If a tree falls in the woods…

From the New Yorker, some suggested questions for Bush’s next press conference:

Zen question: “Sir, if the ability of the Star Wars ABMs to hit a nuclear missile is imaginary and the nuclear missiles in Iraq are imaginary, does that mean a Star Wars ABM could hit an Iraqi nuclear missile?”

Follow-up question to Zen question if answer is yes:“How could that be verified?”

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12 Responses to If a tree falls in the woods…

  1. Murph says:

    “ability of the Star Wars ABMs to hit a nuclear missile is imaginary”

    translation: Star Wars will not work

    “Star Wars will cause an arms race”
    translation: Star Wars will work

    Isn’t it amazing how the Left can hold the two opinions simultaneously?

  2. Murph,

    Your second translation only holds if the purpose of the Star Wars project is to cause an arms race. Nicely non-sequitured there.

  3. Surph says:

    ‘star wars will not work because star wars will cause an arms race’

    nuff said

  4. Mork says:

    C’mon, Murph, that’s pretty lame. In the first place, you take two statements that are widely believed across the political spectrum and attribute them to some homogenous “Left”, as if only the “Left” believes either of those things, and as if everyone on the “Left” believes both.

    In the second place, the two beliefs are not mutually contradictory outside of the very narrow way you present them.

    For example, I believe that (a) it’s more likely than not that an effective missile defence system cannot be built in the short or medium terms; and (b) if one were built, it would likely encourage nations such as China to vastly expand their nuclear arsenals in order to have enough weapons to overcome it.

    I submit that I am neither a member of the “Left”, nor suffering from cognitive dissonance.

  5. chico o'farrill says:

    “isn’t it amazing that how the Left can hold the two opinions simultaneously?”

    at risk of nit-picking, would the paragraphs referred to not be attributed to one person’s point of view, as opposed to that of around half of the western world?

    try “isn’t it amazing that ranters on message boards can attribute one person’s point of view to around half of the western world?”

    nah, that doesn’t work either.

  6. Norman says:

    There’s more than one category of “left”, Murph. I myself am of the opinion that “Star Wars” probably wouldn’t work, because of spiralling move and countermove directions it would create. I also, because of this, clearly believe it would lead to another arms race [if for no other reason] because nations would be understandably nervous about being left behind, if they simply sat on the sideline and watched.
    The looney left you have in mind, are the ones who think it won’t work, simply because the Americans are doing it, and think it will cause an arms race, simply because the Americans are doing it.
    Try to concentrate on your opponents’ nuttier propositions, Murph, or you run the risk — God forbid — of ending up almost as bad as them. And never forget, even if it’s by sheer luck, occasionally the looniest of the Latter Day Lysenkos of the Left can be right. Not often. Not on anything too complex. Not even for the right reasons. But it can happen.

  7. Ken Parish says:


    You may even be mellowing in your mature years (although only a tad, and Chris Sheil probably wouldn’t concede even that). BTW Does anyone know what’s happened to Chris’s new blog? Has it been launched yet, or is it still in prolonged gestation?

  8. Robert says:

    Ken, his test site is up and running, and he reckons it’ll be ready to go live next week.

  9. Geoff Honnor says:

    “Ken, his test site is up and running, and he reckons it’ll be ready to go live next week.’

    It’s stunning – naturally. But who is the guy in the photo?

  10. cs says:

    Hey Geoff, OK, I know I can’t win here … I got bagged for the other photo … and now I’m getting bagged for a less formal one … what’s a poor boy to do …

  11. Ken Parish says:


    Suzy thought you looked just like Geoffrey Rush. It was just after we saw Intolerable Cruelty (great movie), however, so I’m not sure whether she had in mind the closing scene as the masterful game show producer, the middle scene where he’s a drunken derelict lying in the gutter, or the opening sequence where he gets stabbed in the buttocks by his wife after he catches her in flagrante delicto with the pool man.

  12. cs says:

    Hmmm … I don’t think I want to encourage any further discussion in this direction. But now that you’re here Ken, where the hell have you been? Are you now on a blog sabbatical or what?

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