Thursday, June 27, 2002
Today's Supreme Court decision upholding school vouchers may be the most significant decision of this term. Certainly it has the potential for revolutionizing education in this country.
The NEA is of course gnashing its teeth. Prof. Eugene Volokh has a good piece on why this decision is correct.
Here's a PDF version of the opinion (large!).
Robin 8:23 PM
I find the Ninth Circuit decision on the Pledge of Allegiance outrageous, but certainly not out of any religious fervor. The decision is just yet another example of the ludicrous way in which as a nation we've allowed the judiciary to involve itself in areas of our cultural and political life in which the courts simply do not belong.
However, consider the hypocrisy of a court system that would claim that the Establishment Clause ( "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" ) - a provision that prohibited the Federal government from creating a national church like the Church of England - prohibits putting "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance but claims that the Second Amendment ( "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" ) allows the government to ban people from purchasing infantry arms most suitable to militia use.
Some other random thoughts on the Pledge decision:
Evidently, the case is an example of a parent claiming to sue on behalf of his child for the purpose of getting attention for his own pet cause as the child in question prefers the "under God" formula.
It was hilarious to see Tom Daschle move his lame butt to get a resolution condemning the decision heard and adopted in the Senate since he knows the Democrats will be blamed for the kind of judges that produce this embarrassing decision. Maybe now we can get some media attention on the outrageous behavior of Daschle and Leahy in holding up judicial nominations.
Robin 9:29 AM
Tuesday, June 25, 2002
I found this piece from Daniel Pipes, which also appeared in the New York Post, illuminating on the ongoing problem of anti-semitic activities in our universities.
Robin 10:42 AM
Monday, June 24, 2002
If you are a Colorado resident, you may have noticed that the cover of the Rocky Mountain News for today is going to be a collector's item.
Robin 5:46 PM
Often Stratfor pieces belabor the obvious. This one is not bad however. But then, my admiration may come from the fact that it echoes my own opinions - that the Palestinians ( by which I mean the Palestinian Authority, its associated terrorist organizations, etc. ) do not want a Palestinian state but instead are still following the half-century old strategy of attempting to destroy Israel with terror.
Robin 4:24 PM
I'm not sure why people are so thrilled with the shortest political quiz. Its question selection mimics the bias of the quiz formulator for what are the core "issues". But for those who are impressed, here's my results:
Your Personal Self-Government Score is 70%.
Your Economic Self-Government Score is 90%.
Robin 3:54 PM
Eric Raymond continues his insightful commentary on Islam. I've only some minor differences of opinion with Eric, in his next to last paragraph where he states:
But counterparts of al-Qaeda such as the Christian Identity Movement exist in the West, imbued with all of al-Qaeda's rage. Christian fundamentalists express the same hatred of modernity and determination to jam the world back into a medieval mold that motivates Osama bin Laden.
Here I think Eric allows his distaste of christian fundamentalists to lead him to making an equivalence that just doesn't apply. First, Christian Identity Movement and christian fundamentalism are not equivalent. Second, christian fundamentalism isn't advocating or committing mass terror acts, but rather is almost always working within our society's political processes.
Rajib K has a very useful point about why the supposed "moderate" muslim masses condone the radicals which I believe doesn't apply to Christianity.
Robin 1:54 PM
Saturday, June 22, 2002
A hilarious little rift on Lord of the Rings, pointed out by Sasha Volokh. I'm trying to decide exactly who Morritz is parodying. I guess one can read one's favorite deconstructionist into the lines.
Robin 3:24 PM
Supposedly based on some strategy gaming in Israel, this story has some more disturbing speculation about where the Middle East situation could go.
Robin 3:09 PM
Friday, June 21, 2002
Its occurred to a few people, e.g. here, that if the Palestinians really had a fraction of the courage they claim, they could all just pick up a Kalashnikov and start walking toward Tel Aviv. But they don't. Instead, the despicable put their children into harm's way to provoke the Israelis, or actually strap explosives around their body, all for the purpose of appearing more pathetic than they are. Sickness like this needs some major cauterization from the human race. And its not just the Palestinians and their "leadership" who are sick. Nations such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, etc. that support and condone such acts because they have even less courage of their ideology are just as sick and just as pathetic.
Robin 1:07 PM
Thursday, June 20, 2002
I'm mad at Glenn Reynolds because he pointed me to this posting. I'm not sure when I'm going to stop crying.
Well, I've stopped. Now I'm just in a murderous fury.
Robin 8:51 PM
Eric Raymond explains why he doesn't have "version" fatigue from unstable operating systems and musical user interface conventions of Windows. Almost makes me want to warm up my own Linux boxes around the basement here.
Don't miss Eric's good pieces on Islam and Osama bin Laden either.
Robin 4:44 PM
Scalia says the recent Supreme Court decision on capital punishment and the mentally retarded a "breathtakingly arrogant assumption of power" and "Seldom has an opinion of this Court rested so obviously upon nothing but the personal views of its members". His dissent goes on to shred the majority. Here is a short piece on the decision from NRO noted by Prof. Eugene Volokh. Its my belief that it is offensive to assume that the mentally retarded cannot conform their actions to societal norms and laws. None of the mentally retarded individuals in my personal experience deserved such insulting condescension. Each wanted to be judged as all others were judged.
The poor quality of the legal reasoning of the majority opinion is also "breathtaking". A law student turning in such work to me would be given a poor grade. You can read sloppy piece of work and the dissents here.
Robin 4:28 PM
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
The New York Times once again embarrasses itself with a ridiculous story about almost non-existent warming. Note especially this rebuttal of the Alaska Climate Center where they show that the New York Times article exaggerates warming by a factor of four! It is simply unbelievable what the environmentalist extremists get away with.
By the way, since the earth has been warming since the last ice age in the Holocene era, one would expect permafrost to be melting.
Robin 10:47 AM
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
John Edwards' TV programs channeling the dead just infuriate me. Here's a story debunking this sickening fraud. Despite my free market philosophy, here is where I come closest to "There-Oughta-Be-A-Law" Syndrome. Do me a favor and email Sci-Fi Network denouncing this offensive crap.
Robin 10:56 PM
More evidence that Canada's gun registration scheme is a resounding failure. The MP's press release asserts that this is a huge blow to the government, but that's hard to credence since the Canadian government's scheme has been shown over and over to be a failure - not to mention that the Chretien government were caught repeatedly lying about its cost and success. Its bizarre that Canadians don't pull the Chretien government done over this and a multitude of other outright frauds they've been caught in.
Robin 10:43 PM
Sunday, June 16, 2002
Once again, Warbloggerwatch demonstrates that it should be better named "Whackjob" with this posting claiming that American troops were ordered to kill women and children. It is a bogus story based on a deliberate misrepresentation of what this soldier said and corrects the claim here. Cheap lies like this plus links to Raimondo? I know all I need to know about these slime.
Robin 9:42 PM
Friday, June 14, 2002
I was watching Bill O'Reilly this evening and became quite offended at this treatment of his guests. I wrote him the following:
Dear Mr. O'Reilly,
The concept of your show, that you are a "No Spin" zone is a laudable one. And it is appropriate for you to call your guests when they are "spinning". But it is not appropriate for you to abuse your guests when their actions are ethical. Tonight, you had two defense attorneys on your program who were both doing their jobs defending their clients. They were not engaging in any abusive or unethical actions, and yet you made attacks on their personal character. You owe them and your audience apologies for that conduct.
I am quite serious about this. If you don't think you owe those apologies, then you need to find someone to explain it to you over and over until you do understand.
By the way, you boldly proclaimed what "the law" was twice over the objections of attorneys and you could not have been more wrong. Any first year law student in the nation can tell you that negligence is not automatically criminal conduct no matter how loudly you proclaim it. Turley should have taken you apart on that but was obviously too polite. And ethical rules for lawyers in this majority of this country do not allow an attorney to refuse to defend someone merely from moral repugnance. The usual standard is moral repugnance that would prevent the attorney from acting competently in the matter.
While I approve of "no spin", you need to climb down off your high horse and stop abusing competent ethical attorneys who are your guests.
Robin 10:01 PM
As more evidence of the cheap and juvenile tactics being used by the Democratic Senate to embarrass the administration, look at the item titled "Taking a witness stand". I'm astonished that the American people continue to allow these kindergarten behaviors from the Democrats.
Robin 2:00 PM
Thursday, June 13, 2002
Remind me again, who the Rhodes' Scholar is?
Robin 8:14 PM
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
So far I've met most of my goals in this blog, including the most important one - no discussion of sex - but failed to meet a few like expound on my more obscure objections to how IPSC is run.
Good night for now.
Robin 11:27 PM
Charles Murtaugh notes the recent correction to a study on health effects of air pollution. Evidently ignorance of how to use a statistics package resulted in exaggerated results. It turns out that the claimed effects may be little or not even statistically significant. Now explain to me again Charles why you are happy that the media will hide this from the mass audience? Must not let facts distort the enviro-whacko propaganda, eh?
UPDATE: Charles Murtaugh emails me to state that he was being sarcastic. My apologies to him for misunderstanding his comment. I'm leaving the line above only for reference to what I'm offering apology for.
Robin 11:24 PM
Why is it that so many foriegn affairs pundits, not to mention our idiots in the State Dept, keep blathering on about "democracy" in the Palestinian Authority. Syria is currently doing everything it can to end the current peace process for two equally important reasons. One - Syria can't allow the Palestinian terror proxies to be eliminated before it has gotten the Golan Heights back. Two - Syria can't afford a real Arab democracy in the Middle East. Likewise, Egypt is schizophrenic about the PA becoming a democracy. The Saudis are paying off every faction they can find, like always.
But none of this reality, together with the facts linked below, comes anywhere near to affecting the fatuous nonsense that comes from Foggybottom's cookie pushers.
Robin 11:10 PM
This piece from NRO just says it all regarding why our policy towards Arafat is irrational. Good ol' Foggybottom.
Robin 10:50 PM
I've never been a fan of Chris Matthews. While I appreciated that he was one of a few Democrats willing to call Clinton the scoundrel that he was, I have found his columns and his TV program to be highly variable - almost infuriatingly inconsistent. One moment he'll make a well reasoned argument, the next he's spouting some simplistic and vapid platitudes. His weblog is therefore no surprise. Here we have a decent thought and here and here a stupid platitude. If Chris Matthews actually consulted whoever ghosted the smarter comments he makes once in a while, his columns and his program would improve.
Robin 5:15 PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
With the anti-semitism in France, and the defeat of their soccer team in World Cup play, I have to add a bit of french bashing courtesy of Al Nofi:
By mid-1943, over 80,000 French women had filed claims for children's benefits with the German occupation authorities.
Robin 10:11 PM
Back on my theme of how utterly incompetent the Bush administration is in its fatheaded decision about arming pilots. Notice that, as Tim Blair points out to us, firearms work just freaking fine against hijackers. Email this to that hack that heads the Transportation Security Agency.
Robin 9:52 PM
Glenn Reynolds points out this "commercial" on the mythical gun show loophole.
Robin 8:24 PM
Just a ton of fascinating posts around. Prof. Volokh's thoughts on military tribunals. Gene Expression has an interesting piece on the differences in father's behavior with sons vs. daughters. And via Glenn Reynolds, this refutation of the claims that globalization is increasing poverty. Good reading.
Robin 3:45 PM
Monday, June 10, 2002
There have been a lot of postings of the photo of Janet Reno and Martin Sheen kissing with various joke captions. Vodkapundit has the winning caption as far as I'm concerned. Don't look if you have a weak stomach.
Robin 8:47 PM
Prof. Volokh has a posting "AN E-MAIL FROM A RELUCTANT GUN OWNER" that refers in part to the Los Angeles riots. At the time, we saw some media coverage of the incidents involving mobs attacking the stores owned by Korean shopkeepers and the resulting gunfire. But the media avoided covering the multitude of incidents throughout the town where citizens defended their lives or property from roving thugs with no help from the infamous LAPD. At the time of the riots, I was living in a neighboring county and was commuting into Los Angeles city. From anecdotes related to me at the time, it appeared to be a deliberate policy on the part of the media. Its a shame that no one was able to study the many incidents I'm sure occurred. I'd love to be able to relate the many I know of both first and second hand, but unfortunately cannot. Included would be several incidents where people hurried formed their own "militia" by block or cul-de-sac.
Robin 4:01 PM
Sunday, June 09, 2002
Glenn Reynolds has pointed out that we are having some large and destructive fires in Colorado this weekend. All day today, the sky overhead has been nothing but orange overcast - smoke from the Hayman fire about 55 miles south-southwest from Denver. The house, despite being closely shut all day, smells of smoke as well. Note that the smoke plume over Denver comes from the second or third largest of the current fires. Our thoughts and prayers are with the fire crews - especially as the current "Coal Seam" fire near Glenwood Springs is covering the area of the infamous Stormking Mountain fire of 1994 that took 14 firefighters' lives.
UPDATE 6/10: The "Coal Seam" fire is uncontrolled at over 7,000 acres and two dozen homes destroyed. The Hayman fire is at more than 60,000 acres according to N.Z. Bear's maps. An aggregate of more than 105,000 acres have been consumed by fire in Colorado in the last few days.
Robin 7:34 PM
On the Volokh Conspiracy, Juan Non-Volokh asks if Paul Krugman is crazy. The answer, Juan, is yes. Krugman is indeed nuts. He's so obsessed with bashing Republicans that he has foresaken all of his credibility. Once upon a time, he was a decent economist. Now he's a joke in and out of his field. Trying to use the global warming nonsense to bash President Bush and V.P. Cheney just demonstrates - yet again - that Krugman will allow no fact, no reality, nothing to stand in his partisan way.
Robin 7:19 PM
Here is the whole scoop on how the FAA rescinded the regulation allowing pilots to carry firearms before 9-11.
Robin 12:02 PM
Friday, June 07, 2002
Thomas Sowell addresses the global warming controversy head on.
Robin 2:20 PM
Sadly, in this article, Jacob Sullum is starting to sound as though he is tiring in his fights against irrational public policy. This time, its the burgeoning attempt to treat obesity as tobacco was. All I can say is, keep up the good work Jacob.
Robin 1:56 PM
I wasn't able to find an online link to this story that I first found on p. 7A column 1 of today's Rocky Mountain News. In Oregon, Wilderness Watch, a Montana based environmental group, is suing because there is a running camp for long distance high school runners on the edge of Oregon's Steens Mountain using trails in the wilderness designated area for .... wait for it .... running. The director of these whackazoids is described as saying that allowing the running camp to use Steens Mountain wilderness trails threatens protection for all wilderness.
The short article doesn't go into much more depth so I can only speculate on what motivates this so-called environmental group's actions. This local story adds only a little. However, it appears to fit right into my belief that these groups are anti-human and "wilderness" means to them the exclusion of humans. I found this bizarre screed about Steens Mountain on the group's website that only confirms my suspicion of these people as it calls for prohibitions upon the owners of private land within the area.
Robin 1:17 PM
To my surprise, the Skakel trial verdict is in, and is guilty. The prosecutors must be congratulated for obtaining such a verdict on an impossible trial situation.
Robin 9:31 AM
Thursday, June 06, 2002
Jonah Goldberg twigs to the fact that Amazon.com book reviews are used for ideological battles and personal vendetta. Its definitely old news Jonah. The first book of an acqaintance of mine got such personal vendetta reviews.
Robin 2:58 PM
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
With so much in the blogging world to see, I'm afraid I have been late to discover Warbloggerwatch.
And now I need to go wash my hands in disgust. A clue to whacko-ville? Quoting Justin Raimondo with any hint of approval. That told me what I need to know about this blog ... and sent me to the cabinet for anti-bacterial soap. Recommended for the anti-semite crowd.
Robin 9:13 PM
Should I offer a contest for the stupidest commentary, this piece is obviously a leading candidate. The stupid part is toward the end where Kelly advocates a draft to compel people to take jobs as airport screeners at below market wages. Anyone is welcome to convince me that this is just badly written sarcasm.
Robin 4:41 PM
One of the perenial mysteries of the world is what is the actual motivation of the gun control crowd? Or another way of expressing it is, where do people so blind to the reality of the world come from?
The best that one can say about many gun control laws / proposals is that they are ineffective. Some, however, kill people. Dave Kopel points us to this letter that should infuriate. Remember that the motivation of "safe storage" laws is to eventually discredit self-defense as a justification for firearm ownership - just as the "gunshow loophole" lie is to discredit all private transactions.
Robin 4:26 PM
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
I've decided to spare all the long-winded rant about Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones and will just leave you with this.
:: how jedi are you? ::
Robin 11:11 AM
Monday, June 03, 2002
This Wall Street Journal piece correctly lays out the Bush administration's position. That it is better that an entire airliner and its passengers be destroyed by fighter aircraft than a pilot be armed. For that is the real consequences of the decision. Couple this with the many reports of the astonishing incompetence that continues in airport security and what else can you conclude? This is the kind of moronic action - by Mineta and Magaw - that proves the administration is not serious about fighting terrorism.
Eric Raymond gives us this argument for arming passengers. I'm not in agreement with Raymond yet, but along the way he has some arguments on the subject and his alternative is better in my opinion than present Bush administration cowardice masquerading as policy.
Robin 4:34 PM