When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

June 27, 2005

Nature v. Nurture v. Stupid

Bravo Romeo Delta

In Lileks' Screedblog, he recently takes on Ken Schram's recent bit of nonsense regarding the notion that people vote the way they do simply as a result of their genetic heritage. Without rehashing the entire deal, let me simply quote Lileks' summarization of the article (or at least the prevailing viewpoint implied in the article): "I mean, there’s no other rational reason why people might have opinions that conflict with my own. They’re either stupid or evil."

Lileks starts to march down an interesting path at the end of his piece:

"So we can also assume that Mr. Schram is genetically predisposed to support racial preferences that fixate on skin color, has some interior code that makes him whoop and hollah hurray whenever he learns a partial-birth abortion has scrambled the limbs of an eight-month old fetus, and is hardwired to oppose limits on punitive damages for med-mal lawsuits. I have to assume this, because our difference of opinion means he is an evil parody of everyone one centimeter to the right of Me, and everyone is a monkey dancing to the square-dance call of our genes"

Well, this got me to thinking. Let's assume that Ken Schram isn't a complete fool and has thought through some of the things his argument implies and is sufficiently comfortable with the full implications to go ahead and give voice to his notions.

There are certain genetic traits which are linked. To take a very simple example, in females, the presence of well-developed lactating breasts in adult primate females is often associated with the presence of female genitalia.

Or to take something a bit more subtle, African-Americans are more likely to be born with Sickle-Cell Anemia.

So, let's take the analysis cited by Mr. Schram at face value - genetics determine behavior.

What, pray tell, would this suggest about, let's say, the propensity for convicted felons to vote Democratic? Or, perhaps, the astonishing number of young African-American males to end up in prison? Anyone here read "The Bell Curve" at all?

Clearly specious nonsense.

So why, exactly, does Mr. Schram feel that specious nonsense is acceptable, just so long as it conforms to his ideological worldview. This, in and of itself, is no surprise.

The thing that I do find more than a bit troublesome, however, is the fact that we no longer live in a world in which one idiot newsman will only affect things in his little neck of the woods. In an increasing global world words count now more than ever. No longer do we have the luxury of being able to confine idiocy to dorm room bull sessions at 3 in the morning. We are now in a world where idiots today are fodder for Al Jazeera and other unreconstructed fools. This sort of rampant nonsense, while nothing new, is a hell of a lot more significant now than it was when we were running around doing things like passing laws about sedition.

I fear that this will push us much closer to a Le May style ending - something no sane creature (regardless of genetics) will want to see.

(Cross posted to Demosophia)

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at June 27, 2005 04:07 AM

Retaliatiory Launches

Washington now faces a no-win situation in Iraq
The Daily Star Lebanon | Patrick Seale


America is facing the real possibility of defeat in Iraq. The insurgency is as robust and as lethal as ever. U.S. troops are overstretched and thin on the ground, while Iraqi troops are far from ready to replace them. Sectarian violence is on the rise, suggesting that civil war is just round the corner. Every day brings its terrible tale of carnage. There seems to be no safety anywhere - and certainly not in Baghdad. Iraq under American occupation is slipping into uncontrollable chaos.

This is the backdrop to the visit to Washington that took place last Friday of Iraq's new Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari. For both Jaafari and U.S. President George W. Bush, this is an exceedingly difficult moment.

What should America do? Should it leave Iraq, or should it stay? No choice has been more difficult for an American president since the Vietnam War. For the first time, a leading American politician and potential presidential candidate, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, was brave enough to say: "The White House is completely disconnected from reality The reality is, we're losing in Iraq."

Even more dangerous for the "war party" - the neoconservative cabal that pressed for war against Iraq - is that it is losing the war in the United States. American opinion is tiring of the war. According to the latest Gallop poll, 57 percent of Americans think the war is "not worth it." Members of Congress report that their constituents are getting restless. As casualties mount, the word from the grass roots is "enough is enough!" Army recruitment rates have plunged, as have Bush's approval ratings, now down to 42 percent from 51 percent after the November elections. In the House of Representatives, a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans are drafting a resolution calling on Bush to present a strategy for getting the U.S. out of Iraq.

Posted by: BUSH LIES - SOLDIERS DIE at June 29, 2005 02:45 AM

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