David Reinhard Vaults into Lead in Oregonian's Dumbness Contest
Okay, I think I'm onto the Oregonian. Perhaps it's the summer doldrums or the heat, but I believe they're holding a secret contest among the staff as to who can write the dumbest sentence of the month. Peter Ames Carlin was clearly in the lead with his blog question, "Is it acceptable to pay a hooker in cocaine?", but when it comes to sheer dumbness nobody down there can touch David Reinhard. I've come to expect stupid blustery headlines from him, like "On the Ground in Baghdad", when he's actually sitting at his desk in SW Portland. That's why I didn't even blink at today's headline: "Let there be peace in the Mideast, but not just yet". David, some of us have been following this problem for decades, and one thing we never worry about is peace breaking out too soon. Can you say "intractable"?
So let's not even count the headline, which - to be fair - could have been a joint effort of the Oregonian's editorial brain trust. No, we're going to skip right to the text and a gem from this paragraph in which General Reinhard is looking ahead to the cessation of the latest fighting between Israel and Lebanon. He writes, "When will that time come? Sometime after Israel destroys the Hezbollah infrastructure in Lebanon -- its headquarters, weapons stockpiles and supply networks -- and before Israeli military operations there reach a point of diminishing returns in terms of international and Lebanese opinion. Not a moment sooner, not a moment later." Let's look at the point of diminishing returns in terms of Lebanese opinion. Apparently, the Lebanese are still enjoying the attack but David sees a point sometime in the future when they might turn against it. You know how fickle people are. One week they're in favor of the bombs and the brutal deaths of their countrymen, and then the next, they just don't seem as enthused. Maybe they're undecided right now. Maybe they're not sure how they feel about it. David thinks we should keep track in case this doubt turns to all-out "hating it".
David, if that's what you're waiting on - an opinion poll of the Lebanese people - I can pretty much guarantee that they'd like the shelling to stop right now. I can also guarantee you first place in the contest for dumbest sentence by an Oregonian columnist, but who knows? Peter Ames Carlin is just getting started.