January 26th, 2007

The General

Great general or greatest general?

It's Douglas MacArthur's birthday. I've always found him fascinating; his life was truly heroic in many ways, and while his failures were pretty serious, his accomplishments were even greater. There's a reason that the Japanese and Koreans, who don't agree on a whole lot else, have memorials to him - the former have the 1948 Constitution and the latter, a mother-huge statue at Inchon. The William Manchester biography American Caesar is perhaps the best (and least biased) of the many done on MacArthur; those who know MacArthur mainly through the extremely slanted portrayal in Anton Myrer's Once An Eagle especially should read it.

One of the criticisms leveled at the antiwar Democrats in Congress and elsewhere is that they have no plan for Iraq. Well, now that Democratic media darling Michael Moore has sounded off, I guess we can't say that any more. On the other hand, since some folks on the Left seem awfully fond of the Vietnam analogies, it seems only fair to remind them what happened the last time we let them knock the props out from under the war effort.

It's fairly slow at work today, which is just as well since I'm thoroughly unmotivated.
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baseball

A little eel, a little rice, some outfielders at a good price...

Not everybody is excited about The 300. He could be right about the movie; what worked well for the extremly noir Sin City may not work nearly so well for one of the great battles of history. He's definitely right about Gates of Fire, which I'm going to re-read this weekend.

Made the annual pilgrimage to B&N to get the Sporting News Fantasy Baseball Owners Manual. Considering he sucky cash flow, I'll probably pass on the Baseball Prospectus this year, especially since I'm not as enamored of sabermetric analysis involving higher forms of algebra as I was when I first started playing these games. Speaking of baseball, let me add my voice to the chorus led by Aaron Gleeman: "WTF are the Twins thinking"? Not content with signing a worthless starter who was released by the clueless, hopeless Nationals for not pitching well at RFK, they fucked up and allowed a real outfield prospect to be claimed off waivers by the Snakes. I swear, just when you think Terry Ryan is showing signs of not being completely brain-dead...

...and the less said about the Nationals, the better. It's not that nothing's happening in the pitcher-friendly confines of RFK, but that none of it seems to be very good. Kind of like the long miserable seasons with the Twins in the mid/late 1990s.

Yes, sushi is comfort food.