"From a military perspective, Hoth should have been a total debacle for the Rebel Alliance…. The defenses the Alliance constructed on Hoth could not be more favorable to Vader if the villain constructed them himself. The single Rebel base (!) is defended by a few artillery pieces on its north slope, protecting its main power generator. An ion cannon is its main anti-aircraft/spacecraft defense. Its outermost perimeter defense is an energy shield that can deflect Imperial laser bombardment. But the shield has two huge flaws: It can’t stop an Imperial landing force from entering the atmosphere, and it can only open in a discrete place for a limited time [...]
"So look: unless someone's prepared to make an argument that a straight line runs between Cordoba House and Usama bin Laden, no objection to Cordoba House's location makes any sense. That's the only sense in which the Cordoba House could actually offend the reasonable sensibilities of those victimized by 9/11. No one can make that argument without sounding like bin Laden himself. Everything else about this debate is just ugly noise. Those who sincerely believe that Cordoba House is offensive need to tell a Muslim serving in the U.S. military precisely how far from Ground Zero he may acceptably practice his religion."
I always found it strange when polemicists denounced George W. Bush for saying, after 9/11, that Americans should go shopping. Andrew Bacevich, who's emerged as possibly the premiere root-and-branch critic of American militarism, wrote an impassioned op-ed explaining the reasoning behind that critique. "From the very outset, the president described the 'war on terror' as a vast undertaking of paramount importance," Bacevich hectored in 2008. "But he simultaneously urged Americans to carry on as if there were no war." What in the world were we supposed to do? Stand in line to fill out job applications at munitions factories? Devote a larger percentage of the day to re-spooling footage [...]
"It started out with a leggy, bikini-clad avatar. She said she was a missile expert—the '1st Lady of Missiles,' in fact—but sometimes suggested she worked with the CIA. With multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts, she earned a following of social media-crazed security wonks. Then came the accusations of using sex appeal for espionage." —Awl pal Spencer Ackerman writes in Wired about the fascinating story of accused social networking spy Shawna Gorman, a.k.a. "PrimorisEra." That first sentence is very reminiscent of L.L. Cool J's "Going Back to Cali."