Shorter Ed Morrissey:
Israel should respond to the democratic success of Hamas by pushing all the Palestinians into the Jordan or the Mediterranean. That’ll teach ‘em to elect the wrong folks.
Instapundit characterizes Morrissey as “depressed”. Do depressives often advocate genocide?
Wally points out the obvious:
espn’s Michael Smith explains why the failure to fill any of the eight vacancies in the NFL with a minority is not simply racism. see, as he explains it it’s because in the nfl it’s a matter of who you know. so it’s not racism in refusing to hire qualified minority candidates because they didn’t hire qualified white guys either! gms generally hired their friends (or almost themselves, in the case of the buffalo bills). i would hope that anyone with a keen ear for gender/racial inequity would have a bullshit meter that goes off whenever someone explains that it’s a matter of social networking, not deliberate exclusion. what a very old and tired excuse for a lack of equity. if the old boys’ club is all white (and all boys!), it’s racist. we dogs are notorious for our sense of smell but surely this smells rotten to you naked apes too?
Which reminds me of something I once wrote about Charles Murray.
… and speaking of Charles Murray, it’s disappointing yet predictable that Lord Saletan doesn’t even entertain the possibility that differences in reactions to violence on the part of American men and women might be cultural, rather than genetic. I suppose acknowledging that would make it harder for him to write his human nature column.
From the appropriately dubbed Machiavelli’s Cat, a solution of Swiftian magnitude.
Really, really interesting post by Brad Plumer on a project by Daryl Press and Keir Lieber to determine whether MAD, or Mutual Assured Destruction, still applies to the US-China and US-Russia relationships. They conclude that China and Russia cannot be confidant of maintaining a second strike capability against the US. It would be wrong to say that I’m surprised, but I hadn’t fully thought through the implications of the problem before reading Plumer’s post.
One caveat that I have (not having read the study I can’t fully evaluate it) is that a second strike capability doesn’t have to be absolute, or even probable. If, say, there is a 40% chance that China will be able to launch 5 nuclear missiles at the United States, then the expected utility of a first strike by the US is pretty goddamn low. Try to imagine what kind of foreign policy goal would be worth the incineration of 15 million or so Americans; it’s pretty hard. I’m also kind of doubtful about the likelihood that the US could track down every Russian boomer before they had a chance to launch, but Lieber and Press are both excellent analysts, so I’m sure they’ve done good work.
A second caveat regards the ability of China or Russia to strike US allies. While the Chinese have only a few missiles capable of reaching the US, they have plenty that can hit closer targets. I doubt, again, that an administration could come to the conclusion that a successful first strike was worth the destruction of Tokyo, Warsaw, Seoul, or New Dehli. However, to the extent that the analysis relies on the command and control centers of Russia and China rather than on their actual weapons, Lieber and Press may have that covered, as well.
The US has a number of advantages over our nuclear competitors. Our strategic bomber forces can deliver warheads with little notice. Ohio class boomers can fire extraordinarily accurate ballistic missiles from hidden position with extremely short flight plans. I doubt that the missile defense could actually do anything important, but it probably wouldn’t hurt in the case of an actual shooting war.
What does this mean? Well, clearly China and Russia are not worried about a US attack. Building more nuclear missiles is very cheap, compared to other ways of projecting power. That neither seem to be taking the US seriously as a nuclear threat indicates that they are paying a lot of attention to intentions, rather than to capabilities. Eisenhower was perhaps quite correct to suggest that the only thing worse than losing a nuclear war would be to win one.
Lexington is blessed with the Kentucky Theater, an institution which would compare well with most of the best theaters in Seattle. The Kentucky Theater has two large theaters, each nearly as big as the downstairs theater at the Varsity or the big old theater at the Guild 45th. The Kentucky Theater is not quite as well appointed as its cousins in Seattle, but it has two other factors in its favor. First, the cost of a regular film is $6.50, and a matinee $4.50. Moreover, the theater screens matinees every day, rather than holding to an afternoon schedule on weekdays. Second, the Kentucky Theater sells beer. It’s in a plastic cup, but goddamn, it’s beer.
It’s almost enough to make me forget that I have to wait four months to get movies like Broken Flowers.
In any case, I saw Brokeback Mountain on Saturday at the Kentucky Theater. I was pleased. I thought that the movie was very strong, including the performances by the principles. What impressed me the most was how Ang Lee used automobiles to convey time and socioeconomic status. From the moment that Jack drives up in his ancient, busted up pickup truck to the end, when Ennis’ daughter arrives at his station wagon in a new sportscar, the cars give us a roadmap to Jack and Ennis’ lives. The film isn’t perfect, although I didn’t have any problem with the way in which Jack Twist met his end; it is left ambiguous enough in the film (if not in the story) to leave us wondering whether Ennis has simply projected his own terrors onto a tragic event.
In other news, Mickey Kaus is a hack. Here’s some friendly advice, Mickey; admitting you’re moving the goalposts while continuing to radically understate the film’s likely take and, in the end, blaming the success of the film on its marketing campaign doesn’t actually mean that you have integrity. The shelf life on too-clever-by-half “liberal” contrarians has run out…
I like Detroit as much as the next guy. Hell, I probably like Detroit more than the next guy. I love the post-apocalyptic feel, although I understand that city planning decisions ought not to prioritize my own aesthetic preferences. I appreciate the need to demolish some building in the pursuit of urban renewal. Still, I can’t help feeling like the powers that be in Detroit are fooling themselves if they think that the Superbowl is going to be the key to transforming the city’s economic fortunes.
It’s fairly well established that the construction of new stadiums in downtown areas does not, in fact, result in increased economic activity. This is why cities are increasingly becoming wary of dishing out huge sums of money to extraordinary wealthy baseball and football owners. How, then, is one game, nevermind how important, supposed to turn a city around?
Strikes me as wishful thinking. I hope that Detroit doesn’t spend too much from its already light treasury and doesn’t destroy too much of its heritage in the effort to showcase its finest for the Superbowl.
Huh. I guess mine is of the Short Boxed variety? You know, a few years back DJW (who once possessed a Chin Curtain) and I tried to get Lemieux to grow a beard… I think he’d look good with some Friendly Mutton Chops…
Matt hits the nail on the head with this:
It certainly makes sense as a negotiating tactic for the American government to appear open to military action. For similar reasons, efforts at diplomacy are probably strengthened insofar as Bush appears to be under domestic political pressure to use force. . .The trouble is that actually doing this stuff is a bad idea.
Right. Discussions of the Iran situation that fall on absolutes, such as the notion that Iranian nuclear weapons are “unacceptable” or that the United States should take whatever steps necessary to prevent a nuclear Iran are fundamentally unserious. A serious foreign policy analysis weighs that costs and benefits of a particular policy. We may decide that Iranian nuclear weapons are bad (I think they are, but feel free to disagree), but this does not mean that stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons needs to be the absolute final goal of US policy. The costs of such action may override any likely benefit that we can imagine; in fact, I’m inclined to think that this is the case.
An argument, like Bill Kristol’s, that treats a nuclear Iran as unacceptable is not an effort to open a discussion; it’s an attempt to close off a particular line of thinking. If Iranian nukes really were unacceptable, then a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iranian nuclear facilities and Iranian industrial targets would be entirely justified from a policy point-of-view. This is not, however, a position that even most self-appointed Iran toughs would express, at least in public.
Made my first visit to Rupp Arena on Saturday to watch the Kentucky Wildcats play the South Carolina Gamecocks for the 42nd time. Before Saturday, the Wildcats led the lifetime series 35-6.
The experience at Rupp was quite unlike the experience at the other two arenas in which I’ve watched college basketball. Rupp is larger than either Mac Court or Hec Ed, the former by a factor of about three. The energy level at Rupp, even in the absence of a traditional rival or an excellent team, was considerably higher than anything I saw at Hec Ed. This really isn’t all that surprising, given the fact that UW is more of a football than a basketball school. The comparison with Mac Court is a little bit more complicated, because Mac Court only seats about 8500, and Rupp seats about 23000. Thus, only the most energetic and committed fans go to Duck games, while a much larger slice of the fan base can be found at Wildcat games. Nevertheless, the energy level was comparable, although the attitude of the crowd was a little bit different. At Oregon, even in good years, the crowd is rarely arrogant; the prevailing feeling seems to be one of defiance and resentment. At Rupp, the crowd expects the Wildcats to dominate, and is not shy in showing its disappointment when they fail. I attended with George Herring, sitting in seats that he has used since Rupp’s opening twenty-eight years ago. I understand that getting season tickets is mildly difficult…
The Wildcats did not fail on Saturday, winning an outstanding game 80-78. The Wildcats tried to lose, and South Carolina opened up a twelve point lead midway through the second half. Excellent shooting put Kentucky back into it, however, and they managed to win on an off-balance three with 1.4 seconds left in the game. Both teams shot well, with Kentucky at 56% and South Carolina at 52%. They hit 23 three pointers between them.
Halftime featured the 1966 Kentucky team, which is apparently now playing the role of EVIL in Glory Road. Sadly, Pat Riley couldn’t make it. Perhaps he had other, better things to do.