Farhad Manjoo is speaking the truth

Before purchasing the iPhone, I used both a work-issued BlackBerry and a cheapo Motorola handset. Both were dowdy but reliable. Now, at precisely the time I need it most — in an unfamiliar city, trying to keep appointments — it has died.

Thanks guys.

Farhad digs deeper.

I’m here in St. Paul for various convention-ish events, staying with the Martin family, friends and readers of The American Scene. TAS readers really are unusually cool people.

A friend of mine noted that the tone around here has gotten harsher and more partisan, and I regret that. Or rather my tone has gotten harsher and more partisan. The truth is that I’ve grown very frustrated by the race, and particularly by the state of the foreign policy debate. I talked to a friend of mine the other day, a foreign policy scholar and also an avid Democrat and Obama partisan, and the conversation quickly spiraled into uncomfortable territory. It was more than a little depressing. As a general rule, I am a post-statist, i.e., I tend to be more interested in 5GW, the power of systems disruption, and the general weakening of states and how that’s shaping the political and economic landscape. But I’m increasingly convinced that strong states and power politics still matter, and that the Ikenberryan argument from strategic restraint and strategic magnanimity is, while valuable, not one that has limitless utility.

Also, some people don’t seem to get the idea that Russia has interests that dovetail with ours at some points and that clash at others. Being “nice” to Russia when its government behaves badly won’t eliminate conflict and friction (it might actually do the opposite), and being “mean” to them won’t make them want to arm terrorists with nuclear weapons — they have an interest in survival.