GOOD Judicial News
THE HOUSE OF SAUD MUST BE DESTROYED -- AND WILL BE!
In his state-of-the-union address this week, Vladimir Putin, as befits an old KGB hand, was waxing nostalgic. ‘The demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century,’ he declared. ‘For the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory.’
Well, why don’t they come home? If there’s one thing Russia could use, it’s more Russians. The country is midway through its transition from ‘superpower’ to ghost town. Russian men already have a lower life expectancy than Bangladeshis — not because Bangladesh is brimming with actuarial advantages but because, if he had four legs and hung from a tree in a rain forest, the Russian male would be on the endangered species list. By mid-century, vast empty Russia will have a smaller population than tiny Yemen. The decline in male longevity is unprecedented for a (relatively) advanced nation not at war. Russia has extraordinary rates of drug-fuelled Aids, hepatitis C, heart disease and TB, all of which are mere symptoms of an entire people unable to pull themselves out of self-destruction.
hire Christo to wrap them. By the time everyone worked through the conflicting issues, the field would be bone dry.
Oh: not one Star Trek reference was made. Not one. But I left early.Jonah, hope you're not coming down with something.
On one wall is a "Star Trek" poster with investigators' faces substituted for the Starship Enterprise crew. But even that alludes to a dark fact of their work: All but one of the offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.It appears that this paragraph is wrong, despite the four layers of editors that check every Dog Trainer story. That's the expected factoid, courtesy Corante.com. (Hat Tip: Instapundit)
. . . a majority of those arrested show "at least a passing interest in Star Trek, if not a strong interest."
They've arrested well over one hundred people over the past four years and Det. Lamond claims they can gauge this interest in Star Trek by the arrestees' "paraphenalia, books, videotapes and DVDs." I asked if this wasn't simply a general interest in science fiction and fantasy, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter or similar. Paraphrasing his answer, he said, while there was sometimes other science fiction and fantasy paraphenalia, Star Trek was the most consistent and when he referred to a majority of the arrestees being Star Trek fans, it was Star Trek specific.
Suddenly, after nightfall, they start to balloon to more than three times their normal size and can barely crawl before popping. Their entrails are expelled distances of up to one meter.
The experts' main concern is that the apparent illness could spread, although water samples from the lake have been analyzed and no obvious bacteria or deadly pollution seems to be present.
Other explanations are a virus or a new breed of aggressive crows. The birds have been seen attacking toads, and one theory is that the toads swell up as a defense mechanism, which then gets out of control.
Bigotry is better hidden than it used to be and, thus, proving discriminatory intent is often impossible. Disparate impact provides a useful prophylactic for rooting out intentional discrimination, and it has the important side-benefit of doing away with rules and policies that hold back
minoritiesdevout Christians for no good reason. Any qualifying test that hurts minoritiesdevout Christians, and isn’t job-related, is just as well gotten rid of.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't conservatives supposed to be against nebulous standards like "disparate impact"? Creative interpretations of what is and isn't "job-related" have led to some absurd court decisions -- throwing out "gender-biased" physical strength and endurance tests for firefighters, or nixing written tests for promotions in the police force because they are disproportionately flunked by minorities. Do conservatives now want to extend this "logic" to the absurd conclusion that a prospective judge's views on important legal issues cannot disqualify him from the job if those views are based on religion?Well, Ms. Young, here I think you are mostly wrong. Conservatives object to using disparate impact to achieve unlegistlated social goals, but not to root out real discrimination. If someone comes up with a test whose sole effect is to discriminate against otherwise equally qualified members of some group, conservatives would support government action against that test. What we object to is things along the lines of shutting down men's sports teams on campus, because there are more male athletes than women, because not as many women wish to be in athletics. Disparate impact claims must not be frivilous or unrelated to real discrimination, say conservatives.
The human resources guide Prof. Bainbridge quotes refers to "any qualifying test that hurts minorities, and isn't job-related" (emphasis added). Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has stated that in order to be a violation of Title VII, an employment practice must be "unrelated to measuring job capability." For instance, job interviews that focus heavily on a prospective employee's familiarity with sports -- tending to screen out women -- are legally acceptable if you're hiring writers for a sports magazine, but not if you're hiring stockbrokers.That puts the issue in a nutshell. What is "job-capability" for a federal judge, and how, it at all, do religious issues relate to it.
Is Prof. Bainbridge saying that a judge's views regarding the legality of abortion are not "job-related"? If the Democrats were refusing to confirm someone as, say, Secretary of Agriculture based on his or her anti-abortion zealotry, that would be mere prejudice. However, protecting the legal right to abortion is -- for better or worse -- a key part of the Democrats' political agenda. Thus, disqualifying judges who not only oppose abortion but passionately advocate its banning is, from their perspective, directly job-related (hence not discriminatory under the "disparate impact" standard).Odd, I thought it was a judge's job to decide legal cases, based on the Constitution, the statutes, and treaties entered into by the United States. Unless I misunderstand her badly, Young is saying that the Democrats look on the federal bench as a way of pushing its agenda down the throats of the citizenry, regardless of whether they citizens approve said agenda, and therefore the nominee's views on policy are part of his or her qualifications.
Faced with mass demonstrations in Beirut and international calls for a speedy withdrawal, Syria had little option but to pull its forces outRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT. They couldn't possibly just suppress the demonstrations with machine guns, and tell the world to go jump, because . . .
the Roman Catholic Church as the one true religion.
Indiana law stipulates that sexual relations with anyone under the age of 13 as child abuse, including cases where the partner is also a minor. State law requires anyone suspecting child abuse to report suspicions to authorities.Planned Parenthood is resisting, though. They want to 'preserve the privacy of the victims,' they say. Besides, it might make children under age 13 more reluctant to have abortions.
on the basis of Charlotte's best interests and in close consultation with the parents,is that Charlotte would be better off dead, and therefore a Do Not Resuscitate order has been entered.
As regressive milestones go, few are as frightful in this new era of homeland security as the decision by Congress and the Bush administration to allow the expiration of the 10-year-old law protecting the public from assault rifles and other rapid-fire battlefield weapons. [my emphasis -- St.O.]
As it happens, the Bush Administration has managed, intentionally or otherwise, to follow Amnesty’s advice: all military aid to Nepal has been suspended since the February coup. The result? The army is running out of ammo and [King] Gyanendra is now getting cozy with China and North Korea, two regimes who will sell him arms on the cheap and won’t give two shakes about his human rights record. So we’ve forfeited any influence we had over the King and have lost geopolitical ground. Thank you Amnesty—mission accomplished.
When chaos, collectivization, and genocide do arrive in Nepal, don’t expect foreign powers to do anything about it until it’s too late. No one has any interests at stake—sorry, KNF. That’s just the cold hard truth. The US and the EU will say things but won’t lift a finger until it’s all over. Eventually, China and/or India will invade ala Vietnam’s occupation of Cambodia in 1979 and only then will the reeducation camps, starvation brought on by collectivization, the torture chambers, the mass graves, the death squads, and the executions come to light. In the aftermath, Amnesty and their myopic ilk will find something about US foreign policy to criticize while solemnly saying “never again,” as if they mean it. Mark my words.
UPDATE! Despite being so despondent, I was overjoyed to read that New Delhi has lifted the arms embargo on Nepal and is working with the government. This editorial in the Times of India couldn’t say it better: “Talking to Nepal is good, now think out of the box.” Amen—we’re going to need it…
In his work on the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feingold said he votes against amending the Constitution. He thinks it is better to craft legislation so that it is constitutional (as in the case of campaign finance reform) or simply to reject the amendment as not important enough (as with flag burning).
Feingold said he said he believes the cases that permit the death penalty are wrong, but that the new death penalty case (making it unconstitutional to execute a person who committed his crime as a juvenile) is an "exciting example of how the Constitution can evolve."
"What on earth can account for the view that amending the constitution is wrong but that allowing the constitution to 'evolve' under the watch of political judges (with no Constitutional basis for this evolution) is preferable."Her answer:
It all just works so much better if you can get a judge to do it for you. Plus it is very hard to amend the Constitution, so if you try, you'll probably fail, and your enemies will rake you over the coals the whole time -- for wanting to change the Constitution. Acting through the courts is so much more politically palatable. And the beauty of it is that you can continue to lavish praise on yourself for your devotion to the Constitution.I think that explains the egregiously unconstitutional McCain-Feingold law nicely
LONDON, England -- Workers distracted by phone calls, e-mails and text messages suffer a greater loss of IQ than a person smoking marijuana, a British study shows.
Nine out of 10 people thought colleagues who answered messages during face-to-face meetings were rude, while three out of 10 believed it was not only acceptable, but a sign of diligence and efficiency.
A learning disorder marked by impairment of the ability to recognize and comprehend written words.
The veteran republican [sic] is also admitting for the first time that the impeachment of Clinton may have been in part political revenge against the democrats for the impeachment proceedings against GOP President Richard Nixon 25 years earlier. *
"Was this pay back?" asked Andy Shaw.
"I can't say it wasn't. But I also thought that the Republican Party should stand for something, and if we walked away from this, no matter how difficult, we could be accused of shirking our duty," said Hyde.
*In July 1974, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against President Nixon, charging obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress. The full House did not vote on those articles because Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.
Clinton impeachment was retaliation for Nixon, says retiring congressman
by Andy Shaw.
Republican Congressman Henry Hyde made some surprising comments Thursday on the impeachment hearings of President Bill Clinton. He now says Republicans may have gone after Clinton to retaliate for the impeachment of Richard Nixon. . . .
The veteran DuPage County congressman acknowledged that Republicans went after Clinton in part to enact revenge against the Democrats for impeaching President Richard Nixon 25 years earlier.
"Was this pay back?" asked Andy Shaw.
"I can't say it wasn't, but I also thought that the Republican party should stand for something, and if we walked away from this, no matter how difficult, we could be accused of shirking our duty, our responsibility," said Hyde.
Hyde's comments reflect what Democrats have been saying for years about the Clinton impeachment. It will be interesting to see what happens when Hyde's comments hit the national media.
Friedman, imagining himself Columbus, journeys toward India. Columbus, he notes, traveled in three ships; Friedman "had Lufthansa business class." When he reaches India -- Bangalore to be specific -- he immediately plays golf. His caddy, he notes with interest, wears a cap with the 3M logo. Surrounding the golf course are billboards for Texas Instruments and Pizza Hut. The Pizza Hut billboard reads: "Gigabites of Taste." Because he sees a Pizza Hut ad on the way to a golf course, something that could never happen in America, Friedman concludes: "No, this definitely wasn't Kansas."I used to work in a trauma center emergency room, and I have to tell you, that almost made me break down.
After golf, he meets Nilekani, who casually mentions that the playing field is level. A nothing phrase, but Friedman has traveled all the way around the world to hear it. Man travels to India, plays golf, sees Pizza Hut billboard, listens to Indian CEO mutter small talk, writes 470-page book reversing the course of 2000 years of human thought. That he misattributes his thesis to Nilekani is perfect: Friedman is a person who not only speaks in malapropisms, he also hears malapropisms. Told level; heard flat.
Predictably, Friedman spends the rest of his huge book piling one insane image on top of the other, so that by the end -- and I'm not joking here -- we are meant to understand that the flat world is a giant ice-cream sundae that is more beef than sizzle, in which everyone can fit his hose into his fire hydrant, and in which most but not all of us are covered with a mostly good special sauce. Moreover, Friedman's book is the first I have encountered, anywhere, in which the reader needs a calculator to figure the value of the author's metaphors.Understandably, Taibbi nearly despairs:
God strike me dead if I'm joking about this.
The walls had fallen down and the Windows had opened, making the world much flatter than it had ever been -- but the age of seamless global communication had not yet dawned.Pray for Taibbi's recovery, and thank God that no one told him the subtitle of the book: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. What kind of warped mind comes up with a sick joke like that?
How the fuck do you open a window in a fallen wall? More to the point, why would you open a window in a fallen wall? Or did the walls somehow fall in such a way that they left the windows floating in place to be opened?
Four hundred and 73 pages of this, folks. Is there no God?
1. Political promises must be kept.
2. Any warnings to use force -- much less unfortunate unguarded braggadocio -- should be credible and followed through.
3. Diplomatic solutions follow, not precede, military reality.
4. The worst attitude toward the Europeans and the U.N. is publicly to deprecate their impotent machinations while enlisting their aid in extremis.
5. Do not look for logic and consistency in the Middle East where they are not to be found.
a religious figure, any figure, [who] might emerge to help heal the world's agonizing conflicts being waged in God's name.And what are these conflicts?
Global terrorism is only one example. Age-old rivalries in the Middle East and South Asia are another. Africa suffers an epidemic of religious brutality. In Uganda, just to name one instance, the spiritualist leader Joseph Kony tells his followers in the Lord's Resistance Army that his direct line to God and the Bible justifies the butchery of cutting off civilians' lips, hands, nostrils, breasts and other parts as a normal consequence of civil war.You see, you can count on the Strib! They'll die before they mention the brutalities being committed in the name of Islam, but they'll find some obscure and allegedly Christian madman to criticize. And although the conflict in Uganda has been going on for thirteen years, they'll only mention it now, when a new Pope is selected. Apparently, Pope John Paul the Great wasn't supposed to work on that conflict, much less secular leaders like President Bill the Unzipped.
America's religious conflict is far more subtle, but important nonetheless as conservative religionists tear away at the precarious wall separating church and state. Catholicism, meanwhile, continues to lose ground in some of its strongholds -- to evangelicals in Latin America and to apathy in Europe, where the church's social doctrines are taken as irrelevant to most people's lives.I must say, this is the first time I've ever seen "subtle" used to mean "non-violent and legal." And note, with admiration, the use of "conservative religionists" instead of, say, "orthodox Christians and Jews." I don't think I could have come up with a phrase as sneering, bigoted, and stupid as "conservative religionists" to save my life.
Whatever Wi-Fi's appealing present-day cost and future potential, it does not transcend the principles that cities and their residents get what they pay for -- and must pay for what they get. As this ambitious proposal goes forward, its balancing of complicated interests will bear very careful scrutiny.For a moment, you think someone has replaced them with sane people.
Though Minneapolis has far better broadband availability than Philadelphia, it shares the goal of extending access and lowering costs as a way to bridge the "digital divide." But that task requires additional assistance to Internet nonusers hindered by barriers of income, education, language, age and disability.All segments of the population aren't downloading pornography at the same rate, so there's something wrong that has to be fixed. TA DA! The government to the rescue! The possibility that people of different incomes, education, language, age, and 'disability' might not, on the average, be equally interested in high speed wireless internet access never occurs.
"The Pope formerly known as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger". That'd be cool as hell!
For example, it is unclear if the U.S. would use the laser to target people or restrict its use to hitting inanimate targets. It is not known whether lasers would be employed to defend or attack satellites.Only liberals worry that it is bad to kill someone with a laser, but think it's OK to shoot them in the belly and let them die in agony.
How will U.S. doctrine accommodate a weapon that can strike without detection possibly hundreds of miles away at relatively little cost? Since no other country is anywhere near developing a militarized solid-state laser, under what circumstances would the U.S. use it in a war?Apparently, the objection is that it's not fair to use weapons that the other side doesn't have. Again, a concern only of liberals. By the way, CBS, we have cruise missiles that can strike without detection from hundreds of miles away. Have you noticed how we use them?
In most cases, the "law of war" requires discrimination and proportionality. While a laser could do a better job of discriminating between troops and civilians, it is unclear that its use could be proportional to any enemy threat.That's too dumb to require comment.
One of the things I've found repeatedly in the academic literature about the work of journalism is that one way the media manage the huge task of selecting and organizing information out of the vast pool out there is to bring to their selection process a preconceived notion of what they'll find and how they will interpret it [my emphasis -- St.O.]. That's how you get things like an article written about something that never happened. It's also how media bias finds its way most often into media coverage - they see what they expect to see, and what they expect to see is drawn at least partially from their own life experiences and filters. Gorton is saying that's what happened here - the AP believes the war in Iraq to be chaotic, it's a dramatic paper-selling point, they have a photo showing that what they think about the war is in fact true (or evidently true, based on the photo), so they go with it. The larger questions, about how the photographer knew about the situation or whether he was close enough to indicate a personal familiarity and even approval of the terrorists involved, are not asked.
We all have meta narratives and biases. That's not the problem. The problem is that the media has them but refuses to admit it.
In China, on the other hand, historical rage has become very much part of the Chinese identity. (As my good friends know, I can still sing the anti-Japanese songs I was taught at age 10 in a Beijing primary school.) The Chinese government cultivates a sense of historical rage in its young people . . . But as the latest anti-Japanese protests around the country show, the government is now riding a monster it created but which it no longer fully controls.
California Democratic Convention: Day Two
Howard Dean fired up the troops tonight. He spoke about moral values and talking in a language that ordinary Americans could understand. The audience went wild.
There is something strange, though, in this rush to "morals."
Morals represent tradition and custom. In this brave new century, tradition and custom are replaced by fashion and hype. The past is for reactionaries, we are told. Science, technology and the ever-expanding GDP will solve our problems. Yet, no society can hang together without a proper balance between stability, respect for the old ways and openness to the new. In our time2005we are way out of balance. Question: who gets it?
Bloggers have scored three major media knockouts since last fall. They were the first to blow the whistle on the suspect National Guard documents used by CBS's Dan Rather in a report on President Bush.
They helped force the resignation of CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan over off-the-record remarks about the U.S. military.
But she says others are "driven by anger" and trying "to snuff out the opinions offered by the other side," undermining journalists who "are trying to provide a more balanced view."
When controversy erupted last month over what ABC's Douglass and The Post's Mike Allen described as a strategy memo given to Republican senators in the Terri Schiavo case, some conservative bloggers denounced the document as questionable, even fake. Not all backed off after GOP Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida admitted an aide had written the talking points.
ExxonMobil has funneled money to 40 organizations that have either challenged scientific evidence on global warming or are linked to skeptical scientists who do so, says the forthcoming issue of Mother Jones.
Barbara Stewart, the Boston Globe freelancer dropped over her story about a Canadian seal hunt that had not yet taken place, says she never meant to deceive anyone. She just never checked back to learn that the scheduled hunt had been delayed by bad weather.
"The whole situation, while resulting from an egregious, massive, stupid [screwup] on my part, unbelievable carelessness, was nevertheless not malicious fabrication as in: pretending I was there and deliberately making up a whole scene and attempting to pass it off," Stewart says by e-mail.
"It was stupider and more boring and more flat out dumb on my part. Quite dumb. Remarkably dumb. But not vicious and not really a scandal, for heaven's sake."
sell the notion that what FNC presents is just another set of biases, no worse (and for some, a good deal better) than the biases that routinely drive the presentation of the news on ABC, CBS or NBC -- and, by extension, the major newspapers.
When the word first surfaced in the 1970s, its sting was in calling people conservatives five or 10 minutes before they were prepared to admit it. The core group had famously been Trotskyists at City College in the 1930s. In the 1950s and 1960s they were anti-communist liberals and supporters of the Vietnam War. The antiwar movement and the '60s counterculture alienated them. Affirmative action was another sore point. Finally Irving Kristol, dubbed the neocon godfather, decided to take it as a compliment. He defined a neoconservative as "a liberal mugged by reality."
The great neocon theme was tough-minded pragmatism in the face of liberal naivete.
mocked "the belief that it is possible to democratize governments anytime, anywhere, under any circumstances." Democracy, she said, depends "on complex social, cultural, and economic conditions." It takes "decades, if not centuries." . . .
And the Bush Doctrine is said to have the fingerprints of neoconservatives all over it.
Some interesting statistics:
(A) The number of physicians in the U.S.is 700,000.
(B) Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000.
(C) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171. (Statistics courtesy of U.S.- Dept. of Health Human Services.)
(A) The number of gun owners in the U.S.is 80,000,000. Yes, that's 80 million.
(B) The number of accidental gun deaths per year, for all age groups, is 1,500.
(C) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.0000188.
SUMMARY: Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
Remember: "Guns don't kill people, doctors do."
Fact: NOT EVERYONE HAS A GUN, BUT ALMOST EVERYONE HAS AT LEAST ONE DOCTOR.
Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets completely out of hand. (Out of concern for the public at large, I have withheld the statistics on lawyers for fear that the shock would cause people to panic and seek medical attention.)
Europe itself is withering. The day of John Paul II's funeral, the European Union's statistics agency reported that the decline of birth rates means that within five years deaths will exceed births in the EU. By 2013, Italy's population will begin to decline; the next year, Germany's will begin to decline. After 2010, Europe's population growth will be entirely from immigration. By 2025, not even immigration will prevent declining fertility from accelerating what one historian calls the largest "sustained reduction in European population since the Black Death of the 14th century."
In his new book "The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God," George Weigel, biographer of John Paul II, argues that Europe's "demographic suicide" will cause its welfare states to buckle and is creating a "vacuum into which Islamic immigrants are flowing." Since 1970, the 20 million legal Islamic immigrants equal the combined populations of Ireland, Denmark and Belgium.
"What," Weigel asks, "is happening when an entire continent, wealthier and healthier than ever before, declines to create the human future in the most elemental sense, by creating a next generation?"