links…

by zunguzungu

Here, Hilzoy at Obsidianwings blogs about Hillary Clinton’s, um, dubious claim to have urged intervention in Rwanda:

Bill Clinton claims that Hillary Clinton…had wanted the United States to intervene in Rwanda in 1994, when hundreds of thousands of people died in a genocide that lasted just a few months. ‘I believe if I had moved we might have saved at least a third of those lives,’ he said. ‘I think she clearly would have done that.'” But, as Hilzoy goes on to illustrate, “The Clinton administration did not simply fail to intervene militarily in Rwanda. It took a number of steps that made it easier for genocide to be committed. Not taking these steps would have been much, much easier than sending actual troops to Rwanda. They would have made a real difference. And yet the Clinton administration failed to take them”

Matt Taibbi writes, in the style that makes him a sober man’s Hunter S. Thompson, about why John McCain is the worst case scenario:

“John McCain…has risen from the political dead to wrap up the GOP nomination…because ‘Onward to Victory’ is the last great illusion the Republican Party has left to sell in this country, even to its own followers. They can’t sell fiscal responsibility, they can’t sell “values,” they can’t sell competence, they can’t sell small government, they can’t even sell the economy. All they have left to offer is this sad, dwindling, knee-jerk patriotism, a promise to keep selling world politics as a McHale’s Navy rerun to a Middle America that wants nothing to do with realizing the world has changed since 1946. The lesson of the McCain campaign is that one should never underestimate America’s capacity for self-delusion. Balls-deep in one of the biggest foreign-policy catastrophes of all time, an arrogant military misadventure destined to make us infamous for a generation across a dozen cultures, minivan-driving suburban America is still waiting for Bill Holden to make it right by blowing up the Bridge on the River Kwai — and returning, tanned and handsome, to get the girl with a mouth full of cool one-liners.”

From languagelog which I found at the great linker noli irritare leones, the following quote turns out even to dramatically understate the case:

“On both the brain imaging and the psychological testing, the biggest differences we see between boys and girls are about one standard deviation. Height differences between boys and girls are two standard deviations.” Giedd suggests a thought experiment: Imagine trying to assign a population of students to the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms based solely on height. As boys tend to be taller than girls, one would assign the tallest 50 percent of the students to the boys’ locker room and the shortest 50 percent of the students to the girls’ locker room. What would happen? While you’d end up with a better-than-random sort, the results would be abysmal, with unacceptably large percentages of students in the wrong place. ”