today). Europe would be a far different place today if the Marshall Plan had not been launched. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that the generation today does not have the time and patience...
Ed Hancox I thought that Prokhorov was pushed out of Right Cause? I see the point you're making. But I also think we can't overlook the potential power of the public at-large. The December 2011-May 2012 street protests were worrisome for the Putin government. The biggest problem the protests had were that they lacked a coherent leadership and thus fizzled out. But the anger is still there towards the ridiculous levels of corruption and the perception that after noticeable levels of improvement in quality of life issues in the early/mid 2000s, things have stagnated for most Russians. Putin also has to be concerned by oil and gas prices. He was able to throw a lot of money around in his first two terms because oil/gas revenues wildly exceeded the budgeted projections; that is no longer the case today and a number of Russia's oil and gas fields are declining in production.
Ed Hancox You really never go into detail about which oligarchs are considering entering into politics, which seems to be the main contention of your article. Prokhorov was for awhile the head of a new opposition party that many felt was just a faux stalking horse put up by the Kremlin. He was drummed out of the leadership and has since hinted about starting another opposition group, but so far has done little about it. Khodokovsky's funding of political opposition groups amounted to a few tens of thousands of dollars to a couple of regional elections in Siberia; nothing in the grand scheme of things, but enough for Putin to bring down the hammer on him.
Ed Hancox Excellent points Jeanne, especially on female writers on PolicyMic. It seems in the past month that they have generally fallen into two categories: 1) women as victims and 2) a feminist critique of X, which, in practice on many occasions, seems to just give the author an excuse to use feminism as a jumping off point to be snarky about something.
Ed Hancox Tom, catching typos is the responsibility of the editorial staff, the one that Chris was bragging in this thread had recently grown by three. I have flagged typos/errors, and while the individual errors were (mostly) corrected, the overall copyediting quality has not gotten better. Yes, the odd typo will always get through. But in the past couple of months I have seen utterly ridiculous errors published like "Noam, Alaska" and "Sen. Al Franklin of Michigan"; errors any decent editor should have caught. I'll repeat my earlier comment: that this time last year the quality of the site - not talking ideology or article topic here, but the QUALITY of the writing/editing - was much better, and your staff was smaller. The goal now seems to sign up and publish as many new writers as possible. That's fine, but you have to realize new writers, writing on unfamiliar topics, will need a lot more editing than it seems you are giving them if you want PM to remain a quality site.
Ed Hancox Frank, in reply to your comment of "data points working in their favor..." It is interesting that you seem to have a consensus here among some of PolicyMic's "power users" - for lack of a better term for people who have been engaged at a high level with PM for an extended period of time - that the site was better run, the editors more engaged and the content more engaging, when PolicyMic actually had LESS staff. This seems paradoxical, since one would assume having more staff would allow PM more flexibility in working with writers, copyediting, code development, etc... With that, I'm done for the evening folks. Good evening to all.