We Win, They LoseThe Wit and Wisdom of Three Guys Named Brent, Mark and Mike
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
The Curmudgeonly Clerk
has retired. I imagine his clerkship has ended -- here's hoping he makes a swift return to the blogosphere.
Kill Your Television
Plainsman has an excellent post on that topic. A taste:
People seem to think we have a vibrant popular culture in America because everybody watches “American Idol.” No. That is a diversion, not a culture: it is a substitute for a culture. One participates in a culture. Our relationship to “Friends” is about as valid a model of participation as is our relationship to the brand of deodorant we buy at Walgreen’s. (Strictly Speed Stick unscented 4 eva! Believe that!)
Television gently but persistently stifles – with its characteristic placid-making indirection, its humming, placeless cheer. It seems to raise real issues but doesn’t quite address them. It steadily converts philosophical disagreements into brand identities, and converts any putative subject matter into the same old celebrity-driven ’bizmotainment (that is the capsule history of MTV and the Food Network). Television is the great drag. It is a paradox: viviacious inertia.
Amen. Getting rid of cable was the best thing we ever did. My second year of law school, we got rid of it -- cold turkey. Gone. Oh, we still have a TV, but we only get three channels (PBS, ABC and CBS) and we usually have to monkey with the antenna to get those. The end result is we hardly ever watch TV.
Instead, we watch kids DVD's and things we check out from the library, if we even do that. Usually, we end up reading to the girls, or playing a game. These activities are much better for building family relationships, not to mention intelligence.
Sure, I miss watching sports (college football and basketball, to the rest I say "good riddance"), and some political shows, but overall, I recognize we are much better off without the TV then with it.
Why people pay good money to pollute their minds with trash is beyond me. Get rid of it, you will not regret it. You'll be human again.
Plainsman's post also reminded me of the song "kill Your Television" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin -- Anyone remember these guys? They were pretty good, I still have their CD!
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Last week, commenting on the Jim McGreevey affair, I had this to say over at thatcoloredfellasweblog:
I have a sneaking suspicion that McGreevey is merely using this "my truth is I am a gay American" (to tell you the truth, in the media coverage, I'm surprised they didn't capitalize the gay instead of the American) line to shield himself from the sure-to-come massive evidence of corruption. By declaring his "gayness" he earns some immediate friends, friends who will later be useful to defend him as just another victim of the right-wing attack machine, out to crucify all "gays."
Oh, it'll happen -- just you wait.
Heck, for all I know, he might really be heterosexual, and merely forced himself to have an affair with this guy just to bolster his gay story to cover his butt -- no pun intended. Get it? He had an affair with the gay guy to cover his butt? Now that's funny! ;)
Today, I read the following from (yet another) gay politician in Jersey:
"I sympathize with what (McGreevey) is going through, which is what every other gay person goes through in coming out, but I take issue with the way he has handled himself while in public office," Velazquez said. "I think what he's doing right now is using his sexual identity as a shield against the accusations against his administration, and that's a shame.
"There are gay men and women who serve in public office with distinction and it's disappointing to see that his coming out has more to do with legal strategy than it does with making the deeply personal decision that it is," he said.
Another Crack Mom in SC
Here we go again. Another crack mom, another dead baby:
Prosecutors say a 31-year-old Lake City woman has been charged with homicide by child abuse after tests showed her stillborn infant had cocaine in its system.
Last year, the Supreme Court of the US declined to review the case of another South Carolina woman who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for killing her unborn child by smoking crack. I commented on her lawyer's appearance on The O'Reilly Factor here -- check it out, he even found out about it and left a comment!)
An article that I wrote on that case at the time called "Addicted to Abortion" can be accessed here.
I actually believed this guy, right up until I read this:
Asked whether Hollowell gave the woman money, [his attorney] declined comment.
Thursday, August 19, 2004
Facing the Truth
Check out this article from Christianity Today, on the changing shape of the abortion debate. (Link via After Abortion). A taste:
Abortion advocates are increasingly abandoning science. "For a long time now, medicine has assumed too much importance in the abortion debate," Marina Benjamin wrote in The Scotsman. "If medical advances keep lowering the bar, we'll soon be faced with a situation where socially motivated abortions are legally discriminated against."
I wonder if liberals will be as willing to back away from abortion as they are from the War in Iraq -- both were based on flimsy evidence, right?
I have long held the view that eventually abortion advocates must face up to infanticide. As noted by J. Bottum in 1996:
For over twenty years in America, the legality of abortion has primarily been defended with an ethical system that most Americans now recognize as philosophically incoherent-a system based on taking the constitutionally acknowledged right to possess private property and translating it into rights of personal privacy and possession of the body. The system may originally have been forced upon abortion supporters by the Supreme Court's use of it in Roe v. Wade, but it has proved false in both the ways ethical systems prove false: as being both externally and internally inconsistent, as both contradicting what we know about human reproduction and contradicting itself.
And for these same twenty years, defenders of unborn children have battled abortion primarily by pointing out the inconsistencies of the ethical system on which abortion defenders rely: the notion of the body as a possession is meaningless; the fact that a fetus is a human life is medically demonstrable; the language of rights, extended to the taking of life, simply contradicts itself.
As the American public's faith in the "rights talk" of radical, Me- Generation individualism decreases, the pro-life movement has steadily advanced. Many Americans may still inhabit "the mushy middle," as it was recently called by Norma McCorvey (the "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, who defected last year to a pro-life position). But that middle has substantially shifted toward the limiting of abortions, and some abortion proponents have begun to change their ground, seeking a new ethical system with which to defend unlimited abortion.
It seems they are, slowly:
The problem is that if medical viability remains the benchmark for setting an upper limit on abortion - and if medical advances keep lowering the bar - we’ll soon be faced with a situation where socially motivated abortions are legally discriminated against.
Crazy, just crazy.
Tuesday, August 17, 2004
Shades of Gay
ThatColoredFella (who runs an interesting site, by the way) is arguing that Jim McGreevey is not really gay, he only thinks he is. He seems to support the notion that there is no absolute "gay" or "straight," merely shades of gay. (However, he then blows it by declaring himself "gay.")
He argues that "social conservatives" are to blame for labeling people gay or straight, as opposed to being somewhere on "a vast continium of human sexuality. A curve, where every equation or combination of lustful proclivity spans the middle, bookend[ed] by that rare preference for absolute practitioners." He says:
It is important for social Conservatives to maintain this demarcation and play up the stereotypes of homosexual behavior. Thus, it becomes a threat from the outside, and therefore, is easily detected and segregated from within. However, with every evolved generation to come, communities still convinced of such ignorance, will dwindle.
He also states in the comments that he "finally accepted" his gayness at age 10. Age 10!!!!! Good grief, what kind of childhood did this guy have?
I'm having some fun with him in the comments section -- come and see, it's pretty funny, and looks promising.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Anybody But Bush
In the Washington Times, super reporter Bill Gertz says:
U.S. intelligence officials say a high-profile political assassination, triggered by the public release of a new message from Osama bin Laden, will lead off the next major al Qaeda terrorist attack, The Washington Times has learned.
The targets, in addition to the financial institutions in New York, Washington and Newark, N.J., that have been the subject of public warnings, include such economic-related targets as oil and gas facilities with a view toward disrupting the November election.
"The goal of the next attack is twofold: to damage the U.S. economy and to undermine the U.S. election," the official said. "The view of al Qaeda is 'anybody but Bush.'"
"Anybody but Bush?" Hmmm, that sounds an awful lot like the Democrats.
Friday, August 06, 2004
Larry Elder-- "I survived the Democratic National Convention"
I read a first hand account like this and I cannot help but lament the state of affairs in this country. The Democrats (and I don't mean all Democrats, but rather the died in the wool kind and those who lead the party) seem to be the most ignorant, ill-mannered group of people in the world. It really is shocking that they use name-calling as a form of debate.
Kerry's Campaign Theme: Judge Me By My Words Alone
Here is a good critique of John Kerry's ridiculous Democratic Convention speech. Obviously, Mark and I are pretty conservative, which generally results in supporting Republican positions and candidates. But common sense and basic intelligence dictates my opposition to Kerry. I really don't understand how anyone with half a brain can support his candidacy. It is a tragedy that someone like him was able to even garner the Democrat nomination.
Federal Marriage Amendment
I agree wholeheartedly with Stanley Kurtz, the Federal Marriage Amendment has a strong chance of passing, if people are given the option of voting for it. People, by and large, support traditional marriage and family relationships. That is a simple fact. Let's hope the Congress and the President have the courage and wherewithal to support such a vital social institution.
Canada Should Be Next
Once we take care of business in Iraq, maybe we should visit our neighbors to the north, and see if we can't add a state or two. What is the deal with Canada? I mean how in the world can they say that we are evil? I say we take over and then see what they say.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Washington and Lee, #1 Where it Counts... (and BYU's pretty good, too!!)
I attended law school at Washington and Lee, usually ranked in the Top 20 law schools in America. It was a great place to go to law school, and if I had it to do over again, I'd go to the same place. Now I know why. (And yes, I know it's ranking the university, but the law school, particularly my class was very conservative as well.)
We're number one, we're number one.... :)
And check out Brent -- he went to BYU for undergrad (ranked third), then W&L for law school!