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February 18, 2005

Comments

Rilkefan: This is hard to understand - however the troops were outfitted with chem/bio suits, right? Did they wear them?

According to Terry Karney (see third comment to this post in my journal)

I can say, from the briefings I got in Kuwait, that no expectation of WMD being used was the order of the day.
Which leads me to the certainty that the Administration told knowing lies.

Anyway, one possible explanation is that we assumed that immediately after we marched in and swatted away the Iraqi forces, Chalabi & Co would take over and assert control over the nasty stuff.

Well, yeah, that's another version of "Bush & Co were too incompetent to fight their way out of a wet paper bag". Which are really the only two choices here: either they were so incompetent they didn't think of planning how to accomplish what was supposed to be the main objective of their war, or else - which I think more probable - they knew there were no WMD to worry about.

The main objective of the Iraqi conflict was American Security, a constitutional Republic of Iraq fits nicely into that construct on several levels.

Timmy: The main objective of the Iraqi conflict was American Security, a constitutional Republic of Iraq fits nicely into that construct on several levels.

Pity Bush & Co made no plans how to achieve "a constitutional Republic of Iraq" and show no enthusiasm for getting there.

It's funny that the Bush Admin is taking credit for elections in Iraq, when they didn't want elections and only agreed to them when Sistani threated a national strike.

Kind of like how the Bush Admin took credit for creating 'Homeland Security' when it opposed the idea until the Senate was going to create one anyway - and then created a department custom made to serve its own interests.

And kind of like how the Bush Admin fought the creation of an independent 9/11 Commission, tried to stack it with friendlies, and then dragged its feet on testifying... only to then take the Commission's report, extract the parts it liked, and press Congress to enact only those parts.

Oh, and about that 'Constitutional Republic of Iraq' that serves US security: Does an Iran-leaning theocracy qualify? Or one headed up by noted international con-man Achmed Chalabi? (I can see how he'd serve Bushco's interests, but ours? Not so much.)

Caseyl: then dragged its feet on testifying...

And as I recall, George W. Bush, President of the United States, refused to testify at all unless he had Dick Cheney with him at all times... the mind boggles.

Casey and Jes, I suggest you read the Iraqi interim Constitution, amazing what a little knowledge will do for you when commenting, especially when you make comments like this.

Does an Iran-leaning theocracy qualify?

Some days you guys and gals will get it, well I can hope can't I.

My understanding of the existing Iraqi constitution is that it contains a major loop hole that could permit a Islamic-law government much closer to that in Iran than anything we in the States would be comfortable with.

Anarch --

Perhaps this will resolve the confusion. I see three issues here.

1. Did the Bush administration lie to the public regarding the presence of WMDs in Iraq? I hold that they didn't, because for the most part they believed what they were asserting (there are examples were administration officials did go too far -- accidentally or through hubris -- but, fairly considered, they did not amount to a campaign).

2. Did the Bush administration plan effectively for Iraq? Again, not for the aftermath (the original campaign went splendidly). Part of this, I believe, is that they believed the same faulty intelligence that undergirded their purported "lies" (discussed above).

3. How should we judge the Bush administrations lack of or mis-planning? I take the view that some charity is required; this is hard work, and what may initially appear to be good planning may turn to out to be wholly off-point. I have no doubt, for instance, that Bush Administration employees spent many, many long nights on Iraq -- they "planned and planned and planned." But, because they trusted the intelligence too easily, their planning was misdirected.

I hope this clarifies things.

Incidentally, I'm not commenting further on the "Bush lied," for each side takes their position as an article of faith and further argument at this time is all about heat, not light. I can understand the other side of the argument but, without additional information, I simply don't buy it.

Incidentally, I'm not commenting further on the "Bush lied," for each side takes their position as an article of faith and further argument at this time is all about heat, not light.

Sweet!

I'm stealing that one...

Von: for each side takes their position as an article of faith

*shrugs* If you say so. I don't see coming to a conclusion, backed by solid evidence, after a couple of years, as "an article of faith". I do see that the people who want to believe Bush didn't lie can't back their position up with any evidence.

To me, that puts us in the position of evolutionary vs. creationist. The creationist attempts to assert that someone who "believes" that evolution is true "believes" it in exactly the same way as a creationist believes that God created the Earth in six days exactly as describes in Genesis: and then moves on to assert that since both creationists and evolutionists are really basing their positions on faith, Creation and Evolution ought to be given equal time in schools.

What's wrong with that argument is the same thing that's wrong with your argument that "each side takes their position as an article of faith". We have enough information to know that Bush & Co lied.

Did the Bush administration plan effectively for Iraq? Again, not for the aftermath (the original campaign went splendidly). Part of this, I believe, is that they believed the same faulty intelligence that undergirded their purported "lies" (discussed above).

Errr... how does that work, exactly? IOW, which categories of intelligence were plausible-yet-faulty enough to explain the virtual absence of planning for the aftermath? For that matter, since when has intelligence, faulty or no, exempted one from making plans (see below)?

[No disagreement on the "original campaign" aspect of the invasion, btw.]

I take the view that some charity is required; this is hard work, and what may initially appear to be good planning may turn to out to be wholly off-point.

What, exactly, initially appeared to be good planning? As someone who watched the run-up to war very carefully, it looked piss-poor to me then and I've seen nothing since to persuade me otherwise.

I have no doubt, for instance, that Bush Administration employees spent many, many long nights on Iraq -- they "planned and planned and planned."

"Constantly talking isn't the same as communicating", to quote Eternal Sunshine; spending a lot of time talking about something isn't the same as planning for it, IMO.* There's a necessary precondition that must be met for it to acquire that designation, namely that the "planning" should have a reasonable chance of attaining the desired goals. Call me a starry-eyed cynic, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that the Bush Administration should have expected, and therefore planned for, a guerilla insurrection, major religious upheavals, and the chance that removing a tyrannical regime could result in local anarchy; and that a failure to incorporate such possibilities in their planning meant a priori their "plans" were not reasonable and thus not worthy of the designation.

The analogy that was being used in late 2002 was that if my "plan" to wed a supermodel consists of sitting around in my underwear, eating Cheetos, and blogging furiously about the evils of President Bush, I can't be meaningfully said to be "planning" for that eventuality even if I spend a lot of time doing so. And besides, I'm actually eating homemade banana bread, so the prospect of supermodel nookie is completely out.

As a side note: had their plans actually accomplished exactly what they were supposed to and had everything gone off without a hitch, I'd still hold this position. Dumb luck does not exonerate poor planning, it just means you got lucky.

* I tell my students the same thing about their homework: merely spending umpteen hours a week on a problem set isn't the same thing as learning the material, it's just a convenient proxy we use to try to measure how much work they're doing. Oftentimes they'd be better served by spending less time but doing so in a more constructive fashion; the old adage "work smarter, not harder" incarnate.

Incidentally, I'm not commenting further on the "Bush lied," for each side takes their position as an article of faith... [Emph mine]

Though I take your point, you're misusing the term: "article of faith" does not mean "belief rationally attained after examination of the evidence".

Anarch: And besides, I'm actually eating homemade banana bread, so the prospect of supermodel nookie is completely out.

Banana bread! Someone start an open recipe thread: I just made really delicious treacle scones.

A nice thing about cooking is that sometimes you throw together what's available and it turns out really well. It's been raining here lately, which cramps our style in re going out to eat, so the other night I ended up sauteeing some onion, then the last of the garlic, then the last of the sun-dried tomatoes, then the last of the Italian sausage I found in the freezer, and in part because of the ad hoc what-else-can-I-chop-up procedure the above cooked longer than I intended and instead of getting burnt and bitter got sort of slightly carmelized and sweet and rich. Over pasta with some defrosted peas on the side it was not just surprisingly good.

"*shrugs* If you say so. I don't see coming to a conclusion, backed by solid evidence, after a couple of years, as "an article of faith". I do see that the people who want to believe Bush didn't lie can't back their position up with any evidence."

That's the trouble. I know this debate is not convincing, but to me that doesn't prove it's just an irreconcilable difference. Something like abortion is an irreconcilable difference: I and a person who believes that a fertilized egg is a human being will never meet in the middle, and since the question of when human life begins is at some basic level unanswerable, well, fine, okay. I think it's repellent to say that a rape victim shouldn't get the morning after pill but I understand why I won't be able to convince the pope of that. But this is an empirically resolvable question. To me this debate is UNBELIEVABLY depressing, because it proves that it doesn't really matter how good your argument is--you just need an argument. If enough people make it with enough fervor, they'll tire out their opponents and the moderates will do the usual "pox on both your houses" routine, and rampant dishonesty will prove to be an effective political strategy, and off we'll go again for the next war or the social security "crisis".

as far as cooking goes, this molten chocolate cake recipe is highly recommended. High reward, and only moderate effort. The one unclear point: I think when they talk about sprinkling the sugar into the buttered ramekins, they mean just a thin layer of sugar stuck to the butter on the walls & bottom, not a big pile on the bottom. We thought it might melt into the batter but it just forms a hard crust that didn't combine with the chocolate. And you don't really need a full teaspoon and a half, either; 1/2 to 3/4 of a teaspoon is more like it.

Also, they were done in 10 minutes, not 13, but that may just be because I have a crappy old electric oven & you can't trust the temperature gage.

*shrugs* If you say so. I don't see coming to a conclusion, backed by solid evidence, after a couple of years, as "an article of faith".

I'd merely point out that the zealot or partisan is never merely motivated by God or ideology; he will first call himself a seeker of truth. (By the pronouns, it should be clear that I'm making a general reference, and not referring specifically to Jes.)

But this is an empirically resolvable question.

Yes, Katherine, it is. The question is whether the evidence proves the particular conclusion that you're advocating.

And I'm not saying, "a pox on both your houses." If you think this is a shtick, well, it's evident that you don't know me at all. Or understood much of what I've written here.

I'm leaving the thread, and won't check it again.

The problem I have with the position that Bush was simply honestly deceived by faulty evidence was summed up earlier in the thread:

IOW, which categories of intelligence were plausible-yet-faulty enough to explain the virtual absence of planning for the aftermath?

I didn't see any evidence that was sufficient to honestly deceive anyone. I saw the aluminum tubes, debunked contemporaneously by the IAEA, the forged Niger documents, also debunked well before the war, and satellite pictures that didn't show anything. What, specifically, did you hear about before the war (or did you hear after the war that the administration had relied on before the war) that convinced you of the existence of WMD?

Now, for an outsider, saying "The administration believes it, and I don't have access to the secret information they're relying on," was a defensible position before the war if you personally trusted them. After the war, the administration has produced no evidence that explains their error. The administration claims that its belief in WMD was a justifiable mistake, but hasn't justified the mistake at all, they've just made the unsupported claim.

Do you have any support for your belief that the administration wasn't lying beyond your personal faith that they just wouldn't lie, and so they must have had some excuse that they aren't explaining for some unknown reason?

I didn't mean to insult you. I think I misused yiddish. I mean, someone who belongs to neither political party is predisposed to concluding that they're both about equally wrong. To use the legal debate, it's sort of their default rule or default conclusion, just as a Democrat's default is "we're right, the Republicans are wrong" and a Republican's default is "we're right, the Democrats are wrong." There's a widespread perception that the default rule of "they're both half right" or "they're both equally wrong" is somehow neutral and unbiased, but it's just a different sort of bias. The only unbiased default is "I don't know" but that's not realistic.

Most of us have a starting assumption, and the moderate's is not intrinsically superior to the liberal's. I would argue that in the current U.S. political situation it's a lot worse--but then, I would argue that.

I supposed you could make an argument that the moderate is empirically more likely to be correct because they can do neutral credibility evaluations, but really it is perfectly possible that one side is being more honest than the other side. And of course then you have the question of, moderate compared to whom? I mean, if you look at opinion across all the democracies in the world as opposed to just in the U.S., I'm pretty close to dead center and you're pretty far to the right.

Since your default assumption is the same default assumption that I think has seriously weakened journalism in this country with disastrous results, I am perhaps unduly hostile to it.

von: I'd merely point out that the zealot or partisan is never merely motivated by God or ideology; he will first call himself a seeker of truth.

I accept the label "partisan" but not "zealot."

I am somewhat of a newcomer here so forgive me if I am out of line, but I hope that the state of being a partisan does not disqualify one as a seeker of truth. The conversation here seems largely to be people posting their honest views and making rational arguments.

Katherine: ...and rampant dishonesty will prove to be an effective political strategy...

There are so many examples of the Bush administration's dishonesty it really seems pointless to list them -- no list will be convincing to those who aren't already convinced.

Why this has passed with so little bulldog behavior by the press, particularly in light of press behavior during the Clinton administration, is puzzling.

I predict this will change, and the scandals are yet to come.

Voltaire: "Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices." Strangely apropos, considering. (According to Wikipedia, "Dated as a statement of 1767, but thus far without a specified source.")

Alls I know is that "Treacle Scones" is officially the name of my next band. And we'll make twee, retro-sounding Britpop-influenced punk rock. Our genre will be known as "treaclecore."

the scandals are yet to come

Truer words were never written.

If any of the editors are still reading this thread:

I am PROFOUNDLY OUTRAGED at the slur sent my direction by blogbudsman, and I am PROFOUNDLY DISAPPOINTED at the LACK OF SANCTION.

since blogbudsman feels it appropriate to discuss my mental state, and did so without punishment from the editors, I'll return the favor.

You, sir, are a contemptible despicable slimy coward.

You are willing to send others to die in the name of your pathetic little fantasies of global domination while being utterly unwilling to risk your own worthless hide.

Your claims of moral rightousness bear the stench of this administration's apologetics for torture. Your facts are usually wrong and what passes for logic is riddled with inconsistencies.

You, sir, are the worst kind of America-hater. You despise everything that is good about this country and glory only in its wickedness.

go rot in hell.

Francis

I am PROFOUNDLY OUTRAGED at the slur sent my direction by blogbudsman, and I am PROFOUNDLY DISAPPOINTED at the LACK OF SANCTION.

fdl, I e-mailed the kitten about this a day or so ago. I haven't heard back, but I figured I'd give them at least till Monday evening before I concluded they'd decided to do nothing.

I've e-mailed the kitten again, cc'd to you. I agree that they should do something, but it's possible that the whole collective isn't available this weekend.

My understanding of the existing Iraqi constitution is that it contains a major loop hole that could permit a Islamic-law government much closer to that in Iran than anything we in the States would be comfortable with.

Edward, I suggest you read the interim Iraqi Constitution, especially the role the minority plays in its approval. Then I suggest you read Sistani's position on a theocratic regime.

Finally, Edward you ought to catch up on the Iranian SS or the Pasdaran

Since we've previously been over this before I'm somewhat disappointed in you Edward.

When Katherine mentions lies I think of our government's long standing position on Iraq, pertaining to WMD, and shudder that such a reasonable person is blinded; blinded by what remains an open question.

Why did we go into Iraq, National Security pure and simple, which is why Congress gave the Bush Admin the mandate way back in October of 2002.

fdl
I called bbm out over this in my 9:22, but I didn't mail the kitten. I am assuming that von's 9:47 post is addressed to answer that, but because von didn't name names, I personally don't think it was sufficient, but given that no one is addressing any of his subsequent posts, I think that others may be appalled as well. As to what is the best strategy, I'm not sure. However, Jes' point about the weekend is one to keep in mind.

I'd also suggest that you not return spite for spite, no matter how justified it may be. I think simply that noting that his handle is presumably a combination of blog and ombudsman, which leads one to realist that he has not the faintest idea of what an ombudsman does would have been sufficient.

Francis, not to dispute your reaction, but from what I've seen in the past, bbm strikes me as socially awkward (in this context) but not malicious. What he wrote isn't acceptable here, and it shouldn't be acceptable generally, but I've seen discussion groups where people talk that way without consequence.

You know, I think there's something in the (virtual) air today. (Yes, I know I shouldn't be back in the thread after stating in a huff that I'm leaving the thread.) Katherine, I shouldn't have taken your remark so personally. Chalk it up to a bit of a bad day.

Francis, I did tell everyone in the thread to calm down after Blogbudsman's remark. Rhetorical excesses will happen -- it's the nature of rhetoric, I fear. When they do happen, try to accept them as part of life and not a personal attack; there's nothing more boring than a debate over the politics of personal offense. (Yes, yes, I get the pot/kettle issue.)

That said, let's all take a deep breath and try to envision the person on the other side the of screen, who's sitting in his or her quiet, well-lit room and typing away between sips from the coffee mug or waves at the spouse or pets of the cat. If you would blush if you said a thing to that person's face, don't type that thing here.

I did tell everyone in the thread to calm down after Blogbudsman's remark.

Quite. You told everyone. You responded positively to Blogbudsman's comment, and then pretended that he hadn't grossly insulted someone else on the thread.

Telling everyone to calm down after one person attacks another - and imposing no penalty at all on the attacker, not even the requirement to apologize - merely means that the attacker got away with it, and can expect to do so again.

Jes, noted, but I'm going to leave my comments where they are. My belief is that one deals best with minor scrapes by not blowing them out of porportion, and getting on with the discussion. I understand that others may make a different judgment.

Responding to Katherine:

I supposed you could make an argument that the moderate is empirically more likely to be correct because they can do neutral credibility evaluations, but really it is perfectly possible that one side is being more honest than the other side. And of course then you have the question of, moderate compared to whom? I mean, if you look at opinion across all the democracies in the world as opposed to just in the U.S., I'm pretty close to dead center and you're pretty far to the right.

Well, as to that last bit, it probably depends on the issue. (Iraq/WoT, probably. Abortion, unlikely. Gay marraige -- well, we're both far, far to the left.) As to the first bit, I don't claim any special powers of deduction or reasoning from my "moderate" positioning. I look at the world, try to be as fair as possible to everyone, try to overcome by biases and faults, and then opine. It turns out that many of those opinions are moderate, but the fact that they are moderate doesn't necessarily make them right. (At least, I try not to avoid believing that.) Indeed, history is littered with examples of seemingly "moderate" positions that were morally indefensible: The moderate (Northern) position on slavery in the 1850s (ironically, it was Lincoln's position, and it would have had slavery continue until the 1900s -- the South did us all a favor by seceding); the "moderate" position on the alien and sedition act; the "moderate" position on Hitler's Germany; etc.

Erm, "At least, I try not to avoid believing that" should be "try to avoid believing that." Freudian slip?

Von: My belief is that one deals best with minor scrapes by not blowing them out of porportion, and getting on with the discussion. I understand that others may make a different judgment.

Blogbudsman grossly insulted FDL. You chose not only not to call Blogbudsman out and ask him either to apologize to FDL or to face the consequences, but also to respond positively to Blogbudsman's comment.

Are we to assume, then, that any gross insult to anyone about their mental capacity is okay with you? If so, Von, you're a moron.

Come on, Jes, that's not fair. Looking at the timing, von was in the middle of replying to bbm's previous comment. I also wish that von had named names, but he did take steps and explained why he did it. (note to all, if you preview, you will see the posts that have been made while you were busy writing yours. a number of times, I've foregone posting because it was said better by someone else) I also take rilkefan's point as well, and I hope that Francis will realise that as well.

Speaking strictly for myself, I can't monitor every post, and kitten mail doesn't in general get passed on to me. Blogbuds was clearly out of line.

Now, don't make me stop this car.

For what it's worth: first, the kitten has not yet forwarded the relevant emails. Possibly we should set it up so that that happens without requiring human intervention.

Second, when I read blogbudsman's comment, I thought he was kidding. And, rightly or wrongly, I take a different view of insults that are jokes than of insults that are not. When rilkefan posted the link to those pictures of stuffed animals that he liked, for instance, there was a version of my response that questioned his sanity; I didn't use it because it didn't come out right, but I didn't think it would have violated the posting rules. Bbm's comment was closer to the line than mine would have been, but that (plus the fact that von had responded) is why I didn't respond to it.

That being said: blogbudsman, I think that now would be a good time to clarify whether or not you meant to call fdl's sanity into question, and (if so) to apologize.

Now, don't make me stop this car.

But he started it!

Is it wrong that I break into a helpless fit of giggles every time someone uses the phrase "email the kitten"?

Is it wrong that I break into a helpless fit of giggles every time someone uses the phrase "email the kitten"?

I love it. It cheers me up no end. Though I'm distressed to discover the kitten doesn't forward its mail properly: perhaps ObWing should buy a puppy for that purpose? Puppies can be trained: kittens (especially kittens with guns) can't.

I apologize for getting het up: I should have figured that the reason I wasn't getting an answer was a problem with e-mail, not a problem with ObWing.

Hilzoy: Second, when I read blogbudsman's comment, I thought he was kidding. And, rightly or wrongly, I take a different view of insults that are jokes than of insults that are not.

Um. To me, though, insulting someone and saying "Only kidding" is something really doesn't work well in an online community. (Neither did I think Blogbudsman's comment, if it was meant as a joke, was very funny.) Face-to-face you can see and hear tones of voice and tell if someone means it as a joke, but I don't think I'd find that kind of comment too funny even if someone was plainly "only joking".

I also think that the whole thing has got worked up beyond what it was originally worth getting worked up about, simply because Von never responded to Blogbudsman by name. A quick "That was out of line, quit it" directed at BBM would have been fine - why didn't it happen? (That is a rhetorical question, by the way....)

And one should note that bbm has just posted again. Does anyone else think that's a bit of chutzpah?

Pretty much every backer of the war in Iraq -- including myself -- hoped that it would result in a democratic Iraq.

There's the rub. Hope is not a strategy, as the saying goes, and We The People have a right to expect that wars will not be conducted without strategy. Yeah, I hope that war in Iraq will bring democracy and freedom and hot apple pie and friendly puppies, but if there's no rational link between our actions and those outcomes but there is between our actions and thousands of people being killed then those actions are wrong.

And one should note that bbm has just posted again. Does anyone else think that's a bit of chutzpah?

Jeebus, last time I say this. I refuse to be a schoolmarm. BBD's comment was no worse than the average comment on Tacitus.org back in the day, and I'm not going to leap up and down for it. We will all have to learn to take the occasional rhetorical excess. Move on, folks. (Or don't.)

There's the rub. Hope is not a strategy, as the saying goes, and We The People have a right to expect that wars will not be conducted without strategy.

Yes, I agree. To the extent that you're criticizing Bush's handling of the war, take note that I voted for Kerry precisely because I thought that some mistakes needed to be punished. (My post was more focused on the reasons for the war itself.)

Jeebus, last time I say this. I refuse to be a schoolmarm.

If "schoolmarm" is your codeword for "don't want to take responsibility for enforcing the rules by reprimanding people who break them", then leave the collective and set up a blog with rules that suit you better, because it sounds like you've decided to unilaterally ignore the "be reasonably civil" rule.

Wow, I had heard this was a good site and I visit and find out it is really comical. One of your common posters is quite funny.

You have people like Jesurgislac saying on one thread:

.."because it sounds like you've decided to unilaterally ignore the "be reasonably civil" rule."

But then on other threads Jesurgislac says:

"In short, put up or shut up, Stan."

Guess, I got bad info.

Westone, if you have a problem with "Put up or shut up", do e-mail the kitten; that's what it's there for.

Jes,

let it go please. I understand you're offended by the comments, but BBM is a regular and as a regular is entitled to as much latitude as all the rest of us, meaning he's entitled to a bit of hyperbole. Also, the moment is past. To admonish BBM now (and I agree with hilzoy, I read it as a joke...not a particularly witty joke, but a joke all the same) would be to do so only to appease you, which I'm tempted to do, liking you as I do, but it just wasn't the sort of comment worth making this big a deal over. Not to von, not to hilzoy, not to me.

Edward, I agree the moment is passed for admonishing Blogbudsman - Von dropped the ball, and it's too late to pick it up.

What I object to is Von apparently setting Blogbudsman's behavior up as a standard - perfectly acceptable rhetoric. BBM behaved badly. Then Von was an idiot - a turn of rhetoric I wouldn't normally use here, but which Von has just declared acceptable. To him, presumably, not just to people whose political views he disagrees with.

And that is my last word.

the moment is "passed"

do I even speak English? I'm beginning to wonder...

I can't wait for the point in the future when the languages blend and homonyms are universally acceptable or auto-corrected by really smart blog programs.

Has passed, is past.

Has passed, is past.

You mean I was right? Well, even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then, eh?

"And that is my last word."

First rule of holes...

Well, at least we can all agree on one thing: I'm an idiot. (I'm all about finding the common ground.) Incidentally, Jes, if you can point to a standard that I've applied to a "liberal" that I haven't applied to a "conservative," please do so -- if only for my own edification and improvement. (And I do mean that last bit sincerely.)

Refreshing this page on my computer, I see that von has taken exception to my chutzpah observation. My apologies, it was just an observation, not a demand for action. I realize that BBM's comment was a mere shadow on what went on at Tacitus, but I thought that was the whole point of the exercise.

First rule of holes...

...is that you can't have half of one?

"Enough to fill the Albert Hall?"

"I've got a hole in my pocket... well half of one, anyway, I gave the other half to Jeremy." "What can he do with half a hole?" "Fix it, to keep his mind from wandering."

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