Saturday, January 18, 2003

This guy sounds like me. I just missed the countercultural revolution in the 60's by a hair's breadth. I really detest all the visual and verbal obscenity in popular media.

Mickey Kaus does parody. Too bad he's about as good at it as I am. He should leave this stuff to this guy.

Johann Hari says the Iraqis will welcome U. S. bombs. They won't have to wait too long now. Let's do it.

Bill Frist seems to drive liberals nuts!

Friday, January 17, 2003

I've been thinking of a better blog name:

The Great White Thorpe?
I had some others, but I've forgotten them.

Is it a prerequisite of leadership among African Americans that one must make outrageous claims? Far too many of these guys have more talent for oratory than they do for clear thought.

I watched Cornell West for a while the other night on the University of California's satellite channel. He's a parody of himself.

As for Julian Bond, is he claiming that he, or blacks in general, won the war? Unless they did, why are they the only ones entitled to claim spoils?

I love this piece by Robert Atkinson, Ph.D., a professor and diversity scholar in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Southern Maine, and a member of the Maine Refugee Advisory Council of Maine. He's got to be the archetype for all political correctness. But I have one question: If these guys reject all the notions of good and bad, how can they tell that diversity and multiculturalism is good?

The Future is scary, according to Dan Farber, all because of embedded computing devices.

Are attitudes about sex the difference between the Democrats and Republicans? Opposition to traditional morality seems to be popular with a lot of libertarians as well.

This reminds me of the most stupid argument brought to bear against the bill of impeachment against Bill Clinton, that the issue was "just about sex," as though sex, infidelity, etc. were totally unimportant to society. If that were true, we wouldn't have the huge porn industry we have, or huge numbers of babies born out of wedlock, R and X rated movies, marriages destroyed by infidelity and murders motivated by jealousy. I think that the sexual revolution will continue to make inroads into popular media, but I don't see that as a good thing, because attitudes toward it are uniformly wrong. Sex is important in our lives and a powerful force that build or weaken society, depending on whether we respect it and impose limits on ourselves or just treat it as recreation, with no more importance to our lives than bodily functions.

This column by Paul Krugman is given a tag in the NYTimes email service as follows: "As a drunk is to alcohol, the Bush administration is to budget deficits."

I guess that as a drunk is to alcohol, liberals are to making scurrilous and misleading accusations about George W. Bush. I think the Times should be embarrassed to have this jerk anywhere in their paper.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

By the way, congratulations to Glenn Reynolds on his new gig. It was only a matter of time. I don't agree with him all the time, but he's a hell of a blogger.

Instapundit is in the New York Times, which means it's in the News. Prof. Volokh notes that Martin Wisse, who sounds like a wuss, claims that Glenn Reynolds misrepresents his sources. I find this silly. Glenn's got to be a speed reader or a skimmer. If he links to you, rejoice, don't quibble. This sounds like sour grapes, but then there's a lot of that from liberals and Democrats lately. George Bush mangles his sentences a lot, too, but he whipped their intellectual butts.

What really puzzled me is how Wisse came to be a source for the article. I've never heard of him. I looked at his blog, but it didn't seem too informative. He can't draw. He blogs about Southern Politics, which makes him a masochist, I imagine.

I've never heard of The Wyeth Wire either, but I can see at the outset that I'm not going back. Every time I try to emulate Glenn, I realize: (1) I don't really care about metablogging, i. e. nitpicking other blogs; and (2) I don't have the tools to associate names with their past and their histories, which is why citing Lochner doesn't do me much good, even if I've read it. I can't retain holdings the way these law profs and former clerks can, probably because I find this stuff dull beyond description. I'm also a slow typist.

But remember, in law school all the A students become law professors, the B students become Judges and the C students make all the money. And if you believe that, you're a two-bit whore.

Eugene Volokh comes across as a little too professorly when he discusses the epithet "You're nothing but a couple of two-bit legal whores," leveled at two attorneys by California State Senator Bill Morrow as reported in the L.A. Daily Journal.

It's been my experience that when people call you a sonuvabitch, they don't really mean that you're a dog.

I won't defend the legal profession against any slur. It's part of the territory, and it isn't hard to find evidence that a lot of lawyers are greedy bottom-feeders. All in all, greediness or at least a feeling of entitlement is common to lawyers. It's like robbing banks, "That's where the money is," or they wouldn't have become lawyers. Doctors are a lot the same.

Probably all he needed to point out is the irony of a politican calling lawyers whores.

Patti Davis is no Condi Rice.

From Best of the Web:
Republicans and conservatives have generally been much better at policing their own ranks for extremists and haters. Pat Buchanan, for example, no longer commands any respect within the Republican Party or the conservative movement, and David Duke never did.

In contrast, look at the freak show that makes up the American left: Jim McDermott, Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney, Patty Murray, Maxine Waters, Ramsey Clark, Noam Chomsky--the list could go on and on. Obviously one could make many distinctions here: Clark and Chomsky are not active in Democratic politics; most Democrats don't actually endorse McKinney's anti-Semitism or McDermott's pro-Saddam stance; Patty Murray may be more naive than evil.

And of course the Democratic Party includes many serious and sober political leaders. But the point is that they don't make these distinctions, at least not publicly. They don't repudiate the McDermotts, Sharptons and Chomskys of the world, the way conservatives repudiate their Lotts, Dukes and Buchanans.

I vote the candidate, not the party, but when it gets above local and county elections the Democrats have nothing to offer.

Protecting the Environment or just fundraising?

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Bush has announced that his administration will file a brief against race-based advantages to college applicants. He's right, and if liberals weren't so thick, they'd see that lowering the bar for some minorities also diminishes their achievements. True affirmative action would be outreach programs, maybe by the University of Michigan, to help black high school students study and bring themselves up to the standards required for everybody else. Does anybody consider Hank Aaron's record as being related to his race? Or Barry Bonds'?

Imagine what blacks would say if they were listed as records for black players.

I seem to remember something from law school about a Rule Against Perpetuitiesin real estate and estate planning. If it was good enough for Blackstone, why shouldn't it be good enough for copyrights.

I'm not a constitutional scholar, so I don't see how making the Mickey Mouse copyright good for another 20 years has anything to do with promoting the progress of science. A fortiori, "I got you, Babe" has even less.

This is a really dumb decision, which by trying to extend the profitability of entertainment like films and music, will damage not promote the spread of knowledge. It certainly will keep the Internet dumbed down past my lifetime. There is a vast body of literature and other writing that can't be accessed on the net except through Amazon and its ilk. Just think of how personal computing would be different if Microsoft were unable to maintain its monopoly through copyright law. Software should not be protected by copyright law. It's obsolete long before that protection lapses. I would make a special copyright or patent rule that drops protection after 5 years on all software products.

Lieber and Stoll made money off their pop songs, but why should their children and grandchildren? Let them write their own songs and make their own money from them. Sonny Bono thought copyrights should last forever, but he was wrong and the Constitution says so. Or it used to. There is very little practical difference between 95 years after the owner's death and perpetuity. I respectfully dissent.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

The Fox News Channel reports that the Democrats in the Senate are blocking the Republican's organizing resolution, effectively refusing to let the winners of the elections take control. This is likely to hurt them as badly as Newt Gingrich's ploy blocking continuing resolutions and shutting down the government back in the nineties. Tom Daschle is a real disaster. I don't know what he expects to gain out of this, but I hope it blows back in his face.

Best of the Web links to this article about the popularity of Osama bin Laden keychains among the Palestinians. Too bad Malcolm Alexander has refused to sell an OBL bobblehead doll. Jesus has a bobblehead; why not bin Laden? Or maybe a magnetic figurine to mount on the dashboard of your, er, goat cart?

Monday, January 13, 2003

This just in from the Daily Show.

And then there's this. I told you that environmentalism was a religion!

Victor Davis Hanson examines the roots of the frenzied denunciations of the U. S. coming from the left, which he describes as "a phenomenon of the aging left of the Vietnam era and of its various progeny and heirs."

The first element in this goofiness is latent Marxism. Then there is the simplistic logic one is left with by postmodern thinking,
adherents of postmodernist relativism assess morality instead by the sole criterion of power: Those without it deserve the ethical high ground by virtue of their very status as underdogs; those with it, at least if they are Westerners, and especially if they are Americans, are ipso facto oppressors.. . . Israel could give over the entire West Bank, suffer 10,000 dead from suicide bombers, and apologize formally for its existence, and it would still be despised by American and European intellectuals for being what it is--Western, prosperous, confident, and successful amid a sea of abject self-induced failure."

Nothing illustrates this moral derailment more effectively than the career of Jimmy Carter, " who can parlay with some of the world's most odious dictators and still garner praise for 'reaching out' to the disadvantaged and the oppressed." Most of Christianity is now in thrall to this kind of moral astigmatism.

He goes on to point out their "unquestioned belief that sweet reason alone, in the hands of its proper acolytes, and yoked to commensurate powers of coercion, can remake the world. But we need not discount other and much simpler factors--like the law of the pack."

This last is most evident in the bitterness and vehemence with which so many Democratic politicians and academics denounce George W. Bush. It is seldom reasoned or even argued, just expressions of outrage and scorn as if anyone with a brain should realize that he is the liberal version of the Antichrist, and their voices rise automatically to yells of indignation whenever one suggests that there might be another view. One gets the same response by saying something critical of Bill Clinton, who reliably summons up attacks on Ken Starr who squandered so much money by fighting through all of Clinton's evasion and obstruction. This from the party who wanted more bipartisanship during the impeachment.

I find that I am itching to quote too much. Go read the piece. It requires free registration.

Remember this!

"A blanket anything is usually wrong." - Rod Blagojevich, Governor of Illinois

As for George Ryan, who leaves office after commuting the sentences of all the men on Illinois' death row, Best of the Web says it best: "It's an act of stunning moral vanity."

I hope the Republicans in Illinois will be smart enough not to nominate this idiot for anything else.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

One of our popular myths is that if we legalized drugs, crime would disappear. If it disappears as well as bootlegging did after Prohibition was repealed, it will be replaced by lots and lots of misery caused by the drugs that have been legalized. We may be overdoing the war on drugs, but I don't see it as such a scandal as legal drugs would be. The pilots being prosecuted for the friendly fire incident in which Canadian troops died, are blaming it on the the amphetamines given them before their missions. I hate to think what the DUI statistics would be if cocaine and marijuana became as freely available as alcohol.

From the Instapundit:
I saw someone on one of the talk shows saying that although the United States is the world's only superpower, we should "act as if" other nations had similar clout. That's the dreamworld that Europe has been living in.
The scary thing is that Washington and the State Department are full of "experts" who take this nonsense seriously. I mean, isn't Europe where all of our culture came from? OTOH, it also gave us Marxism, Socialism, Communism, Franco, Stalin, Lenin, Ceaucescu and Milosevich, not to mention two world wars. Why should we listen to these people about anything? We have our own faults, of course, but we also have the virtue of having defeated the Soviet Union, and bankrolling NATO since it's inception and conquering a number of world powers and then rebuilding them, and making them our commercial competitors. This reminds me of Bob Dylan's "Neighborhood Bully" on his Infidels album, which, oddly enough, is about Israel.