Saturday, December 31, 2011
Marty Lederman talks about the title issue, linking David Cole in his two part discussion. Both, though less Cole, notes some good stuff in there, partially thanks to Obama. ML in effect says part of the good is a matter of discretionary policy that can change.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Life keeps on tossing you a curve-ball. I borrowed a book from the library and suddenly it turned German for a chapter and a half. Not intentionally. Have gone to the library for decades. Don't recall that ever happening. NYPL is great overall though.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
The author of a religion clauses road-trip tackles little known constitutional clauses like the 3A this time, somewhat toning down the wisecracks. So far, pretty good, if a bit too cursory at times. Has various annoying lapses, but accessible to the general reader.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
A few comments ("Joe") on Obama's latest signing statement here. False equivalence and furthers the evidence that Ron Paul fits the "R" label here. Liberal Dems have the sane on civil liberties bona fides without the racism, sexism and insanity on federal regulations.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
I'm about 3/4 thru this long lost Hunter Thompson novel about a young journalist doing a lot of drinking in Puerto Rico along with some other stuff with colorful characters. Tad boring if written with some verve. Seems novella or short story material with some padding.
This is an appealing somewhat autobiographical look at Iranian youth culture and a triangle that forms between two girls and one of their now religious brother with good DVD commentary. But, the film was too disjointed (somewhat like Miral) for me to really get into.
Monday, December 26, 2011
A good ending before the final six with Brenda dropped from the federal lawsuit, but "it isn't over." I caught Rizzoli & Isles which had a personal connection to the leads and ended in an annoying fashion with a shooting that had no reason to happen. Forced.
Besides being Boxing Day, today is the first day of Kwanzaa, a black cultural celebration with religious overtones that was inspired by other holidays such as lightening candles. It had a more negative beginning (see link), but now is in effect a positive humanistic event.
Bears are one of a few teams that had a span of games like a shooting star in the sky -- a bit of brightness before dying out. GB finished them off, clinching first seed and Falcons'' playoff spot. One of many decent teams there. Some spots and seeding left.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Other than the Pats and Dallas, it's unclear what good team the NY teams beat this season and the NYG winning didn't change that. MN got a third win; the Rams did not. Tebow had a bad day. No real surprises. Jets need some help as do some other playoff hopefuls.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
The move was the first time since 1994 that the department has exercised its powers under the Voting Rights Act to block a voter identification law.Toss in Holder's speech in support of voting rights and things like this, yes, Obama is a Democrat and not just a lame one.
Friday, December 23, 2011
ACS Blog had an interesting piece on jury nullification, touching upon a local prosecution (inane) of someone handing out pamphlets on the subject near a courthouse. NYT has a game of "would you rather" regarding teens between pot and booze. Cameron Douglas.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Even without Peyton Manning, the Colts shouldn't have been 0-12. They beat a team last week with key injuries from QB on down. The Texans have key injuries too but continued to win. Having a bit of a hiccup now (0-2) though and (with penalties helping) blew it late.
In the Giants v. Jets match-up, the NY (full stop) fan should root for the Giants. A Jets loss gives them a much greater chance to still get to the playoffs. A win might not even do it. And, who would get in is more of a "who cares" than if Dallas or the Eagles (ha ha) benefit.
I started the year watching this great film and borrowed the DVD near its end. It is mostly loyal to the book, which also was good. The DVD has a few "making of" extras that were interesting. No commentary. The young actress and the writing etc., still very impressive.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I skimming this book now, after John Paul Stevens' positive review. It is something of a social history and beneficial on that level but I cannot quite get into its specific style. Still valuable.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The Closer was workmanlike with a personal touch regarding a drunk driving victim with overall plot-line implications. SF, when power failures were dealt with, handled a beat up Steelers team (the QB toughing it out, ill-advisedly). SF v. Green Bay in January?
Monday, December 19, 2011
VC last week discussed marriage recognition. The comments had an ongoing debate regarding the "core" meaning of marriage with one insisting it inherently involves man/female unions. Marriage like the ancient view of an atom, set and unchanging. A fictional reality.
At their meeting in March 2009, Mr. Havel warned of the perils of limitless hope being projected onto a leader. Disappointment, he noted, could boil over into anger and resentment. Mr. Obama replied that he was becoming acutely aware of the possibility.Dear Leader also died in North Korea.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Jets lost bad but got help, still on top in WC race. Upcoming NY battle matters to both. Cards win again to gain a bit of respectability. Pats went ahead too much even for Tebow. Chargers trying for another late year push. Detroit has a bit of room with a late win.
KC ended GB's perfection and a battle of back-ups ended the Colts total imperfection. The Redskins knocked the NYG out of first place and made them look silly. Houston finally lost, but they have a playoff berth. Seattle beat the reeling Bears. Other stuff happened.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
The spirit of rational inquiry, of skepticism about dogma, and of religious toleration that animated Deism continues to influence religious views of many persons who occupy pews in churches and synagogues.
-- The Faiths of the Founding Fathers by David L. Holmes
Last year, I talked about a book about religion's place in the American Revolution. The Faiths of the Founding Fathers is more well-rounded, providing an epilogue about modern Presidents. [A pending book covers this specifically.] Recommended for a general audience.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Bill of Rights Day? Heck, habeas corpus was protected before that, this bill problematic under it. The House bill was worse, but it still would have been so easy to protect citizens, principle upheld, few citizens likely to be covered in practice anyways. Who loses?
A good month for Obama Cabinet officials, even with the Plan B issue. After Sec. Clinton's speech on gay rights as human rights (but remember, Obama did nothing of note), Sec. Holder gave a speech respecting threats to the right to vote in this country.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Good bit in this Chris Hayes coverage of the Obama Administration overturning FDA decision to provide Plan B over the counter to those under seventeen comparing it to the complications of a typical (much cheaper) over the counter medication.
It's in the 50s today -- we had snow already, but no consistently cold weather. And, I am tired of all those plastic bags though some stores "recycle." I repeatedly say "no thanks." I have started to take a bag to the supermarket; one big bag covers a week fairly well.
A dollar (or 1.02 -- those pennies are useful) still gets me various things from a local fruit store. Lemons are a quarter, limes half that, big rolls .43, small ones .33 (either one, bit for pigeons?), an orange .25, a grapefruit .33 etc. Oh, no big bag ... I have my carry-on.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I'm about a third the way through the sequel to the letter writing book, this one about journal writing. It also includes advice and historical excerpts but the personal examples seem a bit immature to me. Her promotional video at Amazon is well done though.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Heck, I remember 2000, when the Pats stunk, and MNF jokingly said their battle vs. KC would decide the election (12/12/00, the Day that will live in infamy). Now, it takes the Rams nine plays (six at one time, helped by a penalty) to score from the 1. Seattle wins.
Monday, December 12, 2011
After losing to three playoff teams and a wannabe, the NYG won, but not easily. It took another 4th Quarter comeback and a missed field goal (the infamous timeout worked!), they AGAIN letting a team in field goal range with less than a minute left after scoring eight.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Arizona helped the NYG survive by beating Dallas; now they beat SF, who needed the game much less. SD is sorta alive, Buffalo not. GB won again as did Denver with a 59 yd field goal tying it and then another win in OT. Chicago the latest victim of the Tebow miracle.
NYJ finally had a laugher and Houston (anyone want to QB?) and the Saints helped them out. Viks and Redskins lost a chance to win/tie late. Colts lost. Carolina blew another one late. Eagles might not be a pushover for the Jets. Tampa lost again.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Victorious Xmas episode has some nice touches, if not that funny as such, while the Good Luck Charlie movie as is usual for such things was too long. And, pregnant again? Really? A.N.T. Farm was decent with a few good moments from the supporting cast. The Closer, blah.
Choke Hold is the sequel to Money Shot, but unfortunately, like many sequels, it is disappointing from the very beginning (hard to beat the original left to die in a trunk opening). I cared less for the characters and found the ending unsatisfying. Angel Dare deserved better.
Friday, December 09, 2011
We again managed to see a bad team (Browns, last time KC) hold the Steelers offense (penalties helped) in check but be hurt by lack of offense -- their goal line stand (impressive) balanced by two failed attempts to score from five yards away. A second score late iced it.
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Kate's story involves danger and intrigue, good detective work and fast-thinking. It covers immigration issues, gender roles and age-ism, each with just enough coverage to get a caring person thinking.A well written book for young adults that can be enjoyed by all.
Unlike some, I accept the Mets as now drawn up were unlikely to get Reyes, so am less upset that they didn't "try" as some sort of CYA move doomed to fail. The recent moves to me seem helpful. And, are we closer to a Cubs over Miami World Series win in '15?
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
You know, military attack on a military base after allegedly neutral country embargoes necessary resources, an act of war under international law. Was a bit sneaky about it, but the U.S. isn't quite one to talk historically speaking. Revisionist or more accurate?
Catching it on IMDB, Sunday's episode was pretty good. The current day stuff at times isn't as good (some characters are a bit boring), but as a whole, this show is nicely put together. Sense of place especially. Pretty good to keep up 2x the locations.
No fray, no regular Slate reading, but SCOTUSblog flagged a very good Dahlia Lithwick article on the hypocrisy of Republicans, connecting filibustering Caitlin Halligan (part of their "slowdown" approach) and their weak arguments on televising SC orals.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Better episode than last week, even with some character stuff -- the young assistant having trouble dealing with parents of the deceased felt true, providing commentary on an aspect of the job. The Mets made some serious bullpen moves. Pagan gone. Signs of life.
The Haiti adventure episode impressed some IMDB board members, but I found it roughly done. Sunday's episode was much better, a mini-cliffhanger until January. I also don't have the dislike of the spy subplot of some, in part since I like the actress involved.
Christmas episode, not really taking itself seriously. The fact "Santa" just wouldn't die after repeated attempts sort of underlined it. This is okay. But, was a bit lazy on the drama, including the conversation with the lawyer. Brenda thinking him "mean" was a bit lame.
Monday, December 05, 2011
A recent hit on the blog on the film leads me to say, yes, good film. It was mostly loyal to the book (excellent) though the child actors were a bit too "polished" for the low income and tomboy characters respectively. They have continued to act, including in Soul Surfer.
Last winter might have been a good idea to extend his contract, but now, the Mets weren't (with justification) going to match this sort of deal. The Mets are closer (who is going to be their closer?) to being the Baltimore of the NL East. The theme for '12: low expectations.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Arizona beat Dallas, but the NYG tied (with a two pt play) with so much time left (:58), the Packers yawned, winning it with an easy field goal (an earlier harder one missed). 49ers clinched their division. Ravens finally beat a sucky team. Lions v. Saints next.
NYJ finally went ahead with breathing room but oh look Denver (current division leader) came back again and won it late. Bengals did lose to tighten WC race. NYG already scored. Colts lost. Houston (QB 3) eked out a win. That MNF game (SD/JAG) looks lame.
I briefly spoke about this charming film about a particular type of relationship device here (saw it via Netflix) and the DVD is good too with a couple short "making of" extras and a good commentary. The deleted scenes and bloopers also had some nice moments.
Wow! Herman Cain "suspended" his campaign because of the mean things being said about his past relationships with women. His campaign was due to end at some point and now we can worry about other joke candidates, like Newt, no less so if he is a poll leader.
Saturday, December 03, 2011
This is one of those classics (see also, Gone With The Wind) which I never saw. I started to watch it and ... yawn. I'll stay with the Airplane! parody of Hal. I know, I'm culturally deprived. Don't worry. I read the whole Jane Austen collection. I'm covered.
This book on "The Last Days of the Third Reich" by Joachim Fest is a short account that is a major source of the movie Downfall. It sort of rambles on near the end, but overall, it is a very good account and analysis, including of the Nazi regime/Hitler as a whole.
Friday, December 02, 2011
A hit on my Life on Top discussion lets me note a good S1 episode was on. I like the opening cast and find S2 less fresh and personal. S5 of The Closer had some good episodes, including the ones with the lead actress' daughter; DVD talked about the location set-up of each.