Tuesday, October 31, 2006
The RNC is being accused of trying to inflame whites who don't like black men with white women, but aren't black women also likely to be upset with Ford? There's been a lot of ink spilled about black female resentment of black men "dating white." The ad is "a twofer," Kaus says.
“She can handle any champagne brunch
A bridal shower with Bacardi punch
Jello shooters full of Smirnoff
But tequila makes her clothes fall off.”
~ Joe Nichols, “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off”
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Promoting the party’s candidates and officeholders—and, by extension, their policies—is the College Republicans’ raison d’etre. For most CR chapters that entails steadfast support for the Iraq War. To coincide with the president’s State of the Union address in January, the College Republicans National Committee organized “Finish the Job! Support Our Troops!” rallies on 130 campuses and in Washington. Pro-war and pro-administration lecturers like John Ashcroft and David Horowitz are among the most popular CR-sponsored campus speakers. Horowitz’s hawkish arguments made an especially strong impression on students attending the CR national convention last year. “This isn’t an invasion of Iraq, it’s a liberation—as David Horowitz said,” one attendee insisted to Nation reporter Max Blumenthal.The piece argues that all the GOP boosterism has made the student movement intellectually flaccid.
“Blogs like yours do little but preach to the converted, and when the converted are largely the selfish rich for whom conservatism is but a rationalization for the maintenance of their unearned advantages, it’s really a waste of your time.”Nothing about justice; no acknowledgement that truth-seeking per se might be a pursuit well worth Johnson's time. To Rosenberg, anything that might have the effect, however tangential, of allowing the "selfish rich" to keep their "unearned advantages" is not worth doing.
Elsewhere, Johnson reports on a recent poll on the Durham D.A. race. It shows Mike Nifong at 46 percent, Lewis Cheek at 28, and Steve Monks at 2, with 24 percent undecided. As Johnson notes, polls like this tend to undercount cell phone users and college students -- i.e., a bunch of Duke students who will be voting against Nifong. And Nifong probably can't count on picking up anything close to a majority of the undecideds.
Given what's been going on in the case recently, you have to assume that the anti-Nifong voters are more energized than Nifong's natural constituency. Turnout should be good for Cheek. Still, it would be nice to see him polling a bit better at this point.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Mr. Halavais expected some of his fabrications to languish online for some time. Like many academics, he was skeptical about a mob-edited publication that called itself an authoritative encyclopedia. But less than three hours after he posted them, all of his false facts had been deleted, thanks to the vigilance of Wikipedia editors who regularly check a page on the Web site that displays recently updated entries.Some members of the academy aren't fans; they say Wikipedia "devalues the notion of expertise itself."
Friday, October 27, 2006
Duke students should expect nothing less from their university. The day they set foot on the Duke Campus for the first time they became members of the Duke family. For most this was the beginning of a life-long relationship that generates intense loyalties and deep love. The assumption is that the relationship is reciprocal, that Duke holds all of its students in high esteem-loves them-and will support them through the rough times as well as the good. Instead, Duke has disowned its lacrosse-playing student athletes. Their treatment has been shameful.This is the kind of statement many of us have been waiting to hear. Link via KC Johnson, who calls the letter "one of the most important publications of the case to date."
This post from Liestoppers also grabbed me:
All those closely following the case here in the blogosphere have their reasons, and I’d like to explain mine. I graduated from Duke. I am proud of this fact. I had wonderful friends. I’ve been to their weddings in the Duke chapel. I’ve seen their newborn babies dressed in Duke blue. This is why it’s so painful to read this quote from Reade Seligmann:Below the post, there are other similarly heartsick comments from people who also chose Duke to be their home for four years."I chose Duke to be my home for four years. And to see your professors … go out and slander you and say these horrible, untrue things about you and to have your … administration just … cut us loose for, for, based on nothing. Duke took that stance that “We wouldn’t stand for this behavior.” They didn’t want to take a chance on standing up for the truth. I can’t imagine representing a school that didn’t want to represent me." CBS News 10/17/2006The reason that this quote is painful is that for all my pride in Duke, I can’t give Reade Seligmann one reason why he should return when this is over. Every word he says above is true.
In other news, I got an invitation in the mail today to attend some kind of dinner in DC at which Richard Brodhead and a panel will talk about "Duke's contribution to the world" or something like that. No mention of anything lacrosse-related. A PR campaign is clearly well underway, but I doubt the administration will be able to change the subject as quickly as it would like.
"We are getting into semantics again. If we use words, there is a very grave danger they will be misinterpreted."
~ H. R. Haldeman
Song of the Day:
T'Pau, "Heart and Soul"
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Whatever your position on gay marriage, I think you have to agree with Kaus's point about the incredibly rapid "litmusization" of the issue. I feel like when I started law school six years ago legal same-sex marriage was talked about as a fairly far-out hypothetical by all but the most hardcore. Now the approved "opinion leader" position seems to be one of weariness and frustration that change isn't happening soon enough, even though those same opinion leaders haven't been advocating it for very long.
Again, I'm certainly not saying it's the wrong position on the merits, just that it's interesting as a sociological point to think about how rapidly opinion has coalesced.
Monday, October 23, 2006
"It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it."
~ Arnold Toynbee
Song of the Day:
Crystal Method, "Busy Child"
Friday, October 20, 2006
"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."
~ Helen Keller
Song of the Day:
Eva Cassidy, "Over the Rainbow"
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
In NoVa, a lab is the family dog. In RoVa, a lab is the family meth business.Charming.
In NoVa, a "fur piece" is something a woman wears on a special occasion. In RoVa, a "fur piece" is unit of distance.
It's funny how perspectives shift; for example, one of the world's finest restaurants, The Inn at Little Washington, happens to be located firmly in RoVa (it's in Washington, Virginia -- a tiny town that's a good hour-and-a-half drive from DC). Yet the Post proudly claims it as one of DC's best restaurants, as if were on Clarendon Boulevard instead of off among the meth labs.
Embattled U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said America has avoided a second terrorist attack for five years because the “Eye of Mordor” has been drawn to Iraq instead.Take it away, Jon Stewart.
“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else,” Santorum said, describing the tool the evil Lord Sauron used in search of the magical ring that would consolidate his power over Middle-earth.
“It's being drawn to Iraq and it's not being drawn to the U.S.,” Santorum continued. “You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don't want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”
I am not one to judge a person's situation, but when a father/husband plays a video game all night long, seven days a week, after getting home from work, very involved instances that soak up hours and require concentration, it makes me queasy that I encouraged that. Others include the kids you know aren't doing their homework and confide in you they are failing out of high school or college but don't want to miss their chance at loot, the long-term girl/boyfriend who is skipping out on a date (or their anniversary - I've seen it) to play (and in some cases flirt constantly), the professional taking yet another day off from work to farm mats or grind their reputations up with in-game factions to get "valuable" quest rewards, etc... I'm not one to tell people how to spend their time, but it gets ridiculous when you take a step back.I had never heard of World of Warcraft until last week, when my husband and I caught an episode of South Park that was a parody of the game. The episode was absolutely hilarious; I hadn't laughed that hard in a while. ("When Hitler rose to power there were a lot of people who 'just stopped playing.' And you know who those people were? The French. Are you French, Clyde? Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, Clyde?")
You can watch the South Park episode here, here, and here. (And don't worry -- it absolutely will not make you want to rush out and buy the game.)
(Link via InstaPundit.)
For starters, the Klan arrived in white vans chauffeured and escorted by U.S. Park Police. Then they were guarded by a phalanx of law enforcement officers from federal, state and local agencies. Civil rights activists in the last century should have been so fortunate.Pretty remarkable that these things still go on. It's a good sign that the people in the pointy hats are usually outnumbered by counterprotesters -- as seemed to be the case with this one.
In a racial irony to top all racial ironies, some of those assigned to protect the Klan were black.
"You dirtbags have been in third place for five years."
"Oh yeah? Well, you're about to be in... dead place."
~ Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
Song of the Day:
Billy Joel, "And So It Goes"
George C. Scott
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Ackerman is well aware that originalism has gained the high ground in constitutional interpretation and that its opponents often have been reduced to fighting rear-guard actions based on stare decisis or, at best, to making tactical advances under such opportunistic rubrics as "active liberty." He knows that academic scholarship on the founding has reached such a high level of sophistication that it has been used to understand and decide constitutional cases. He also knows that popular interest in the founders' lives has produced a score of recent bestsellers by respected historians. So Ackerman has gone for the nuclear option: undermine originalism by picturing the founders as nothing more than an 18th-century version of Tammany Hall.The fact that I had not even heard of this book suggests to me that it may not pack quite the same punch as those recent bestsellers.
Link via The Right Coast.
Link via Tuesday Morning Quarterback.
[Scalia] said unelected judges have no place deciding politically charged questions when the Constitution is silent on those issues.Tamanaha sees this as some sort of chest-thumping threat from a newly animated Scalia, who's going to round up his new friends Sammy and J-Rob and make the ACLU regret the day it was ever formed. But isn't it just what the article said: a warning? Scalia was merely cautioning Strossen that her preferred method of activist judging isn't going to seem so congenial when the judges aren't her kind of activists. With a few exceptions, Scalia's been pretty clearly against judicial activism in his jurisprudence; is it realistic to fear that he's about to lapse into "tit for tat"?
Arguing that liberal judges in the past improperly established new political rights such as abortion, Scalia warned, "Someday, you're going to get a very conservative Supreme Court and regret that approach."
It's interesting how quickly left-leaning legal academics, faced with the prospect of a more conservative court, shout, "No tit for tat! No activism from you -- be consistent!" Consistency and its sibling stare decisis suddenly become the most sacred of judicial principles. Speaking of consistency, it's not exactly a consistent argument for the constitutional principle of vigorous judging to say "Activism only for the policies I favor!" It is, of course, a consistent argument for... left-leaning policies.
Here's InstaPundit's controversial pre-mortem on the GOP majority.
It is in the best interest of all black people, especially poor black people, that black people with a voice and a platform call for an end to the persecution of the Duke lacrosse players and program.Link via John in Carolina.
Speaking out in support of the wealthy Duke players enhances our credibility when we claim that someone poor and black is being treated unfairly. Poor people need that credibility because they can’t afford to make bail, let alone a team of high-priced attorneys.
By remaining silent about this obvious miscarriage of justice, black leadership looks as racist and cowardly as it paints white people who ignore obvious mistreatment of blacks.
Not to worry; the Family Research Council is all over it:
Peter Sprigg, vice president for policy at the Family Research Council, says the secretary's comments were "profoundly offensive" and fly in the face of the Bush administration's endorsement of a federal marriage protection amendment, though that backing be less than enthusiastic.Note how the FRC points to the infiltration of the GOP by gay Congressional staffers:
"We have to face the fact that putting a homosexual in charge of AIDS policy is a bit like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse," says Sprigg. "But even beyond that, the deferential treatment that was given not only to him but his partner and his partner's family by the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is very distressing."
[T]he Rice statement comes in the midst of news stories dealing with the Mark Foley scandal, many of which have talked about the number of homosexual staffers on the Republican payroll. Some pro-family people are starting to wonder if this homosexual influence within the GOP may account for the party's lack of action on social conservative issues. FRC's Tony Perkins says that among the questions that need to be asked are: "Has the social agenda of the GOP been stalled by homosexual members or staffers?"They've gotten to Condi too! Link from Blue Bayou via Althouse.
The evidence? A poll indicates that the Northern Virginia suburbs reject an anti-gay marriage amendment (55 percent to 42 percent), while the rest of the state supports it (58 to 38).
Since when did Halloween costumes become marital aids? The hobo has turned into the Hillbilly Honey. The traditional vampire is now the Mistress of Darkness. I have nothing against playing erotic dress-up, or even mass-market fetishism. I’d just prefer it didn’t converge with a family holiday (and wasn’t sold next to the dryer sheets). If you want to play cheerleader at home, go team. But trick-or-treating with your children in anything featuring latex and cleavage seems like a little too much trick....Link via Althouse.
[F]ar too often, especially in more recent times, SI did leap onto the tiresome train of repeated “insights” that dominated the rest of sports commentary. I have written at length in this space on SI’s tendency to run the same articles praising the same coaches and athletes–Tom Brady, Roger Clemens, Peyton Manning, Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick–whenever the occasion called for it, often more than once a year, as well as on its tendency to repeat the same observations on the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry several times a year.Apparently they also wrote too many nice things about Derek Jeter.
Monday, October 16, 2006
A female teacher, especially if she has no male children of her own, I’ve noticed, will tend to view boys’ penchant for challenging classroom assignments as disruptive, disrespectful—rude. In my experience, notes home and parent-teacher conferences almost always concern a boy’s behavior in class, usually centering on this kind of conflict. In today’s feminized classroom, with its “cooperative learning” and “inclusiveness,” a student’s demand for assurance of a worthwhile outcome for his effort isn’t met with a reasonable explanation but is considered inimical to the educational process. Yet it’s this very trait, innate to boys and men, that helps explain male success in the hard sciences, math, and business.And the "solution" is to park boys in special ed, which is now "the single largest budget item, outside of basic operations, in most school districts across the country."
The Kitchen Cabinet cheered Brodhead's arrival at Duke in 2003. I had met him once in New Haven and spoken to him only briefly, but some of my YLS friends knew him and had glowing things to say. It seemed to me that Brodhead would be the kind of personable, student-focused leader Duke needed, after several years where fund-and-rankings-raising had seemed to be paramount.
I was therefore particularly reluctant to place much blame on Brodhead this spring when the lacrosse scandal broke. Faced with what looked at the very least like outrageously crass behavior on the part of the lacrosse team and a burgeoning town-gown crisis, he seemed to be doing a decent job.
Since I've been able to focus more on this story over the past few weeks, my opinion of Brodhead and Duke's handling of the situation has fallen precipitously. It started with this lame Q&A posted on the Duke Alumni Association's web site, which patiently explains to us ignorant alumni that of course people are innocent until proven guilty, but that, you see, the faculty have this thing called freedom of speech.
The statement to alumni is insulting. Eighty-eight members of the Duke faculty this spring published a "thank you" to students who had distributed a “wanted” poster of lacrosse players and publicly branded them “rapists.” But in the face of well-documented unethical behavior on the part of the Durham authorities that threatens to deprive Duke students of at least their reputations and at most their very freedom, Duke's message to its alumni is a bunch of condescending blather about how the school can't really do anything but address the on-campus "issues" raised by the case. (My favorite quote: "Academics come first at Duke, although many Duke students also excel in athletics, science, the arts, community service and other fields." The Arts and Sciences faculty will no doubt be interested to learn that their disciplines take a backseat to "academics.")
I was also troubled last week to read that Duke administrators apparently shut down a voter registration drive put on in the parking lot during a Duke football game by a Duke student group advocating the defeat of Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong. According to a letter written to The Chronicle:
The explanations for this interference have ranged from the students' alleged failure to give prior notice (even though such notice was apparently given two weeks in advance and resulted in a number of conversations about logistics) to objections to the "bias" of the participants. The most disturbing explanation is that objections were raised because of a public relations concern that the students involved were motivated by support for the men's lacrosse team.Finally, this morning I read something I had apparently missed before: In the early hours of the crisis, Duke told lacrosse players not to tell their parents about the potential criminal investigation:
[A]dministrators demanded from the captains a candid account of the evening’s events, allegedly citing a non-existent “student-faculty” privilege to encourage the captains to disclose any criminal activity. Multiple sources confirm that Coach Mike Pressler, apparently acting on orders from above, instructed the other players not to tell their parents about the police inquiry. Meanwhile, Dean Sue Wasiolek arranged for a local lawyer, Wes Covington, to act as a “facilitator” in arranging for a group meeting with police. The night before the meeting, one player broke down and told his father, who happened to be in Durham. Other parents then were informed, and—recognizing the need to obtain competent counsel—postponed the meeting.If true, this is shocking behavior on the part of the university. As one of KC Johnson's commenters said:
Trying to cut students off from the advice of their parents when they needed it more than at any other time in their lives is the lowest and the most vile thing I could ever imagine a university doing to its students.And as other commenters noted, in ham-handedly trying to contain the damage, these administrators may have exposed the school to civil liability.
I understand that Duke's early response to the situation was not completely within Brodhead's control. I also understand that town-gown relations are important and that it would be unrealistic to expect Duke's president to mount an all-out attack on the Durham authorities, however outragous their conduct has been. I do not, however, believe that it is too much to ask that Brodhead and Duke drop the pretense that they are morally required to sit on their hands and let "the legal system" do its job, when it is clear that "the legal system" is threatening to grind up three Duke students who are almost certainly innocent. Again, I don't expect dramatic denunciations, but something more than silence and passivity is called for here.
Since I graduated from Duke — no, since I matriculated at Duke — I have loved the school wholeheartedly. I've given it money; I've dreamed of one day being a "Duke parent." Both the money and the dream are on hold for now.
UPDATE: Here is something that is apparently Not Hot.
"She's a lovely woman, and she's a tax lawyer," [Senior U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Laurence Silberman] says. Tax lawyers are the most stable and well-adjusted members of the profession, Silberman explains, because "they spend their time working puzzles that no one else understands."Well put.
His thoughtful idea forced me to select a favorite charity. Previous objects of my largesse have mainly been my alma maters, places I've worked, and random legal aid groups that campaign for donations at my firm. I wanted to honor my friend's generosity by selecting a really deserving charity, not merely one I'd been associated with.
Of all the sins of totalitarian regimes, suppression of free press may be the one that offends me most, in part because it enables all the other ones. For a long time I'd had a vision of an organization that put out radio broadcasts to people in living under oppression in China and North Korea; I thought there surely such a group must exist. But I searched in vain on lists of reputable charities. It didn't seem to be out there. Ultimately, I ended up choosing the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, which promotes educational choice.
This past August, Robert Wone, a 32-year-old Washington attorney, was murdered in a townhouse in Dupont Circle. News reports mentioned that Wone was the new general counsel for an organization called Radio Free Asia. I made a mental note that apparently there was an organization like the one I had been looking for. (Wone's tragic death has been back in the news recently.)
The desperate situation of the people in North Korea has, naturally, been on my mind in the past week, and last night I decided to research Radio Free Asia and see if it might be worthy of my financial support. I explored the organization's website and was surprised that it didn't include any obvious instructions about how to give them money. "They really need a course in how to shill for funds," I was thinking.
This is all a really long way of saying, "Duh!" I can't donate to Radio Free Asia because I'm already giving them money. Radio Free Asia is a creation of the United States government, funded by our tax dollars.
I don't often get choked up – at least not in a good way – when I contemplate how our government spends money, but I very nearly was last night. It's hard to tell exactly how many people we reach with the broadcasts; apparently China tries to block the signal, and I imagine many North Koreans don't have access to radios. But how wonderful – how very American – that we try.
"Let's just say I could write a hell of a paper on a grown man who dresses up like a flying rodent."
Song of the Day:
Bonnie Somerville, "Winding Road"
William O. Douglas
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Why is it "hypocrisy" for a homosexual to support a bill that seems to be anti-homosexual? It seems easier to apply that label -- at least what it used to mean -- to heterosexuals who try to make laws that treat homosexuals worse than heterosexuals. If you seem facially to be discriminating against your own, that seems like an indicator to me that maybe you're sincere about the arguments you're making that the distinctions you're making are material, in a way that favoring your own doesn't.Good point. Moreover, in other cases it's seen to be a nefarious thing when a politician votes for something that stands to benefit him personally. Are Congressmen who vote against Congressional pay hikes accused of hypocrisy?
Someone called Justice Thomas a hypocrite for voting against affirmative action. Well, it was pointed out, the entire Warren court was white -- was it hypocritical for them to oppose segregation? It's less out-of-hand ridiculous to suggest that Thomas or Foley were being politically opportunistic or something, but the term "hypocrisy" is thrown around so carelessly these days that it often seems to land on something that is, based on the evidence presented, exactly the opposite.
"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."
~ Anne Lamott
Song of the Day:
Procul Harum, "A Whiter Shade Of Pale"
John W. Dean III
Friday, October 13, 2006
“I’ve never been a source for anyone on any story ever written about the Times,” one reporter at the paper told me. So why on this one? “I’ve never felt so ill over Times coverage.” That’s ill at a paper that published Jayson Blair’s fabrications and Judy Miller on WMD. “It’s institutional,” said one of the several editors to whom I spoke. “You see it again and again, the way the Times lumbers into trouble.”The piece has much-deserved praise for KC Johnson.
There are two heavily guarded villages in the DMZ, one in the north and one in the south, which face each other across the minefields. They are visible to tourists, but off-limits for visits. The southern village, Taesongdong, is home to 237 farmers; life is dangerous, but they don't have to pay taxes and they get great prices for their novel produce. The northern village, Kijongdong, looks modern enough, but if you squint through your binoculars, you'll see that the buildings don't even have glass in the windows. It's a lie, a huge Potemkin village designed to give North Korea the appearance of modernity.The DMZ also has what Sports Illustrated called "the most dangerous hole in golf": hit a stray shot and you might explode a land mine.
Here is a picture of the fake village, which has the world's tallest flagpole.
And here's a entry from Wikipedia with details on four tunnels that have been discovered in the DMZ -- the latest in 1990:
This article says it is "generally believed" that there are more than 20 more tunnels under the DMZ, "but the South Korean government will not confirm exact numbers, presumably to prevent panic amongst an already skittish population." The "demilitarized" area sounds like the most militarized place on the whole peninsula.
Starting on November 15, 1974, the South discovered four tunnels leading under the DMZ, by use of water-filled pipes dug vertically into the ground near areas of suspected tunnelling activity. ... The north-south directions of the four tunnels, the fact that they do not branch, the progressively more advanced planning of each one (for example, the third tunnel slopes upward slightly as it progresses southward, so that water does not stagnate), and the orientation of the blasting lines within each one indicate that North Korea dug the tunnels, and that their purpose was for invasion, and not coal mining, as the North claimed upon their discovery (no coal can be found in the tunnels, which are dug through granite, but some of the tunnel walls were at some point painted black to give the appearance of coal). The tunnels are each large enough to permit the passage of an entire division in one hour.
There's a pattern here, isn't there?Read the whole thing.
It is not only about rage and resentment, and how some have come to see them as virtues, as an emblem of rightness. I feel so much, therefore my views are correct and must prevail. It is about something so obvious it is almost embarrassing to state. Free speech means hearing things you like and agree with, and it means allowing others to speak whose views you do not like or agree with. This--listening to the other person with respect and forbearance, and with an acceptance of human diversity--is the price we pay for living in a great democracy. And it is a really low price for such a great thing.
The standard should be simple: If a public figure's homosexuality is relevant to a larger story, then the public should know. Foley voted for an anti-gay law, which should have been reason enough for the press corps to expose his hypocrisy. When aspects of a public figure's heterosexuality are relevant — past relationships, marriages, children, divorces and the like — the media dutifully report on them, whether or not the subjects approve of such reporting.If he'd voted against the anti-gay law, wouldn't his homosexuality be equally relevant? I'm not necessarily against outing people, but I don't think we should make such a fetish of sexual hypocrisy that it gets uniquely harsh punishment.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
[T]he Democrats' instant, soundbite criticism is unserious to the point that it calls into question their sincerity in contributing to a solution. Are Messrs. Reid, Dean, Menendez et al. concerned about nuclear weapons getting into terrorist hands and U.S. ports? They tell us they are. Then perhaps they might publicly call on China and Russia to join the Proliferation Security Initiative, the most successful effort yet to interdict the transfer of illicit weapons.But "blame Bush" seems to be working as an electoral strategy.
[I]t would help if just once public discourse on the subject did not instantly degrade into an exercise in cynical political point-scoring. Fat chance.
David Broder says voters have been pointing a gun at the GOP for months, and it's almost time to pull the trigger.
Maybe it's because I just saw Flags of Our Fathers, but I'm finding it difficult to muster a lot of sympathy. I'm also not feeling the anti-war vibes Newsweek doubtless wants me to feel. Instead, I'm thinking that it's wonderful that modern technology is such that she gets to communicate with her husband nearly every day. And I'm thinking (or at least hoping) that she'll be a bit embarrassed to read herself telling Newsweek that we should pull out of Iraq because people are having marital problems.
"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You don't blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny."
~ Albert Ellis
Song of the Day:
Sade, "By Your Side"
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
A player-pilot is still a sensitive topic for the Yankees, whose captain, Thurman Munson, was killed in the crash of a plane he was flying in 1979. Lidle, acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30, said his plane was safe.The NYT, in an article from about a month ago.
Over the past eighteen months or so I’ve barely had time to keep up with the news in any meaningful way, let alone the energy to blog. I’ve missed it.
Happily, circumstances have changed. I got married in August (much of the aforementioned time/energy deficit was due to wedding planning), and my husband's job is allowing us to explore a new part of the country. Two months ago I was a DC law firm associate. These days, I’m living in Alabama and home most of the day – very good blogging conditions.
I've been thinking about the whole anonymity thing – it's so 2002 (and hardly justified by my current status as an Alabama housewife). So I’ll try to find a newish picture that doesn’t involve a wedding gown or a bikini, and unveil the real Lily soon.
Thanks to Alan for continuing to post his thoughtful reviews here. It's great to be back.
Everybody talks about Protestant evangelicals as if they're the only people who might have qualms about electing a Mormon president, and if Romney gets them on board he'll have smooth sailing with the rest of the electorate.
My guess is that anti-Mormon sentiment extends far outside the religious right. This certainly suggests that Romney might have bigger problems than James Dobson.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Look, if you want John Paul Stevens replaced on the Supreme Court with a carbon copy, pro-choice, pro-racial preferences Justice, stay home. ... Two years ago we sent a message by reelecting the President, have things fallen so hard since then that we can't muster those numbers again and see that the good should not be traded in for the bad? You want to rue a day? You will rue a day with John Conyers as head of the House Judiciary and Pat Leahy as head of the Senate Judiciary. Don't do it. Please don't do it.Not good enough. In fact, pretty embarrassing. It's the kind of lame attempt at button-pushing I'd expect from a mass-mailed fundraising flyer, and it's a shame National Review is letting it clutter The Corner.
Case in point: It is credibility-reducing to intimate that turning the House over to the Democrats for the next two years is going to produce another Justice Stevens. I'll worry about judicial appointments in 2008 and not a minute before.
This video, caught on the dash-cam of a police car, shows McNair's encounter with a local police officer at a checkpoint. By the end of the video the two men are chatting it up like old pals. The officer apologizes to McNair for inconveniencing him, and the escaped convict goes on his way. Ooops. That's the last confirmed contact anybody's had with McNair.
What's impressive about McNair's performance in the video is how well he's mastering the impulse you'd quite naturally have if you were an escaped convict who'd just been stopped on a country road by a police officer: Run; head for the woods and get out of this situation. He shows no eagerness to get away. Instead he's chatty, curious about the prison break, volunteering lots of (totally made-up) information about himself. Even when the cop is basically shooing him on his way, McNair is drawing out the encounter. The police officer is an easy target for ridicule, but he was dealing with a virtuoso.
Monday, October 09, 2006
[E]arlier this year Guantanamo was buying bottled water that had an American flag on the label. Lest this upset the detainees, base personnel were put to work stripping off the labels.This from Claudia Rosett, who also reports the inmate culture at Guantanomo amounts to "a fully tricked-out al-Qaeda operating cell."
"The drowsy stillness of the afternoon was shattered by what sounded to his strained senses like G. K. Chesterton falling on a sheet of tin."
~ P.G. Wodehouse
Song of the Day:
Simon & Garfunkle, "The Only Living Boy in New York"
Sunday, October 08, 2006
We went home the long way, and the Hot Light happened to be on at the Krispy Kreme, so we even got dessert.
“[The U.S. government] had turned its energy and attention away from upholding the rule of law and toward creating law-free zones at Guantánamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Haditha, other places around the world, the U.S. Congress, whatever. And let’s not forget the sustained assault on women’s reproductive freedom and the hijacking of public policy by religious fundamentalism.... I feel a growing obligation to reach out across the ridiculous actual barrier that we seem about to build on the Mexican border.”The NYT's public editor questioned Greenhouse about the propriety, in light of the paper's internal policies against public opinionating by reporters, of her making the above remarks -- and got this response:
Ms. Greenhouse told me she considers her remarks at Harvard to be “statements of fact” — not opinion — that would be allowed to appear in a Times news article. She said The Times has not suggested that she avoid writing stories on any of the topics on which she commented in June. “Any such limits would be completely preposterous,” she said.Is it just me, or is her characterization of the remarks as "statements of fact" an even bigger red flag than the statements themselves? The NYT has published in its own pages proof that one of its "star" reporters is incapable of distinguishing between her bald opinionating and factual statements suitable for a news article. The only preposterous thing about this is that the paper apparently is going to continue running her op-eds in the news section.
"Unlike the male codfish which, suddenly finding itself the parent of three million five hundred thousand little codfish, cheerfully resolves to love them all, the British aristocracy is apt to look with a somewhat jaundiced eye on its younger sons."
~ P.G. Wodehouse
Song of the Day:
Coldplay, "Don't Panic"
Saturday, October 07, 2006
It is unacceptable to seek to deprive another person of his or her right of expression through actions such as taking a stage and interrupting the speech. We rightly have a visceral rejection of this behavior, because we all sense how easy it is to slide from our collective commitment to the hard work of intellectual confrontation to the easy path of physical brutishness. When the latter happens, we know instinctively we are all threatened.You can read lots of Volokh Conspiracy comments on the matter here.
"Aaaa! My neck! My back! My neck and my back! I want a hundred a fifty thousand, but we can settle out of court right now for twenty bucks."
Song of the Day:
Fountains of Wayne, "Stacy's Mom"
Yo Yo Ma
Friday, October 06, 2006
More: "The Powerline video should be required viewing for anyone who believes that the marketplace of ideas is alive and well on our elite campuses."
More: Columbia's official statement is surprisingly strong: "it is never acceptable for anyone to physically take to a stage and interrupt a speaker."
Thursday, October 05, 2006
To a Republican Party increasingly defined by the ascendancy of the religious right, the Foley episode is doubly deadly. His behavior was disgusting, and some Republican reactions seem more calculating than indignant.Will quotes from Ryan Sager's, "The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party":
"Whereas conservative Christian parents once thought it was inappropriate for public schools to teach their kids about sex, now they want the schools to preach abstinence to children. Whereas conservative Christians used to be unhappy with evolution being taught in public schools, now they want Intelligent Design taught instead (or at least in addition). Whereas conservative Christians used to want the federal government to leave them alone, now they demand that more and more federal funds be directed to local churches and religious groups through Bush's faith-based initiatives program."Will says this Southern strain of conservatism conflicts with the more libertarian Western strain. Exactly what this has to do with Foley I am not sure.
“It is a lot more intimate to hold hands nowadays than to kiss,” said Joel Kershner, 23. Because of that, he said, reaching for someone’s hand these days has more potential for rejection than leaning in for a smooch at a party where alcohol is flowing.It also relaxes the body and reduces stress.
Libby Tyler, 20, said it was “weird that hand-holding is more serious,” but true. “It’s something that you lead up to,” she said.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Imagine further that your local Republican candidate looks somewhat more values-centered than than the Democrat; maybe the Republican has a more identifiably religious background, or talks more about values-laden things like abortion or school prayer. Remember, "values" = "religion" for millions of voters, and it's acknowledged fairly widely that Democrats have a "God problem." If you're this hypothetical voter, might the GOP's traditional "morality" edge balance your local Democratic candidate's edge on some other issue -- the war in Iraq, for example?
After the 2004 election, exit polling produced a brief flurry of interest in "values voting," but the CW quickly reversed course and everybody decided that values weren't really driving much. Should be interesting to see what the exit polls reveal this year in, say, Florida's 16th Congressional District.
Too bad. I'm just discovering the delights of the site. It's allowing me to follow both The Office and Grey's Anatomy without getting TiVo.
Remember, folks -- those aren't boos; they're moose-calls.
And even the canine world is excited about the National League playoffs.
Also, the excellent Tuesday Morning Quarterback has found yet another new perch this season, this time on espn.com's Page 2.
Justice O'Connor fretted about "intimidation" of judges via ballot initiatives; Judge Pryor notes that the judiciary has faced worse in the past:
To charge that the current disappointment regarding judges is unprecedented is to diminish the sacrifices that earlier giants of the judiciary endured. During the civil rights struggle, the ostracism and abuses suffered by federal judges in the Deep South -- including Frank Johnson, John Minor Wisdom and Skelly Wright -- were far worse than the current criticisms of judicial activism.Judge Pryor points out that the judiciary is not, in fact, infallible -- and saying so is not only fair but healthy.