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Archive for March, 2010

Friday Comics: on the moral universe of Mark Millar (which is incoherent, but frequently explodes)

[ 3 ] March 26, 2010 |

By now, you know how I feel about Mark Millar; but until I read Nemesis, I couldn’t have accounted for why my dislike has always been so visceral. Turns out, all I needed was to witness his treatment of a character I have more than a fleeting investment in to figure it out. For those unfamiliar with it, the premise of the book is, according to Millar:

Read more…

Shorter Jeff Goldstein

[ 53 ] March 26, 2010 |

It pisses me off that people I attack without cause think I’m a jerk. If my former professor didn’t want to be associated with what I’m writing now, he never should have worked with me then. His request to have his name removed my site is political censorship. OUTLAW!

Goldstein’s old professor listed “a propensity for stifling opposition” as one of the reasons he wanted to distance himself from the site, but as Goldstein notes, that’s nonsense. Consider, for example, the condensed version of the rational arguments with which he and his commenters engaged my argument the other day:

Read more…

“Traitor-in-Defense-of-Slavery-American” Would be Fine

[ 15 ] March 26, 2010 |

And people wonder why we waste time on Confederate nostalgia. I bet that these folks are incensed that the United States is currently governed by a NOT EVEN REAL MURICAN!!!!

Happy Friday! With roughly one week until census forms are due, a group of Confederate rights activists is urging southerners with Confederate ancestors to declare themselves “Confederate Southern Americans” on census forms in order to qualify for national origin protection under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Federal law makes it illegal to discriminate because of a person’s birthplace, ancestry, culture or language. The South North Carolina-based Southern Legal Resource Center believes that people with ancestors who were citizens of the Confederate States of America should be entitled to ethnic identity and protection since the country no longer exists.

Via Gary Farber.

“There’s always a little bit of heaven in a disaster area”

[ 3 ] March 26, 2010 |

So how many babies can we expect to be conceived at Douchestock?

Let’s Hope We Don’t Look Back on this as the Cheonan Crisis…

[ 9 ] March 26, 2010 |

I have a piece at Guardian: Comment is Free on the sinking of the South Korean patrol corvette Cheonan. Long story short, I’m betting that there are a lot of people right now hoping that Cheonan blew up accidentally and not as the result of a North Korean torpedo.

… and accident the verdict may be:

The waters around Baeknyeong island are rocky, and some senior government officials speculated that the sinking may have been an accident, not an attack, South Korean media said.

“It’s looking more and more like it was just an accident that happens on a ship,” Carl Baker, an expert on Korean military relations at the Pacific Forum CSIS think tank in Honolulu, said by telephone.

White House: Drones Are Legitimate Self-Defense

[ 6 ] March 26, 2010 |

Ken Anderson testified before the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs earlier this week and argued that the Obama Administration must publicly justify its use of drones in Pakistan.

Yesterday he got his wish when State Department Legal Advisor Harold Hongju Koh issued this statement, excerpted from his speech at the American Society of International Law conference (scroll down to the section on “Use of Force”):

Some have suggested that the very use of targeting a particular leader of an enemy force in an armed conflict must violate the laws of war. But individuals who are part of such an armed group are belligerent and, therefore, lawful targets under international law…. Some have challenged the very use of advanced weapons systems, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, for lethal operations. But the rules that govern targeting do not turn on the type of weapon system involved, and there is no prohibition under the laws of war on the use of technologically advanced weapons systems in armed conflict — such as pilotless aircraft or so-called smart bombs — so long as they are employed in conformity with applicable laws of war…. Some have argued that the use of lethal force against specific individuals fails to provide adequate process and thus constitutes unlawful extrajudicial killing. But a state that is engaged in armed conflict or in legitimate self-defense is not required to provide targets with legal process before the state may use lethal force.

I will weigh in presently on this, but in the meantime Nathan Hodge has more; and if you want to watch the entire video of Koh’s remarks, you can see it at Anthony Clark Arend’s blog here.

Get The Damn Gubmit’s Hands Off My Disability Checks!

[ 3 ] March 26, 2010 |

Self-parody exhumed and killed again.

Naval Skirmish in Yellow Sea Sinks RoK Patrol Boat?

[ 0 ] March 26, 2010 |

Details are extremely sketchy, but it looks as if a skirmish in the Yellow Sea may have resulted in the sinking of a South Korean patrol boat with 104 aboard. The latest report indicated that 58 of the sailors had been picked up as of an hour and a half ago. See also CDR Salamander and Bubblehead. If there are still at least 46 sailors unaccounted for after a few hours in the water, this is a very serious problem; there have been skirmishes in this area for a while, but it will be very hard for the South Koreans to ignore a major loss of life and the loss of a significant naval unit.

Is the CIA an “Armed Group”?

[ 6 ] March 25, 2010 |

Awhile ago I wrote about the legal status of CIA operatives flying drones in Pakistan. A commenter asked a great question: is the CIA an armed group? I’ve been pondering an answer, but my colleague Stephanie Carvin has beat me to it: Read more…

Revisiting the Paradox of the Chess Queen

[ 25 ] March 25, 2010 |

My brother gave my son a civil war chess set this past weekend for his birthday, which sparked a discussion about a post I wrote at Duck of Minerva a year ago on the history of the chess queen. The European Chess Championships having just passed, I thought it appropriate to revisit the issue.

The original post was inspired by my inability to answer one of my son’s random questions: “Why is the queen more powerful than the king?” Read more…

Glenn Beck is punk rock.

[ 36 ] March 25, 2010 |

I have a confession: I have never watched or listened to Glenn Beck for any sustained period of time. I’d read transcriptions of his rambling monologues and seen parodies of his lunatic shtick, but until today, I’d avoided prolonged exposure to the Glenn Beck Experience. Would that I could still say the same. As a public service to anyone else out there who might be tempted to try and understand his appeal, I offer the following transcript of the horrors I witnessed condensed down to their rhetorical appeals:

Read more…

Go Cats!

[ 4 ] March 25, 2010 |

Thursday Daddy/Basketball Blogging…. Miriam and Elisha

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