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Rol82's Blog


Absolutely Fabulous

Posted by Rational Madman , 31 January 2011 - - - - - - · 5,037 views

I've decided that I'll ditch my girlfriend, hop onto a plane to Lebanon, and beg this woman to join me in a union of matrimony:
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If she decides to accede to my desperate pleas, I would be more than willing to renounce my Jewish heritage, embrace the denomination of Shia Islam, enlist into...


The Only Television Programs Ever Worth Watching

Posted by Rational Madman , 26 January 2011 - - - - - - · 542 views

I thought I'd also throw in a fun companion piece, and in recognition of the rare instances in which television programs are actually watchable. Forthcoming will be my choices for the best non-fiction and fiction for yet to be determined subjects and time periods. But until then, here are my selections of programs that manage to distinguish themselves...


The Best Films of the 90s

Posted by Rational Madman , 26 January 2011 - - - - - - · 1,019 views

Since I just woke up, and need to pass the time before my sedative takes effect, I'll provide my second installment of best films. The years included are 1991-2000, and like my previous entry,...


Ivory Coast: Could the army force Laurent Gbagbo from power?

Posted by Rational Madman , 22 January 2011 - - - - - - · 869 views

An excellent analysis by Collier, although there is considerable controversy over his conflict resolution model.  However, I think the application of internal and external pressures is the only way to make the golden parachute option work on embattled leaders:


Intentions and Capabilities

Posted by Rational Madman , 22 January 2011 - - - - - - · 594 views

It would be an immense relief if policymakers demonstrated a cognizance of the distinction between the intentions and capabilities of belligerent states.  Instead, the evolving military capabilities of these states are treated as evidence of a qualitatively more aggressive force posture, and without consideration of the more dominating imperative of...


The Implications of the Upheaval in Tunisia

Posted by Rational Madman , 22 January 2011 - - - - - - · 960 views

If I was asked one month ago which government in the Middle East was most likely to succumb to internal forces, Tunisia wouldn't have ranked high on my list, or on the list of any dedicated analyst of the region.  With the looming indictments in Lebanon, and because of the potent capacity of aggrieved parties like Hezbollah to retaliate on the street or...


Pet Lion

Posted by Rational Madman , 22 January 2011 - - - - - - · 3,969 views

One of the perks of living in underdeveloped Tajikistan:
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From Ireland

Posted by Rational Madman , 20 January 2011 - - - - - - · 755 views

A few of my favorite Irish pieces:


On Marriage

Posted by Rational Madman , 19 January 2011 - - - - - - · 1,518 views

I think I've made a decision on the question of marriage between my partner and myself, since many have nagged me for being indecisive and unruly as a companion, and because I've reluctantly concluded that they may have valid points. However, I'll proceed only if the following conditions are met, which my partner is amenable to anyway.



The Sexiest Novelists

Posted by Rational Madman , 21 November 2010 - - - - - - · 1,770 views

1. Jennifer Egan
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2. Heidi Julavits
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3. Plum Sykes
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