Saturday, August 29, 2009

Oligarhy? And this guy’s influential?!?

Glen Beck needs help.

Here’s a link to a You Tube video taken from his newscast of last Thursday. 

Watch closely—well, not really; don’t watch if you don’t want to—to see Mr Beck make a fool of himself on national television, and think about how easily it would’ve been to prevent that moment if only he’d had some intelligent backup from his assistants, and editors, and the Fox directors, and just about anyone else who is working behind the scenes.

Watch Beck cleverly come up with the word du jour for his telecast.

And then weep for the right wing who hail this guy as an intellectual hero.

Weep for the rest of us, too.   We have collectively fallen so far.  Thank SCOTUS for their 2000 interference.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

50 years?

The BLT (blog of Legal Times) tells us that retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter has put a hold on his papers for 50 years.

That means the machinations of the Rehnquist Court during the time of the 2000 Bush v Gore deliberations will not be available to most people who cared—like those whose relatives died in Iraq.

Say it ain’t so, Dave.

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Friday, August 21, 2009


It is, Dear Gentle Reader(s), ubiqitous.

One might think the Republican right might be the only group of people who would rather snipe and cavil than enter into a serious discussion about matters of import.


For an example of how the right wing Tory (ooops, Conservative) Party of the U.K. thinks, just trundle over to the website of The Spectator.  Much smoke and quip, little substance.

Read, for a sentence or two, you won’t need more, the article entitled “If the NHS is ‘fair’, give me unfairness any day.”  It’s written by one James Delingpole, possibly a leading quipster for the Spectator stable.  He’s not quite WFBuckley supercilious, but he comes close.

Ah those conservatives.  As dependable as the rising sun.  But infinitely of less worth.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Would you pull the switch?

A bit of a controversy, Dear Gentle Reader(s), has arisen over the death penalty, and it comes from recent writings by two members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Here’s the original link.  It’s a New York Times article referring to a recent Court decision to hear a death penalty case.

Here are two interesting viewpoints:

1) “The substantial risk of putting an innocent man to death,” Justice [John Paul] Stevens wrote in a concurrence joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, “clearly provides an adequate justification for holding an evidentiary hearing.”

2) “This court has never held,” Justice [Antonin] Scalia wrote, “that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is ‘actually’ innocent.”

While the first example seems a given; the second seems somehow illogical. 

Don’t we all, by now, understand that “a full and fair trial” is more of a goal to which we might aspire but might never know if we have attained? 

Full?  Has every last iota of evidence been offered and considered?  Fair?  Is the prosecution interested in Justice or conviction rate?  Is the defense interested in Justice or manipulating the system?

If Justice Scalia’s statement is correct, and the Constitution does not forbid the execution of a person in the situation described by him, ought it so to do?

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Sunday, August 09, 2009


Technorati Tags: ,

Nagasaki, Japan, August 9, 1945.  Estimated 39,000 instant deaths.  2nd atomic bomb attack on an enemy city.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

A must read

Hie thee, Dear Gentle Reader(s), over to Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish to be enriched a submission by one of his readers.

It’s a response to one of Sullivan’s entries in which he asks “Is your bubble bursting?” a reference to the dismay some progressives are evincing about the slowness of Mr. Obama’s progressive campaign agenda.

The unnamed reader explains, quite accurately, the right wing populism now sweeping the country. 

If you’ve ever wondered about those people, this writer nails ‘em.

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Thursday, August 06, 2009


Remember, Dear Gentle Reader(s), that today is Hiroshima Day—64 years ago the atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

A pause for reflection is in order.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Deja vu—all over again. Alas.

The news today, in part, deals with the “confessions” and show trial of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s dissidents. 

The world has seen these confessions and trials before.

There’s a new book out, The Stalin Epigram, by Robert Littell which depicts the Soviet judicial system in the 1930s, especially the way torture, “confessions,” and show trials were used to cleanse the system of dissidents.

One wonders, Dear Gentle Reader(s), how the religious leaders in Iran cannot see the parallels between their treatment of their countrymen and the way Stalin treated his countrymen during his regime.

There is a difference in magnitude, but not in historical similarity.

Trust, but verify.

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