Archive for May, 2009

Supervice

May 29, 2009

If parents are following the order on this sign, the Republic is in grave danger.

supervice your children

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Judge Sotomayor Steals My Supreme Court Seat

May 26, 2009

j-juristBah!  Humbug!  I see that the twits worked and have, once again, denied me my rightful place on the Supreme Court.  On the other hand, I suppose I have to admit that Judge Sotomayor is likely to be a good justice.  And, one has to acknowledge that Professors Karlan, Minow, and Sullivan, Judge Wood, and Governors Granholm and Napolitano have impeccable credentials as well.  It was almost enough to convince me that President Obama had better choices than me.  In fact, it even made me think he should appoint more than one woman to the Court.  But not before me!

I would be such a fine justice!  I would rip through Justice Scalia’s supposed intellectual edifices like a hot knife through mustard, inventing new senseless metaphors as I go.  Justice Kennedy would run for cover before my cerebral battering ram.  Cut from the same cloth as Douglas, Black, Brennan, and Marshall, I would return the appellation “liberal” to the Supreme Court and ruthlessly expose Chief Justice Roberts for his secret method of deciding cases: Always pick the powerful against the weak, never mind the law.

But, I agree entirely with Professor Karlan, who said earlier this week that while she would love to be on the Supreme Court, it would not have been worth trimming her sails during her entire career.

For now, expect to begin hearing from faux Justice Winchester and his judicial brethren.  Enough is enough.  I can see no reason to continue to deprive the real Supreme Court — and the Nation — of the benefit of my thinking on legal issues of our time.  If a series of obtuse, purblind presidents refuse to put me on the real court, I’ll just make up one of my own.

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For a serious discussion of the current landscape of constitutional scholarship, here is a good survey to be published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine this week.  For the best short, scholarly survey of progressive thinking about the constitution you can’t do better than this.

Book Reviewing in the Age of the Internet

May 21, 2009

StrawOver at The New Yorker — we bloggers like to say things like that; it makes it seem like we are brothers and sisters of the professionals — Farley Katz has begun reviewing books on the “The Cartoon Lounge.”  His first effort is a review of “Straw” by Darryl Strawberry.  Darryl Strawberry, in case you’ve forgotten or never knew or don’t care, was a professional baseball player with a drug problem.

Actually Katz doesn’t review the entire book, only the cover.  Here is his explanation,

Let’s face it, books are hard to read. They are big and papery, and are full of so many words it would take many minutes, perhaps hours, to actually read one. Here in the Internet Age I don’t have the time for that, so I’ll be reviewing books for The New Yorker based solely on their covers.

And wait until you see what he uses as a rating system.

Navajo Nation v. U.S. Forest Service, Part III

May 18, 2009
Jesus Driving the Money Lenders from the Temple - El Greco

Jesus Driving the Money Lenders from the Temple - El Greco

Disappointingly, President Obama’s Administration failed to take the high road in the Indian Tribes’ religious case against the ski business on the San Francisco Peaks which we have discussed here before.  (Part I, Part II, Interim Update. )As is often the case in American law and politics, capitalism trumps religion; money beats faith.

The Forest Service, which had the opportunity with the change of presidents, to change sides in the case, did not.  It filed its brief in opposition to the Supreme Court taking the case and is in lock step legally with the businessmen who run the ski area.  Both argue, on narrow technical grounds, that the Court should not hear the case.

And, just a reminder, everyone in the case — including the Forest Service and the ski men — accept that the Tribes’ “subjective” experience of their religions will be seriously harmed by spraying treated effluent on the mountain in order to make fake snow.

But, they argue, harming someone’s “subjective” experience of their religion is not a “fundamental” burden on that religion.  Which is exactly what the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided.

Absurd.

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We’ll keep you posted on developments.  It now looks like the Supreme Court will not make the decision as to whether it will hear the case until next fall, although it is possible they could decide before leaving for the summer at the end of June.

You can read the Forest Service’s brief in opposition here and the ski operators’ brief here.

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UPDATE – JUNE 1, 2009

The Tribes have filed their response to the government’s and the ski area operator’s opposition to the Supreme Court taking this case.  The Court is scheduled to decide whether to take the case in a private conference this Thursday, June 4th.  Often the Court waits until the following Monday to announce its decisions about which cases to accept.  The Court takes less than 4% of the cases it is asked to hear.

Although it will probably have no bearing on the decision whether to accept the case, the Tribes ventured into eloquence in the last paragraph of their final response, “It is worth remembering that our government took the Peaks from petitioner tribes. It placed the tribes on reservations and pledged to respect their cultures and traditions. It is hardly implausible that Congress passed a law in 1993 providing under these rare circumstances that the tribes’ religious liberty should be respected.”

Here is the entire response.

The Liberal Plot to Destroy America

May 13, 2009

Recently I worried in this space that my words might fall into the abyss of history; unread, unkept, forgotten.  You know, sort of like the Republican party.  Unthinkable as it may be, future generations could be deprived of my wisdom simply because of the blizzard of words written by billions of bloggers during my lifetime. And stored  “electronically” too, like anybody can explain how that works.

Television's Mr. Rogers in Disguise

Television's Mr. Rogers in Disguise

That won’t be the case with the Republican party.  It will be forgotten because of an evil liberal plot to destroy America.  If you don’t believe me, just ask Rush Limbaugh or my arch-conservative, former-military-person relative who is responsible for keeping me up-to-date with the exasperated, annoyed right wing of America’s politics. According to him, I am a member of this vast left-wing conspiracy which hates America, laughs at Joe Six-Pack, and despises the military.

As near as I can tell, the liberal cabal works something like this.  First liberals turned the country over to the conservatives for forty years.  That is four decades, from 1968 to 2009. [1] The sinister purpose behind that? Liberals wanted the country in such a mess that it would be ripe for the picking. (Mistakes were made of course.  The worst ones are named Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito, but liberals have ways of dealing with them.)

But liberals weren’t idle during that long time in the wilderness.  No sir.  They were busy taking over the media.  All of it, even Fox News and talk radio. Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the international cartel of conservative media, including Fox News, is actually just a puppet, controlled by George Soros.  Rush Limbaugh is really Al Gore, dressed up like an overweight bloviator.  One day soon, conservatives will turn on Fox for the evening “news” and discover Bill Moyers is the new anchor.  Moyers secretly has run the media for years now.

Al Gore Destroying America

Al Gore Destroying America

Of course, most conservative political heroes aren’t exactly what they seem either.  The Bush family is controlled by the Saudis, who bankroll the whole plot.  Dick Cheney isn’t really the frightened torturer you see.  He’s actually television’s Mr. Rogers, whose death liberals faked because they needed him to impersonate an arch- conservative, out-to-lunch Vice-president. Otherwise, Mr. Rogers would still be indoctrinating the children on his television show.  That job was turned over to Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and Big Bird!  Michele Bachman is actually Barney Frank dressed in drag. And Sarah Palin?  She’s really just Barbara Streisand in disguise.

Fortunately, the conservatives have not yet discovered the identity of the evil genius behind the plot  (It’s not really his fault he is evil.  He grew up in a small prairie town where there were no private schools, so he was victimized by the public school system which the liberals secretly stole, about the same time Atlas Shrugged was published. The secret plan required dumbing down the Nation so it would accept liberal world domination.)

The Liberal Media Making Fun of Ayn Rand

The Liberal Media Making Fun of Ayn Rand

Nonetheless, since a few conservatives are on to us, regrettably I’ve. . . .er, I mean the liberals . . . . had to order them placed on the clandestine terrorist watch list. Conservatives like that must be under constant surveillance.  (If you are a such a conservative, you can tell who is watching you.  They’re the guys in the van outside your house.  The one with all the aerials sticking up.  Don’t worry.  They’re really your friends. Really.  Think of them as the loving Big Brother you’ve never had. PS:  It helps if you spend a lot of time outdoors or stand by the windows a lot. The liberal “Thought-Detector Warning System [TDWs] works better than way. A TDW alert is issued each time a conservative thinks a thought that needs correction.)

Bwah ha ha . . . .
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[1] Don’t believe me? Here is Judge Richard Posner, appointed by Ronald Reagan and leading conservative intellectual, agreeing.

Don’t miss the recent piece from The Simpsons in which Maggie enacts Howard Roarke.  For the matter, if you follow the link to the entire episode, there is a pretty funny piece on Snow White and another on Macbeth. Who says I’m a cultural recluse?

Thinking Postively

May 11, 2009
Influenza Virus

Influenza Virus

In times of stress — and in times when the stress is instantly broadcast all over the world by media of various types — it is easy to fall into a negative state of mind.  Perhaps there is no more negative energy flowing around now than at any other time in the world’s history but it often feels like it, which makes it more challenging to keep a positive outlook on life.  Even language conspires to keep us disgruntled.  Better to be “gruntled.”  Or even “regruntled.”

Here is a poem by someone named J.H. Parker who worked hard on maintaining a positive attitude; paying close attention to the power of words to affect our worldview.

A Very Descript Man

I am such a dolent man,
I eptly work each day;
My acts are all becilic,
I’ve just ane things to say.

My nerves are strung, my hair is kempt,
I’m gusting and I’m span:
I look with dain on everyone
And am a pudent man.

I travel cognito and make
A delible impression:
I overcome a slight chalance,
With gruntled self-possession.

My dignation would be great
If I should digent be:
I trust my vagance will bring
An astrous life for me.

Opposition Growing to the Next Supreme Court Justice

May 7, 2009

A groundswell of ill-considered, wrong-headed opposition to my confirmation as the next justice on the Supreme Court is growing.  A cabal, led, naturally enough by a woman and a woman who Twitters at that, is attempting to block me from taking what is rightfully, manfully, mine.  The Twittering cabal is flooding Congress with Twits demanding that I not be allowed on the Court.

Courtroom of the U.S. Supreme Court

Courtroom of the U.S. Supreme Court

I say, let the women and minorities get in line.  Right behind me.  For all I care, President Obama and his successors can put as many women on the Court as they want, right after me.  I have nothing against women.  I’ve known many. And no one can doubt my support for diversity on the Court.  I have written and spoken about it clearly for years.  We need people of diverse backgrounds and this nonsense of appointing only white males from the ghetto of federal appellate courts needs to stop.

Which is one reason I am qualified: I’ve never been a federal appellate judge.  And, I have actually tried cases to juries.  I drive my own car.  I don’t live in a gated community.  I’m perfect for the job.  One of those chairs up there in the photo is mine!  Do you understand?  Mine!

I know there are lots of qualified, younger people available.  In fact, that’s the point: I can’t wait any longer. I’m not getting younger, you know.

But I’m not worried.  The cabal can’t stop me.  When this tsunami of opposition reaches the United States Senate, the senators will arise and cry out in a single voice, “Who?”

The Next Supreme Court Justice

May 5, 2009
Justice Souter

Justice Souter

Justice Souter is retiring from the Supreme Court and already the Great Media Mentioners (GMM) are mentioning names of possible replacements.  Although my day job has kept me quite busy of late, I haven’t seen my name among the mentionees.

I begin to fear that President Obama is about to add his name to that long — and ever growing — list of presidents who failed to put me on the Supreme Court.

In what will probably be a futile effort to prevent that mistake, I suppose I shall have to mention myself.  I mean he’s not going to appoint me unless somebody mentions me and nobody else is doing the job.  Besides, if you want something done right, do it yourself.

The GMM also assume that President Obama’s first appointee will be a woman.  It certainly ought to be: We’ve only had two women justices in the entire history of the Supreme Court.  But that is nothing, we’ve only had four non-white males in our entire history and that includes the two women.  It’s absurd.

So, we have to face the fact that I am a white male.  Nonetheless, that should not disqualify me, and I certainly cannot allow the best interests of the Nation to interfere with my own best interests. And, I find it is now in my best interest to be appointed to the Court.

Consider me mentioned.

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Gail Collins and David Brooks weigh in on the subject of the new justice without mentioning me once.