Sunday, March 20, 2005

Conservative's Book on Supreme Court Is a Bestseller

That's the Washington Post headline about Mark Levin's new book, Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America, which unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to read because I'm still in England and its not available here but I plan to read it as soon as possible. So I can't speak as to the exact content or style of the book but I like the concept and was happy to see the Post giving the book some attention, until I read the article. Here are some of the highlights:

Yet this publishing phenomenon has gone almost completely unnoticed outside conservative circles.

"The fascinating thing is that it's a bestseller on a subject where 100 percent of us who present ourselves as experts haven't read it," said David Garrow, a law professor at Emory University who has written widely on Supreme Court history.

Mark Tushnet, a liberal law professor at Georgetown University who clerked for the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, said he has watched the rise of Levin's book with some bemusement.

Tushnet said he has not read "Men in Black" and does not know anyone who has.

Does that last line remind anyone else of what liberals said after the 2000 election? That they didn't know anyone who had voted for GW? Haven't they learned anything in the past five years?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

With the upcoming general election here in the UK, abortion is apparently entering into the rhetoric for the first time in anyone's memory. I've addressed this topic before but the Times has a new article on their homepage about the Catholic Church withdrawing its traditional support for the Labour party.

I don't like the title of the article:

Cardinal tells Catholics to reject Labour over abortion.

Mostly because it shows the newspaper's feelings about the Church getting involved. Let me be clear, the Church should not "tell" people who to vote for and I don't think it really is in this instance. They are just reinforcing the Church's position on the issue of abortion and reminding Britons that just becauses its legal and uncontroversial here, it is not moral.

The gist of the article can be summed up in the following excerpts:

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said that the renewed emphasis on anti-abortion could mean a break from the Church’s traditionally perceived backing for the Labour Party. “As bishops, we are not going to suggest people support one particular party,” he said. Ultimately, the Catholic bishops are not being party political. A Catholic would not be expected to vote for a Conservative with liberal views on abortion.

Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor said: “Sometimes people say religion and politics do not mix and they should not mix. Religion is about the love of God and the love of our neighbour. It is clearly the second of those where religion and politics do mix.”

I'm just saying it would be nice to see a little debate in the country. And I like it that the Catholic Church is breaking with the socialist roots it had laid down in the UK.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Seven Deadly Sins of the Press:
- Concentrated Power of the Big Press.
- Passing of competition and the coming of monopoly.
- Governmental control of the press.
- Timidity, especially in the face of group and corporate pressures.
- Big Business mentality.
- Clannishness among the newspaper publishers that has prevented them from criticizing each other.
- Social blindness.

(According to Max Lerner)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Thanks to Robert Novak for bringing this to my attention.


Howard Dean, who has minimized media exposure since his election as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, departed from the party line in telling a college audience that there are problems with the Social Security program.

Speaking at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., on Feb. 23, Dean totally opposed President Bush's advocacy of personal accounts as part of Social Security. However, he did not follow Democratic insistence that nothing need be done about the program. If Social Security is left alone, he said, benefits after 30 years would be 80 percent of what they are now.

Dean's divergence from the party line was reported only in the Cornell Daily Sun, the student newspaper.

Howard Dean has become a voice of reason in the Democratic Party. There is something so wrong about that statement.

Anyway, I'm not going to worry about it because I am off to Italy for a few days. Unfortunately this means I will fall behind in my knowledge of current events as watching the news in Italian won't mean anything to me and being online during my holiday seems kind of sad.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

I'm sure everyone has heard this by now:

President Bashar Assad, responding to weeks of intense pressure, announced Saturday that Syria would move its troops to the Lebanese-Syrian border in a two-step pullback that he said should satisfy international demands for a complete pullout.

And the US is saying this isn't enough, mostly because its not enough. But that's not my point right now. My point is that I kind of feel sorry for Bashar. I mean, obviously he's not a complete innocent in this mess but he's only not Saddam Hussein, if you know what I mean. He wasn't supposed to be a dictator. He was actually in England studying to be an eye doctor when his older brother, the heir apparent, was killed unexpectedly in a car crash. Bashar was called home and sent to military school for a crash course in how to be a despot.

He apparently learned a little to well. His father's cronies are still hanging around the palace, pulling strings and applying pressure. Bashar is way out of his league. He should withdraw all troops and intelligence operatives out of Lebanon immediately and look conciliatory towards the West. He might still be able to salvage his humanity and his country.

Take a stand Bashar, at one point in your life you wanted to help people by being a doctor. You are now in a position to take a stand and change things. You might find you can gain enough support in the outside world to overcome internal opposition. However, if everything goes awry back home in Damascus, I think Bashar should be exiled and granted asylum rather than tried or worse. We've given shelter to worse people, and who knows maybe he can get back on the road to the exciting world of opthamology.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

In the eyes of many, the tactics are more reminiscent of the Hitler Youth of pre-war Germany than of the supposed democracy in Russia whose health Mr Putin indignantly defended when he met President George W Bush last week.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Ok, I can't let this story go by unnoticed. The BBC has abolished its board of directors, replacing it with two governing bodies. How is two better than one in situations like this? Won't this make a bigger mess out of an already bloated organization? And as someone who has to pay for a TV license to fund the crap the BBC puts on the air, I am very upset they decided to keep the fee in place. At least 10 more years of paying for an unecessary service which benefits no one.

that's all until after I get some work done.

I'm too busy to really post right now so this will have to suffice. Its really funny, as long as you don't take politics too seriously.