Patterico's Pontifications


Supreme Court Argument on Race-Based Admissions: A Question

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:36 am

The argument is taking place now, but as it progresses, one thought keeps occurring to me.

We criminal lawyers all know that it is illegal to strike a juror for race-based reasons. It is a rule that we understand and that we follow.

Why are college admissions different?

I have kept this question at the forefront of my mind throughout the argument so far, as I listen to the lefty justices incredulous at the idea that someone could be required to pick members of a body without taking race into account. And how can judges possibly be expected to analyze such decisions?

Guys, it’s not really that hard. Judges do it in criminal courts all the time. And, by the way, defense attorneys are often very similar to college admissions officials in their hostility towards Asians. But judges are given a clear set of rules to apply: if the defense attorney is striking someone because of their race or nationality (or many other reasons), in whole or in part, that is invidious discrimination and it is illegal. As it should be.

How is this any different?

More thoughts after I have had the chance to hear the whole argument.

Constitutional Vanguard: Trump, Berlusconi, and Roger Waters Meet on the Horseshoe

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am

It’s just a short little 7,000 word newsletter about extremists on both sides who threaten to de-prioritize aid to Ukraine.


But if you truly want to revel in Waters’s ignorance, I suggest you fast-forward to around 43:00 in the Rogan podcast, where Waters quotes Putin saying he will negotiate, but that (this is Waters’s quote paraphrasing Putin) “the will of the people in the Donetsk, Lubansk [sic], Keershun [sic], and whatever the one is whose name I can’t remember, is inviolate. That is not up for discussion.” Then Waters and Rogan shake their heads sadly at the awfulness (in their view) of Zelensky’s response, which is to say he will not negotiate with Russia until Putin is gone. How awful! they both agree.

Sigh. So: let’s talk about “the will of the people” in the provinces so mangled by Waters in that statement. The only one he got right, by the way, was Donetsk. When he says Lubansk, he means Luhansk. When he says “Keershun,” he is referring to Kherson, which most people pronounce “Her-SAHN” or perhaps “Kher-SAHN” but which nobody pronounces as “Keershun” except idiots like Waters. Finally, the province whose name Waters can’t remember is Zaporizhzhia. They have a nuclear power plant there.

As an aside: it is right to pick on Waters for his mangling of the pronunciation of Ukraine oblasts (provinces)? Yes: but only because Waters is setting himself up as a sort of “expert” on the topic, who has actually gotten the attention of Zelensky’s wife and hopes to get the attention of Putin himself.

In the portion for paid subscribers, I take on some of the typical arguments I hear in favor of Putin’s position on the Ukraine conflict. I rely heavily on Timothy Snyder’s recent podcast with Sam Harris:

Snyder observes that sometimes, when you decide to invade another country, that country decides to resist. Maybe the country cares more about their own sovereignty than you, the invader, care about taking them over. (As I have argued before, citing Leo Tolstoy, the “spirit of the army” is a very important x factor in military calculations.) If that happens and you’re the invader, well, it sucks to be you. (As my daughter likes to say: “Sucks to suck.”) But Mr. Putin: your miscalculation in invading the wrong country doesn’t mean you need an off-ramp. It doesn’t mean the world needs to give you a participation trophy. Russia has experience with losing wars. Ted Cruz, who once went gaga at Russian army propaganda, might not realize it, but the Russian military is not invincible. Russia has lost wars before. They lost in Afghanistan. They lost the first Chechen war. All they have to do is what any great power does when it loses a war:—and what Russia had done when it has lost in the past—pretend it won.

We need to stop wringing our hands here. What we have here is simple: a fascist state invaded a democracy. This breaks the rules of the world.

If you want to take issue with me on this, I really suggest you read the whole thing. If you’re not a paid subscriber, you can try a seven-day trial and sample it. What I ask you not to do is to argue with me without having read the arguments that I spent a great deal of time putting together. Thanks in advance.

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