Thursday, April 19, 2007

Random Thoughts (It's About Time)

Thought I'd post tonight. How y'all doing?

First, let's deal with Imus. Dumb thing to say. Rude, also.

The real tragedy is that he gave Rutgers all this free press, when the real story was as always Tennessee. First, Tennessee won, Rutgers lost. Yet because of Imus, the LOSERS got all the press.

I watched the NCAA women's championship game, and as always (except when they are playing my real team, UK) I rooted for the Lady Vols. I think Pat Summitt is awesome. If my daughter is ever offered a scholarship by Pat Summitt, she will take it, or I will kick her arse up I-75 all the way to Knoxville. I otherwise hate Tennessee. Nothing sucks like a big orange, but Pat Summitt is what Bobby Knight could have been with a little self control and class.


Next we have abortion. Partial birth, that is. The Supreme Court refused to declare unconstitutional a law that banned partial birth abortion. The 5-4 ruling gave some coniptions.

As Best of Web reports:
[T]he New York Times, whose editorial on the subject was typically hysterical:

The justices went so far as to eviscerate the crucial requirement, which dates to the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, that all abortion regulations must have an exception to protect a woman's health.

As far as we know, [Justice Anthony] Kennedy and his four colleagues responsible for this atrocious result are not doctors. Yet these five male justices felt free to override the weight of medical evidence presented during the several trials that preceded the Supreme Court showdown.
BOW continued:

For her part, Justice O'Connor, then the swing vote on the Court, drew a virtual roadmap for legislators to follow in passing a constitutional ban. And as far as we know, Justice O'Connor isn't a doctor either!

CNN quotes one top male Democratic lawmaker who opposes yesterday's ruling: "A lot of us wish that Alito weren't there and O'Connor were there," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who opposed Alito's nomination, said.

Yet Reid voted for the law the court upheld. As far as we know, Harry Reid isn't a doctor, so why is he giving second opinions?
Several points here. First, many of the Supreme Court justices actually, technically, are doctors.
Like medical school students who earn an M.D. and graduate school students in any number of academic disciplines who earn a Ph.D., most law school students also receive a doctoral degree—juris doctor, to be precise. * * * *

ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility. Disciplinary Rule 2-102 permitted a J.D. or LL.M. (master of law) recipient to use doctor with his or her name, the committee concluded in ABA Informal Opinion 1152 (1970). * * * *

The committee advised, however, that it may be misleading for a lawyer to use doctor in certain contexts, such as advertising legal services relating to medical malpractice . . . .
Or, it appears, in ruling on cases involving abortion.

Next point, what is up with Reid voting for a law, then criticizing the Supreme Court for upholding it? Who does he think he is? President Bush (you know, McCain-Feingold)?

Finally, here is what Justice Ginsberg had to say at the conclusion of her dissent:
In candor, the Act, and the Court’s defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court— and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives.
And isn't that the problem, really? The Court has "declared" this "right" again and again. And not once was this right declared in the actual Constitution.


Alex Baldwin is being made to look like a tool by his wife's divorce attorney.
After Ireland failed to answer her father's scheduled morning phone call from
New York on April 11, Alec went berserk on her voice mail, saying "Once again, I
have made an ass of myself trying to get to a phone," adding, "you have insulted
me for the last time." Switching his train of thought, Baldwin then exercised his incredible parenting skills and took a shot at his ex-wife, declaring, "I don't give a damn that you're 12-years-old or 11-years-old, or a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn't care about what you
do." The irate Baldwin went on to say, "You've made me feel like s**t" and threatened to "straighten your ass out."
In fairness to Baldwin, I'm sure there is more to this than meets the eye. People can be quite manipulative in custody cases, and Baldwin might have good reason to be irate.

But before I get soft, let's take a walk down memory lane with Alec Baldwin:
[Baldwin is] the guy that in December 1998 urged that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde be stoned to death and his family killed. That's what he said while a guest on the "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" show.

"If we were living in another country, what we, all of us together, would go down to Washington and stone Henry Hyde to death, stone him to death, stone him to death!" said Baldwin. "Then we would go to their house and we'd kill the family, kill the children."

[Then there is the] Hollywood fund-raiser he threw for Clinton in August 1998. He almost called it off at the last minute. Why? He learned that the White House organizers were preparing foie gras.

An angry Baldwin called up the Democratic National Committee bigwigs demanding that this outrage be stopped. You see, to make foie gras, geese are force-fed to enlarge their livers. The Baldwins are animal rights wackos. Making geese eat too much is bad. Stoning politicians you disagree with and advocating the killing of their families is good. Get it? Any questions?

Listen to what he told Movies USA in March of that year about his political demons: "I talk about these things because I'm committed and when I'm done I feel kind of disgusted with myself. Sitting in a coffee shop and talking about it is not committed. I think once or twice a month I lie in bed at night and think how I'd like to find a militant organization -- like some Black Panther or IRA equivalent -- that revolved around some important cause and go out and blow up some chemical plant. Really put my a-- on the line. One of the most significant differences I see between the right wing and the left wing is that in this country, the right wing's fanatical assassins -- they have better aim."

I was right the first time. He is a tool.


Guiliani may not know how much milk and bread costs . . .

But when asked about more mundane matters — like the price of some basic staples — Giuliani had trouble with a reporter’s question. “A gallon of milk is probably about a $1.50, a loaf of bread about a $1.25, $1.30,” he said.

A check of the Web site for D’Agostino supermarket on Manhattan’s Upper East Side showed a gallon of milk priced at $4.19 and a loaf of white bread at $2.99 to $3.39. In Montgomery, Ala., a gallon of milk goes for about $3.39 and bread is about $2.

but apparently Edwards doesn't know how much to pay for a haircut.

Quad-City barbers put down their shears and sputtered words like “preposterous” and “impossible” Wednesday when they heard of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards spending $400 for a haircut. In the Quad-Cities, $10 or $12 is about average.
In fairness to Rudy, he was a little low on the milk (about 50% low), but bread costs are highly variable based on brand, type and whether you have a Kroger Plus Card. You can get bread for $1.25 a loaf. John Edwards on the other hand was about 40 times too much for the cost of a hair cut. Two Americas indeed.


Back to Imus. Race is a big issue again. I read the book Blink recently. It is about the subconscious and cognitive thinking in a fraction of a second. In it, the author discusses a test that measures (allegedly) your subconscious attitudes about race (positive and negative). The test can be taken on line here. When I read Blink, I didn't think the test sounded all that solid to me. It seemed to me that the order in which you take different parts of the test would impact the outcome. After taking the test, I learned that I had a "moderate preference for African-American over European-American."

Either the test is as weak as I thought before I took it, or I'm not a racist and you (probably-take the test and find out) are.

I have nothing profound to say about the murders at Virginia Tech except that I'm glad all of my friends with friends and family there are okay.

Spd was one of those people. He is worth reading. My prayers are with you all.