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Saturday, April 12, 2003  
Bloggers' ball


Kevin Drum is letting a conservative (two conservatives if one doesn't consider Mickey Kaus a reactionary) slip something by him. Drum quotes Kaus.

This Eason Jordan piece is pretty amazing, and suggests that what some conservative friends have been telling me may turn out to be true -- that the human rights case for ousting Saddam could turn out to be strong enough to compensate even for a U.S. failure to find WMD. . . . Mickey's Assignment Desk #1: Should there be a "gross violation of human rights" exception to the generally-accepted ban on trans-border aggression, in addition to a "genocide" exception?

He then goes on to say, "Whether there should be the "human rights exception" that he suggests (and who should decide when it applies) is an open question."

In doing so, I believe the CalPundit pays too little attention to the fact that Kaus is trying to rationalize the war retroactively. The rationale Kaus proposes for the U.S. invading Iraq is 'Saddam shot the sheriff.' But, the U.S. actually invaded under the pretext 'he shot the deputy.'


Jesse of Pandagon enters the latest nature v. nurture discussion and calls a spade a device for digging.

I agree that women have a higher chance of having certain types of disease, and that it's most likely genetic. However, I don't agree that black kids are genetically predisposed towards lower IQs, largely because it doesn't make any sense whatsoever, when you take into account how well-verified it is that environmental factors have an enormous impact on educational success. This is the vein of science which liberals are resisting, the half-assed conservative impetus to label everything genetic. . to avoid dealing with it.

I've said something similar using different terminology. The Right likes applying genetic determinism to outgroups because they can use 'it is nature's fault, not society's' as a rationale for maintaining the status quo. My contribution to the round robin is here.


Steve at No More Mister Nice Blog is surprised by Joan Rivers' tastelessness in making fun of 9/11 widows. However, I think that might be explained by Rivers' personal history. Her husband, while recovering from major surgery, took his own life in a Philadelphia hotel room. Their daughter, Melissa, was a student at the University of Pennsylvania at the time. Rivers probably believes she has carte blanche to make widow jokes. Besides, whoever accused Joan of having any taste?


A group Atrios, Josh Marshall and I have been following for some time filed an amicus curiae brief in Virginia v. Black, the cross burning case the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The goal of the Council of Conservative Citizens, a reincarnation of the White Citizens Councils of the South, was to support cross burning as expressive activity. The decision by the high Court is mixed, but likely to work against the CofCC and other militant organizations in the long-run. Read about it at Silver Rights.


Greg Beato of Soundbitten is still concerned about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He says:

In any case, I hope the urgency of the search remains strong, or even increases. After all, things sound a little chaotic in Iraq these days, and given that terrorists from around the world had been flocking to Iraq in recent weeks to fight the Great Satan, it seems like the conditions are better than ever for the kind of weapons hands-off that we were worried about.

With all the unchecked looting going on, what happens if a couple of terrorists find those caches of anthrax, sarin, and other weapons of mass destruction before we do?

I expect the term WMD to soon be the name of a new computer game. Someone might as well get some mileage out of it now that is no longer useful to the Bush administration.


Point your cursor to a story in the Christian Science Monitor Cursor suggests and I recommend. Mental health experts believe that having maimed and killed poorly armed Iraqi soldiers may have a debilitating effect on American troops eventually.

10:15 AM