It looks like gun control doesn’t work very well in Iraq, either. Where should we try it next? I imagine it could get a damn-near 100% success rate in Antarctica.
June 30, 2003
Only this time, it wasn’t Dowd herself, but Dowd-wannabe John W. Porter
of the Portland (ME) Press-Herald. This from yesterday’s piece (hat tip: James Taranto) first misquotes Justice Antonin Scalia, and then engages in the very bigotry of which he accused Scalia.
What sets the issue off so well is what he adds just a few paragraphs later. “Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals,” he says.
Actually, no, not really.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is not happy with the ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down anti-sodomy laws in Texas and 12 other states. Neither am I. My views on the matter are pretty well summed up by Clarence Thomas’s brief dissenting opinion, which reads as follows:
I join Justice Scalia’s dissenting opinion. I write separately to note that the law before the Court today “is … uncommonly silly.” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 527 (1965) (Stewart, J., dissenting). If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it. Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valuable law enforcement resources.
Notwithstanding this, I recognize that as a member of this Court, I am not empowered to help petitioners and others similarly situated. My duty, rather, is to “decide cases ‘agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States.’” Id., at 530. And, just like Justice Stewart, I “can find [neither in the Bill of Rights nor any other part of the Constitution a] general right of privacy,” ibid., or as the Court terms it today, the “liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions,” ante, at 1.
June 29, 2003
Daniel Weintraub of the Sacramento Bee recently reported on Secretary of State Kevin Shelley’s latest Stupid SOS Trick, which consists of discouraging counties from counting recently-submitted petition signatures. Left unchecked, will likely delay the recall vote until March, to coincide with what will be for all intents and purposes a Democrat-only primary. This is not the first sleazy and illegal stunt Shelley has pulled in connection with the recall. His original Stupid SOS Trick involved frivolous, last-minute rejections of proposed petition forms on hypertechnical grounds.
Weintraub draws an unfortunate and unfair parallel to former Florida SOS Katherine Harris, however:
This is looking more like a mirror image of Florida every day. Instead of a Republican Secretary of State fighting to slow a recount and elect a Republican president, we have a Democratic Secretary of State acting to slow a signature count to prevent the recall of a Democratic governor.
Um … no. Contrary to Democrat lore, Florida law does not provide for the endless recounts sought by Al Gore. It does, however, provide for certification of the vote total on a relatively short schedule, to which Harris adhered until the Florida Supreme “Court” ordered her not to. If Harris did anything wrong at all, as Sore-Loserman Democrats maintain, it was in her overly strict adherence to the relevant Florida statutes as written, not in any attempt to circumvent them. This does not merit any comparison at all to what Kevin Shelley is doing now, which (as Weintraub rightly notes) is to encourage counties to ignore the law.
June 27, 2003
Last night, during a business trip, two co-workers dragged me to see The Hulk. It had to be one of the most dreadful flicks I’ve ever seen. In fact, it was so bad that rather than recommend no one see it, I actually recommend that you do see it. Not in the theater, of course; wait till it comes out on DVD, then rent it for a weekend. It is the perfect film to watch at 2:30 a.m. with a group of friends who have consumed at least six beers each, and have gotten giddy from the combination of fatigue and inebriation. At that point, you will enjoy the movie, in a Mystery Science Theater kind of way.
Those nice people who tried to outlaw the VCR, the Recording Industry Association of America, are now threatening to sue individuals for using Kazaa. No word on whether or not they are also going to sue people who make tapes for their friends.
Here’s a thoughful op-ed piece on the topic. The only thing I would have done differently is to take on the RIAA’s “copying-as-theft” canard head-on.
June 26, 2003
This cartoon by Stuart Carlson (hat tip: Sasha Volokh and this article by Maureen Dowd (hat tip: Andrew Sullivan) repeat the tired meme that any blacks who have personally benefitted from affirmative racism – or, at least, can’t prove that they didn’t – should not be allowed to argue against affirmative racism on the merits. Yawn.
Many of us “right-thinkers” (as opposed to Monty Python’s wrong-thinkers) have long argued against such shallow “it’s all about me” reasoning, both on affirmative action and on other controversial issues such as gun control. Given the persistence of a Really Important Columnists continuing to use this non-argument in a Really Important Newspaper, it seems that our complaints may have fallen on deaf ears.
So now may be the time for us anti-discrimination folk to switch gears and fight fire with fire. From now on, as long as members of the groups ostensibly helped by affirmative action are not allowed to hold opinions critical of affirmative action, members of the groups harmed by affirmative action should no longer be allowed to support it. That will fix Grutter v. Bollinger in a jiffy. Even if we were to pretend that affirmative action benefits white women generally (which it doesn’t), or that it benefitted Justices O’Connor and Ginsburg personally (which it probably did, at least as to their Supreme Court nominations), that would still require Justices Stevens, Breyer and Souter to reverse their votes in Grutter, leaving a comfortable 6-3 majority in favor of the colorblindness standard.
To save you the pain of wading through an entire Dowd column, here’s the money quote (which, in the interest of space, I’ve dowdified for you):
I … come across as an angry, bitter, self-pitying victim.
UPDATE: Looky here: this wanker lacked the guts to respond to my message directly, replying instead to a mail list he probably assumed I would never see. His “argument?” To ignore the merits of everything I said and accuse me of racism. What else?
Then again, maybe I shouldn’t fault proponents of affirmative racism for accusing their opponents of themselves being racist. It’s not as though they have much else to go on. The only other option is to debate 11-year-olds.
Congratulations, 68.4.189.#, you are our 10,000th customer in six months of this blog’s existence. The blog is actually seven months old, but I didn’t start tracking hits until the new year. So my apologies to the “real” 10,000th customer, whom I have no way of identifying.