Thursday, April 29, 2010
SALAZAR v. BUONO: special note is deserved for Stevens' excellent dissent, his WWII service only adding to its conclusion. Also, Alito's concurrence alone is filled with alleged statements of fact and judgments ("disturbing symbolism" ... "unlikely to satisfy" etc.) that appears to be influenced by empathy. More than bare law is involved.
In this interesting little book, Lee Alan Dugatkin discusses Jefferson's attempt to address that "America was viewed by many Europeans as a degenerate backwater" in part via said moose. A look at natural history and its political implications from Jefferson to Thoreau.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Such is the Mets line. First place lasts a bit longer ... Phils up next. After losing 22 in a row, the Pirates also won a series off the Brewers. Today in the 14th, scoring in three innings after the 8th. Two players were ejected. Bit of spunk there. Another crazy game.
An analysis of a split decision with more sides than a cross and ends with "to be continued." This was expected. Stevens' dissent was joined by Sotomayor. Kennedy accepts use of selective religious means to honor soldiers but not all public uses of crosses.
It is problematic for many reasons (e.g., suing when federal law isn't enforced?). But, putting aside Sen. Graham and some hypocrisy (4/27), some national panacea won't come. There will always be illegal aliens, especially as long as there is a demand for their labor.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
And Also: Now that Linda Greenhouse only guest blogs, she is much more blunt ("Breathing while undocumented, without a civil liberties lawyer at hand, is now a perilous activity anywhere in Arizona.") A young John Roberts has a cameo.
Monday, April 26, 2010
And Also: Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah might be a bit simplistic at times and settles a bit too predictably, but I basically share the overall positive review here. After all, lots of adult books are a bit simplistic too.
A college softball game was on yesterday and showed the importance of that final out. One side blew a four run lead but the other could not get that last strike in the bottom of the frame. Lost 6-5. Mets doing well now, even the weather helping yesterday, but it's a long season.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I was drawn into the lives of the characters in the The Piano Teacher but found the resolution a bit choppy and somewhat unsatisfying (especially as to the Eurasian's fate). Also, finally read the whole of "Religion, Morality, and Abortion: A Constitutional Appraisal," quoted in various abortion rulings. Brief, but interesting.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
And Also: Craig Ferguson was involved as a writer in a spin-off of Saving Grace (he had a supporting role). Most episodes of the first three seasons are online. The first episode was amusing and generally well done.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Cheers for this piece where someone checked to see if touching the mound like A-Rod did to piss a pitcher off was verboten. The NY Daily News re-cap cited what happen but didn't check to see if others know of this "unwritten rule." Another incomplete article.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
And Also: I skimmed The Terror Presidency which shows even those (too) friendly to conservative viewpoints, like wariness of international human rights law, think the Bushies went too far and promoted specious legal reasoning. It also noted that Clinton (see Kagan/Dellinger) promoted executive power in various ways.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The Supreme Court (8-1) held that a federal law against cruelty to animal videos was overbroad though a narrow one tied to crush videos alone might not be. Well written (including the dangers of relying on the mercy of the prosecutor) with some Roberts' light touches. [Update: I reject one putdown of the ruling here. More here.]
Yet this rhetorical flatness is entirely in tune with the fundamental point of these decisions, which is that “the law” remains in effect and applicable even in times of crisis when national security is at stake. And “the law,” by and large, is boring and complicated. What these opinions stand for, both in rhetoric and in substance, is an insistence that the government abide by the law of the land. In particular, the government must respect the right of individuals to be heard in their own defense.
-- a former Stevens clerk
Stevens turns 90 today.
Monday, April 19, 2010
April is National Autism Awareness Month (who knew?). Adam is a good film (good DVD commentary!) about someone with a form (Asperger's Syndrome) dealing with various things, including romantic complications (who has her own life issues). Well acted all around.
Some insist this is a "special exception" where judges can use "empathy." But, why? It is a matter of weighing various facts to determine what sentence is appropriate under law. Judging does this in other contexts too. Humans are involved there too. No sale.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Sometime after the Rockies (with six walks) did something the Mets never did -- get a no-hitter -- the Mets finally won in the 20th. An absurd result really given two position players pitched the last three innings. Mets managed one more than K-Rod gave up. 2-1.
Airplane was on TCM last night. Missed this joke earlier:
Bet that is edited out of many broadcast showings!
Female announcer: Oh really, Vernon? Why pretend, we both know perfectly well what this is about. You want me to have an abortion.
Male announcer: It's really the only sensible thing to do, if its done safely. Therapeutically there's no danger involved.
Bet that is edited out of many broadcast showings!
His confirmation hearing from yesterday can be found here. I first saw him promoting this and he came off quite well here. But, sorry, personal views do affect judging. He in effect said that when talking about "human" judging, but total honesty is verboten here.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
See, e.g., his recent interview with the Wikileaks person (challenging him on labeling something "murder" when only 10% will watch the whole video to decide) and the This Week temporary host actually having a group fact check the guests. Take that Charlie Rose!
And Also: Over the weekend, a late season surge collapsed when a do/die playoff chance for the NY Rangers ended via shootout. Rangers fans that hoped were screwed again. Former Mets fav, NF, won for the Phillies and then the Mets lost in extras. Again. Well, at least we aren't the Astros.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
And Also: Not that good of an episode, but curious bit about Audrey formerly dating the chief judge (justice) of the New York Court of Appeals. Well, not him. Some fictional one, who is younger and gayer.
Monday, April 12, 2010
Eyes Like Stars: Theatre Illuminata, Act I (my copy didn't have the subtitle on the title page, thus the cliffhanger was a surprise) by Lisa Mantchev was a page turning coming of age story with the fantasy of theater characters coming to life. Audio preview sounds great.
Don't know why they didn't rerun the season finale (yes, it was online ... but I didn't watch it in time), but the new season opened well all the same. The fact we can understand both Pamela and her husband suggested the complexity. Ready for Diva too!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Okay, so he says Obama isn't a "socialist." Cheers. But, "you don't have to participate if you don't want to" now. Also, the bill did not "put the power over health care in the hands of corporations." Already there. It tempered it a bit. Is the "R" for BS promotion?
Caught the last part of the t.v. version. As a whole, it is more complete (the book rushes through the adoption angle and lingers on the death too long) but the movie ends rather abruptly, largely because the euthanasia subplot was removed. Well acted.
The reviews are right to suggest the film settles into cliches, but also that the cast shines (including that "intern" from Letterman) and it is funny. The finale had a bit too much Get Smart (same lead) in it, touch of sexist really. But, wait for the whole credits to roll!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
And Also: Slate recently had a piece on "vegans" eating oysters. Having perspective is a good thing, but by definition, that might be a problem. Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology, and Practical Ethics by Andrew Linzey was very good -- great argument summaries too.
Friday, April 09, 2010
In the short term probably shifting things rightward, Stevens announced his retirement. Since he thinks she is a "highly-respected constitutional scholar," maybe Obama will nominate Dawn Johnsen. Apparently, that is a bad thing for certain jobs, though. F-ing crap!
Thursday, April 08, 2010
And Also:Virginia's governor and attorney general has done some asshole sort of things already, particularly in regards to homosexuals. The "slavery, oh yeah, that is important to the Civil War" deal is probably a new low.
The word "mortgage" came up in an early episode of Once and Again, and the mom noted she didn't know the origins of the word. This explanation for the word ("dead pledge") helps explains things. Etymology is both interesting and helpful in understanding things.
The season finale of Being Erica was good, including some of the music. Hope it is picked up for a third season. The Mets game lingered on ... a two inning comeback took forever. The loss was quicker: 10th inning, pitching costing them on both ends. Stress alert!
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Good lead performances, especially (but not limited to) Dakota Fanning as the young singer whose book on which this portrayal of the beginning of Joan Jett's career is based. Story is a bit disjointed at times, but good look. Note the writer/director. Some beginning!
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
First inning runs, blown bases loaded situation and benefiting from Marlins poor defense all contributed along with Santana and some work from the newbies. The not so newbie Nieve worked fine though fan fav Figueroa (has that blue collar Mets vibe) might have fit in the roster over a green phenom and disposable (salary too) reliever.
Monday, April 05, 2010
A singer received a fine for disorderly conduct arising from stripping as part of a public video. Even she spoke of concern for children. It was made strolling down in the middle of the city, not some isolated area. And, even her website has a censored copy. Why not littering?
Sunday, April 04, 2010
And Also: I recently got a chance to borrow the first few episodes of Once and Again on DVD. It is a bit pretentious (and/or annoying) at times, but I do remember liking it. The first four episodes suggests why. And, well, Sela Ward.