Friday, June 10, 2005

Great column
Read it, and understand why I'm so frustrated by the current judicial nominations process. You can also learn a bit about my general constitutional philosophy (think: Thomas) along the way.

A First
James Lileks has me reconsidering my opposition to medical marijuana, and to annexing Mars. Either way, I think the use of the commerce clause is a load of bunk.

Political Malaise Continues:

The latest Gallup survey finds Americans about evenly divided in their assessment of how well President George W. Bush is handling his job, but decidedly negative in their assessment of Congress and of how things are going in the country.
In other words, Bush may be doing a crappy job, but Congress is so screwed up right now that he doesn't look so bad by comparison.

That's one theory
Tunku Varadarajan has a theory that five of the past seven National Spelling Bee winners have been Indian-American because of their cultural heritage. As I said, that's one theory, but I have another.

Maybe they do so well at it because they've had so much practice with their own last names. Think about it: Varadarajan, Nyenanajad, and so on. These are not easy things to spell in English (I have no idea how complicated they are in Hindi). These kids are exposed to such names at an early age, and therefore have early practice at phonetics. They are probably better at reading, and so their vocabularies and ability to figure out the spelling of complicated words are also boosted.

Yeah, maybe it's cultural; but maybe it's all in the name.

From OpinionJournal's Tony & Tacky segment:

When Broward County Mayor Kristin Jacobs put palm trees and tropical plants in the county commission chambers in Fort Lauderdale last year, she wasn't trying to add feminine touches. The point, Wednesday's South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported, was to show the board's sympathy for environmental causes. That was before the chambers were invaded by gnats and then by gnat-loving crickets. The foliage is now gone. The Sun-Sentinel says Mayor Jacobs blames the pests on an 'unbalanced ecosystem.'
The only way that could be much funnier would be if instead of removing the foliage that had sprayed it with DDT. Or maybe napalm.

What did people do
to prepare for a hurricane before Home Depot came along? Seriously, take a look at the front page of and you'll see the image I've posted at the right, with the caption "Pensacola, Florida, residents stock up on storm supplies."

This is big business for Home Depot. When a hurricane is approaching, they divert supplies (plywood, etc.) to the area in a big way. Sure, there used to be local hardware stores that had small stocks of these supplies, but they had no way to react quickly enough to prepare for an oncoming hurricane in the same way Home Depot can now. I have to imagine that they sold out at some point.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Nothing's Changed
I still love Peggy.

Read. (Via James).

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Heh II.


Dean says Republicans = White Christian
What's his counterpart, Ken Mehlman's response?

Asked about it on the 'Fox & Friends' show, GOP Party Chairman Ken Mehlman joked that 'a lot of folks who attended my Bar Mitzvah would be surprised' he heads a Christian party.
Ha. Well played.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What about FDR? Can anyone say "court-packing"?


More Evidence
that at least some Republicans believe very strongly in charity, while some Democrats just want to let the government worry about it for them.

Remember how Bush just coasted through Yale with a gentleman's C? Well, so did at least one other person, and apparently that GPA isn't sufficient to earn someone the presidency:

Sen. John F. Kerry's grade average at Yale University was virtually identical to President Bush's record there, despite repeated portrayals of Kerry as the more intellectual candidate during the 2004 presidential campaign.
And Kerry got 4 D's his freshman year! D's! Both men improved after their freshmen years, and Bush only managed one D.

But Bush is dumb, remember, and Kerry is smart.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Good question
I wondered the same thing.

The professor strikes again.

Also, I think he's absolutely right about the new stem cell developments.

I oppose freely dispensed government funds for embryonic stem cell research, but I endorsed the Bush compromise—on pro-life grounds. My argument all along was, pretty simply, that embryonic stem cells could result in drastic medical advances—and they might not. As such, we should proceed carefully and figure out if they will, before we just open the floodgates. If it turns out that we can save thousands of lives by creating and destroying a few embryos, I'd probably be inclined to support that—I just want someone to be able to show a significant likelihood of that outcome before I endorse government sponsorship of the research necessary to reach that point. Accordingly, we allow some progress on the government's dime, but restrict it appropriately.

Sure, why not?
After all, it happened in the Clinton administration...

I need to stop using
for my quick news hit. When did I decide this? When I looked at the front page on my lunch break and discovered that, despite the fact that the Supreme Court today struck down laws permitting medicinal use of marijuana in 11 states, the top story on their page is "Michael Jackson jurors resume deliberations."

Here we have landmark legislation wherein the Supreme Court ruled that federal drug prohibitions supercede state-level medical permissions, and they choose to focus on the fact that nothing has changed in the trial of an alleged child molester.


For information on the actually important case, go here.

Personally, I'm mixed on the case. I have a personal loathing for marijuana, and know a lot of people with no medical disabilities who have taken advantage of California's medicinal marijuana permissions for recreational consumption. For that reason, I don't like the way the law stands. At the same time, regulation of drugs has, to my knowledge, been traditionally justified on commerce clause grounds. Interstate commerce clause grounds, that is. By that logic, if Californians grow the pot themselves, and don't allow for any exportation, constitutionally I don't think the government has a right to interfere. Maybe I'm wrong, I haven't read the decision yet, or any substantial reactions to it. This is all just off the top of my head.