Sunday, 6 March 2005

The Bus

There’s a nice tribute to Jerome Bettis here. It’s a little too early to be doing a tribute to him because he might still play another year for the Steelers, but it’s a nice rundown of his career. Most impressive.


Cassandra has a good, detailed post that explores the hypothetical primacy of international law over domestic law. There’s not much I can add to her post, other than I agree with her and hope that, when the time comes (if ever), it is approached by amending the Constitution, not imposed on us by our robed masters. It would take several decades of goodwill on the part of the rest of the world before I favored this. Even then, I would wait until right before death to say it out loud, so I don’t have to deal with the aftermath.

Cass’s post is a followup to an earlier post of mine. Be sure to wish her well as she takes a little time off from blogging. You’ll have to use a different post for that, as she’s closed comments on the linked post.

The touch, the feel of a sensible Times editorial

Sunday’s New York Times has an unsigned editorial noting the opportunity to fix America’s cotton farming subsidies as the result of an adverse World Trade Organization ruling on Thursday. As in the case of the Canadian beef case, President Bush appears to be on the right side of the issue, marking a welcome change of pace from his election-driven protectionist behavior on steel imports.

Are you Monica Seles or just happy to see me?

There are few things more distracting than, while killing yourself on an exercise bike, hearing the 20-ish young woman behind you on a treadmill either (a) grunting like tennis player Monica Seles or (b) having a really loud orgasm. Since I have no delusions about my physical attractiveness, I am forced to assume that (a) is the correct explanation.

Natural rights

Jon Henke has an excellent post that I unfortunately don’t have the time to go into in detail. The issue is whether natural rights exist since they aren’t visible, and so forth. He makes, essentially, a utilitarian argument about rights—they exist because others agree that they exist. I’m not comfortable with this position because the “rights as social construct” concept leaves a lot of room for people to tamper with you for whatever reason they choose.

I’m an adherent to the natural rights view, but the only thing “natural” about them is that they create a moral case for the person whose rights are being violated to do whatever is necessary to secure them, including violence. Of course, there are trade-offs to be made. I live in Mississippi and there are certainly laws here (as with any state) that were cooked up by some tin-pot tyrant that have nothing to do with protecting anyone’s rights. They simply did it because they could. Is each of these worth fighting over? No.

I would like to say more, but time is short. Check out Jon’s post.