The Locker Room

July 16, 2004

Attila the handy ad hominem

Posted by Jon Sanders at 7:51 PM

John, regarding: "I shudder to think of what someone would say if just visiting the 'Locker Room' and seeing an extended discussion of Attila the Hun. See, what a bunch of right-wingers! "

I can't help wondering if perhaps you just might have meant maybe something like this, possibly:

A long shot, I know.

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Which America will it be?

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 4:22 PM

"As so many of you know, throughout the campaign, John talked about the great divide in this country—the “Two Americas”—that exists between those who are doing well and those who are struggling to make it from day to day.  That concern is at the center of this campaign.  It is what it is all about. It has been part of my fight for 35 years. And I am so proud that together we’re going to build one America."

From a campaign speach by John Kerry.

They never tell us which America it's going to be. Unfortunately it is likely to be the one where everyone "is struggling to make it from day to day." 

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Management Advice for Huns and Others

Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 4:00 PM

Less authentically historical, but more fun, are some additional offerings on Attila that many will recognize from the business world. After all, Attila was engaged in business, as far as he knew. The history part only came into play in the event that his own might be prematurely foreshortened.

Two of my favorite leadership texts revolve around real or mythical "facts" about Attila. I refer to the business management books Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, and Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun.

Check out the Attilaisms Wess Roberts has invented (er, provided) for us in Leadership Secrets:
"A king with chieftains that always agree with him reaps the counsel of mediocrity."
"Weak chieftains surround themselves with weak Huns."
"For Huns, conflict is a natural state."
"Huns only make enemies on purpose."

The real questions are not whether and which facts about Attila are true, though they make for interesting research. The pertinent question is: would Patton be more likely to study the exploits of Attila, real or invented, or would he still be figuring out where his cheese went while trying to plot an anti-Nazi strategy?

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On Attila’s ethnic heritage

Posted by John Hood at 2:52 PM

I shudder to think of what someone would say if just visiting the “Locker Room” and seeing an extended discussion of Attila the Hun. See, what a bunch of right-wingers! Of course, being a big-government and possession-stealer type of guy, Attila was a left-winger, but I digress.

Attila wouldn’t necessarily be considered of Mongol stock. The Huns are usually associated with the Hsiung Nu, the traditional barbarian foes of ancient China. Many emigrated westward during the period of the warlike Han dynasty, because China was no longer easy pickings and the pasture lands were better to the west. According to historical accounts, the Hsiung Nu, though of mixed ancestry, contained quite a significant number of large (compared to the Chinese), heavily bearded men, often light brown or red hair, and often light-colored eyes. In other words, probably there were more Turkic peoples in the tribal confederations than there were proto-Mongols.

By the way, cool fact of the day: the term “Mongol” means “the brave.”

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Re: sordid buying and selling

Posted by Donna Martinez at 12:49 AM

Paul, if anything fits the definition of "economic depravity," it's the money-skimming scheme by people at the U.N. who worked with the Iraq Oil for Food program. At the very least, it's morally reprehensible.

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Number crunching and number munching

Posted by Donna Martinez at 10:30 AM

In an article devoted entirely to a possible raise for state workers, nowhere will you find the taxpayer cost for such a raise.

In an article about Republican gubernatorial candidates - from the same newspaper, you will find three instances of listing the cost to taxpayers for raising state employee wages.

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Of Mongols, trickery, and propaganda

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:12 AM

John, your post reminds me of the curious history of Attila the Hun (supposedly of Mongol stock, or close enough for a segue) and Flavius Aetius, two supposed enemies with surprisingly much in common together. Attila was a child hostage in the Roman court of Honorius while Aetius was a child hostage in the Hun kingdom of Rugila. Aetius later was the Roman general who defeated Attila in Gaul at the Battle of Châlons — but for some reason he did not kill him nor destroy the Huns when he had the chance.

Thus sprang up a conspiracy theory, fueled in large part on post hoc interpretation of the relationship between Attila and Flavius, that the Romans actually created Attila as a ruse for extending its Empire. It was, I'm sure you'll recall, the subject of a slanderous scrollumentary by one Michael the Moor.

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Sordid Buying and Selling

Posted by Paul Chesser at 10:02 AM

I'm not sure how to interpret Democratic congressional candidate Sam Davis's diagnosis of his district's most pressing problem:

"The most important issue we have is the economic depravity we have."

I've seen depressed economies, but this is the first time I've heard of a depraved one. Is that one in which only morally reprehensible products and services are bought and sold?

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Not exactly a horde, but. . .

Posted by John Hood at 09:25 AM

Did you know that Mongolia has troops deployed alongside the United States in Iraq? I didn’t. The formerly communist country’s leader said that he would maintain Mongolia’s “strategic partnership” with America against international terrorism and will rotate another 150 troops into Iraq.

Hey, it’s not exactly a Genghis-quality horde, but points for trying. And actually, the notion of Mongol hordes was always phony — a successful example of wartime trickery and propaganda by the usually out-numbered Mongols.

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Sen. Pittenger gets it right on state budget

Posted by John Hood at 09:21 AM

In today’s Charlotte Observer, state Sen. Robert Pittenger shows that a freshman lawmaker understands state budgeting better than many veterans of both parties do. Reflecting on the likely passage of a big-spending state budget:

Sen. Robert Pittenger, R-Mecklenburg, said Thursday afternoon he was worried that the budget would continue what he considers wasteful spending and leave legislators facing a budget deficit next year.

"You can already hear the rumblings of: `redoing the tax code,' " he said. "Well, redoing the tax code means a big increase in the taxes."

Actually, plenty of the veterans understand that this is what is likely to happen in 2005 — but they’re pleased about it.

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Terror vs. Transparency

Posted by Kory Swanson at 07:36 AM

Gary Kasparov's opinion piece in today's Wall Street Journal, Terror vs. Transparency, is a must read. Kasparov argues that UN involvement in the War on Terror is a prescription for disastor.

The terrorists are well-funded, organized, and committed to turning Iraq into the new center of jihad. Funds and fighters are freely crossing the Iraqi borders with Iran and Syria. But contrary to popular belief, the jihadis aren't fighting infidels; they are fighting liberal values as represented by America and Britain. The antiterror forces must be willing to attack the problem at the source. Giving authority to the United Nations practically guarantees that the problem will only get worse.

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