June 7, 2009


It doesn't mean "like a peon." It means this:


The On-the-Road Café.


We're probably somewhere on Route 39 or, if we're zipping along nicely, Route 74. When we need cheeseburgers, I'll stop back in here, but please, keeping things rolling without me.

Obsidian Wings, outed.

He's a lawyer, recently turned lawprof. Why pierce his pseudonymity?
[Y]es – I criticized [Ed] Whelan rather harshly. But that’s what the blogosphere is about. Blogging is not for the thin-skinned. And you would think that someone who spends their days trying to destroy other people’s reputations in dishonest and inflammatory ways wouldn’t be so childish and thin-skinned.

Anyway, I’m not sure whether I’ll start posting under my own name or not. And there were several people who already knew – it’s not like this is a state secret. But still, if I wanted my name out on this blog, I would have done so. It should have been my choice.
Here's Ed Whelan, exposing "publius" in the National Review. On what grounds?
In the course of a typically confused post yesterday, publius embraces the idiotic charge (made by “Anonymous Liberal”) that I’m “essentially a legal hitman” who “pores over [a nominee’s] record, finds some trivial fact that, when distorted and taken totally out of context, makes that person look like some sort of extremist.” In other of his posts (including two which I discussed here and here), publius demonstrated such a dismal understanding of the legal matters he opined on—including, for example, not understanding what common law is—that it was apparent to me that he had never studied law.

Well, I’m amused to learn that I was wrong about publius’s lack of legal education....
Whelan wanted to do a "you a law professor" attack on his opponent. You've got to establish that the person is a law professor first, of couse, but it's not really worth doing, especially if the blogger isn't using his status as lawprof to bolster his opinion.

"You a law professor" attacks are a running joke here on my blog, because they've been aimed at me so often. I don't flaunt my status as a lawprof, but I know it's part of the sense of what this blog is. Even so, I think "you a lawprof" is a pretty lame argument, normally wielded by opponents who don't want to bother making substantive points. It's about on the level of proclaiming you're a moron.

Glenn Reynolds writes:
I think blogging anonymity is fine — though in the absence of a track record I tend to trust anonymous bloggers less — but is it a “despicable” act to identify an anonymous blogger? I’d say it depends. Certainly the political operative who leaked the Foleygate story via an anonymous blog had no right to anonymity. On the other hand, what about people who blog in a non-hitjob fashion but just want to avoid job repercussions? I’m more sympathetic there. But if you appoint yourself someone’s anonymous blogging nemesis, you can probably expect to be outed.
I think you should expect it and be fully aware of the risk, but it would take a lot before I would feel justified exposing someone who had chosen the cloak of pseudonymity, certainly something quite different from the usual name-calling, insults, and bad arguments and criticisms, no matter how unfair or vicious.

Publius now needs to decide if he wants to merge his professional identity with his blogging identity and blog under his own name. This is a subject I examined back here, responding a lawprof colleague of mine who had chosen pseudonymity. I said:
Oscar wants to be free to use naughty words and otherwise break out of the professorial mode. But my experience is that even though students know who I am and can and do read this blog, they seem to accept this as a separate mode of mine and don't use it as a basis for talking to me in a newly confidential way. In the law school, the student-professor relationship is very well established. It really doesn't break down, even when students read your personal journal.

Of course, there are things I won't say here, but these are things I wouldn't say even if I used a keyboard name. I would never insult or demean or deliberately hurt the feelings of students. I wouldn't casually knock my law school (though there are some considered criticisms I would be willing to make). I wouldn't hurt my family or acquaintances or even reveal much of anything about them (without permission). So there aren't really any significant ways using my own name limits me. Like Oscar, I care immensely about freedom as I do this blogging. But I also want to be aware of myself as an identifiable person, responsible for what I say (which is true whether you use a pseudonym or not). And I don't mind getting personal credit for anything good I might happen to say. Also, I kind of like being a public persona.
More here.

UPDATE: Whelan apologizes. Good.

Hello, all you optimists and pessimists!


What were you drinking last night? Did you buy 2 bottles, like we did, and pour half of each into a separate glass?


"Judge Sotomayor celebrates being Latina, calling it a reason for her success..."

"... Justice Thomas bristles at attempts to define him by race and says he has succeeded despite the obstacles it posed."

Do they really? Or has Sotomayor been rising to the top of the liberal pile by burbling the platitudes white liberals love, while Thomas got noticed by stating the views that white conservatives want to think are true and just. The headline reads "For Sotomayor and Thomas, Paths Diverge at Race," but it's not hard to make the argument that what they've done is more the same than different.

Learning "why most of us work in cubicles."

(Do most of us work in cubicles?! (Who are "us"?))

Alex Williams examines the "Plan B" work life: "Plan B typically offers less money and prestige than Plan A, but promises a more hands-on, stress-free and fulfilling existence."

"That was when people were starting to talk about blogs and how anyone could, if not get famous, get their opinions out there and get them read."

Really? Was that ever true? This article seems supremely silly.

It's so easy to start a blog. Naturally, many are quickly abandoned or rarely updated or unreadable or just unread. Why would anyone think that just starting a blog is anything — other than a personal gesture of expressive openness? Why would anyone ever have realistically thought now I'll be famous or soon I can quit my job?

I don't see any new trend here. It's the same as it always was. (Including the way the NYT wishes blogs would die.)

Living in the sunlight.

I love Tiny Tim's total commitment to his character and style, Johnny's perfect mix of niceness and sarcasm, and Tim's sweetly stated superior knowledge of music history. Here's the original that Johnny didn't know:

"Things that bother you never bother me..."

IN THE COMMENTS: Mr. Forward says:
Happy Tune from the the 30's?

Sounds like Secretary of the Treasury "Tiny Tim" Geithner.

"What bothers you doesn't bother me."

Bissage says:
My father worked with Miss Vicki's uncle and I was very young when he brought me along for a visit.

That was the first time I heard the expression "hippie weirdo freak."

In such ways are the incentives to conform made known to small children.

Miss Vicki now.

Miss Vicki has a blog!

June 6, 2009

I was a caryatid for Frank Lloyd Wright.


In case you were wondering where I was all day, I was serving as a docent on the 2009 Wright and Like Tour in the morning, at the Jacobs II house....


... and touring various houses in Madison in the afternoon. The photo at the top of the post was taken at the John C. Pew House.

"National Review's Wise Latina Caricature Inexplicably Asian."

Brian Beutler says the magazine's editors seem "flummoxed by the very idea of a 'wise Latina' — have caricaturized the Puerto Rican-descended Sonia Sotomayor as an Asian Buddhist."

What was the National Review thinking? Possibilities:

1. The Buddha in meditation is a quick visual representation of wisdom... and specifically the kind of wisdom that is inappropriate for a Supreme Court Justice, since the Buddha is not consulting texts but looking inward (or at nothing or whatever) and generating new wisdom. Even if she is wise, we don't want that wisdom. We want competence operating in the orthodox judicial mode of reading, analyzing, and interpreting the law as it is written.

2. Americans usually think of the Buddha as fat, and it's a way of calling her fat. Just a free-floating insult — to both Sotomayor and the Buddha.

3. The Buddha is a male, and it's a way of suggesting that Sotomayor is insufficiently feminine and perhaps even lesbian.

4. She's other and all those other groups may be blended together and viewed as threatening to the American way of life.

Let's hope it's #1.

Barack and Angela.

Another caption contest:

I'm thinking: Ugh! Another American President with hands!

June 5, 2009

At the Friday Night Tavern...

... what's on tap?


Best. Sex. Ever.

I had to put in some hours at the salon. I wanted to read some exams, but as my new lowlights were cooking under the heat lights, I couldn't help myself:


Oh, no! That looks dangerous.

All that advice! Where to eat lunch...


... how to float in a sea of guys...

... what on earth to say to this male flotsam ...


Is it me or is this magazine kind of insane?

"'We anticipate no small amount of ridicule.' Some things never change?"

Sarah Palin reads and remarks on a feminist monument.

What is she doing traipsing around upstate New York, ogling the landmarks and saying pithy things?

It's the 2012 campaign, of course.

(The governor looks gorgeous in the picture at the link.)

Is rhyming any fun anymore?

"You know, you sit around… you know, it’s more like, it’s mentally… mentally… it gives you a thrill. It gives you a thrill to rhyme something, you might think, well, that’s never been rhymed before. But then again, people have taken rhyming now, it doesn’t have to be exact anymore. Nobody’s going to care if you rhyme “represent” with “ferment,” you know. Nobody’s gonna care."

What sins are on display? Only gluttony, right?

"If you really practiced any lust worth talking about, you wouldn't be type type typing in front of your computer screen all the live long day - you'd be out doing the lustful things you only talk about."

"Ideas were exchanged on this important trip to Egypt that will have profound effects on our own national composition..."

"... as you we plainly see from the first photographs released by the White House, which I might have possibly made up":

"10 Blogs to Stimulate Your Creativity."

Nice list — from Roger von Oech of Creative Whack Pack and Creative Think — and I'm not just saying that because it starts with me:
A blog by Wisconsin law professor Ann Althouse, it's a salon that takes on six or seven issues every day. Some are political, some are cultural, and some are just for fun. Great comments!
Yeah, comments so great, she has to marry one of her commenters.

But, hey, what's this — a list of "places to avoid when looking for love":
Blog admirers. Yes, Ann Althouse married on[e] of her frequent commentators, but…
(Not married yet. Soon.)

Should I have been more creative about finding love? (What does Roger think?) Keep in mind that I wasn't looking for love. I was doing something I loved, and in that, I found love. Isn't that the best "place" too look for love? In doing something that you love?

On the road. (Yesterday.)

Blogging from the road:


Yes, I always wash my hands, but I also always look everywhere for a fish-eye effect, and I have my camera ready to bring it back to you:


I even did a re-take of this post to... change the focal point.

At the next stop... hey, what do you want? Onion rings? French toast?


Drooping breasts and bralessness.

I talked about breasts on Instapundit. Ha ha.

"Carradine was found with a rope 'tied around his...'"

Yes, yes, we know.

Glad to know he wasn't suicidal.

ADDED: Be careful, guys!
Officially, more than 500 young men (they [are] almost all under 30) die in America each year from AEA related accidents. The real number is thought to be much higher given the unwillingness of some parents to disclose the graphic nature of their son's death. Apparently, some parents would prefer people to think their son was suicidal rather than sexually adventurous....

Chances are that every guy they cut down with his fist around his dick thought he had devised a "safe" way to do this. And not all victims are dim bulbs whose deaths served the interests of progressive evolution. Some smart guys have been found with their thickened tongues lolling from their mouths, including (reputedly) Michael Hutchence, front-man for the rock group INXS, cult cartoonist Vaughn Bode and Stephan Milligan, a British Member of Parliament. Likewise not all deaths are the result of stupidity or unseen failures in the fail-safe mechanism. Suffocation and orgasm in combination can place an unbearable strain on the heart.
I've long deplored that awful death cliché: "He died doing what he loved." But here, where it really applies, people are probably not going to say it.

Hannity interviews Limbaugh.

The transcript.

Here's the part about Sotomayor:
And I got a little grief from people for saying that there's no such thing as reverse racism, just call her a racist, so - and they're right. That ["wise Latina" remark] is a racist thing to say and it's bigoted. And she would bring, no question about it, racism and bigotry to the court, if she is confirmed.

But, Sean, I've been thinking about this, and there's something else going on with Sonia Sotomayor. We don't know what she thinks about Roe versus Wade. She hasn't said. Now we know that she's Catholic. We know that she's Puerto Rican - Hispanic Catholic. They tend to be devout.

She has no record. She hasn't said much about it. If, and I'm speaking for me personally, if I learned, if I could be assured, that she is actually a pro-life person and does think that Roe versus Wade is bad constitutional law, and if she would rule on the right side on the life issue, I might look past this racism and even deal with that, but that's something very, very important to me, and she could be stealth in that regard.

And I know that - well, there's no record. Normally most liberals, they love to tell you how pro-choice they are and abortion. She doesn't have any of that.

Crushed that "crunchberries" are not real fruit...

... and suing.

AND: Then there's the problem of the lack of coca leaves in Coca Cola.

You can flaunt or be ashamed of either profligate spending or frugality.

So why not feel good about whatever it is you're doing? Why not make a fun game out of all of our problems?

"Well, at least the ladies treat me kindly and furnish me with tape."

The last riposte in a continuing conversation.

Was it wise...

... to keep reusing that "wise woman" speech?

June 4, 2009

"Gay men had symmetrical brains like those of straight women, and homosexual women had slightly asymmetrical brains like those of heterosexual men."

A provocative study — but at least women can feel good about our brains. We're symmetrical. Nah nah.

EnigmatiCore beat me to it: Althouse, what's up with that "women can feel good about our brains" thing? Care to qualify it?

Oh, I fell afoul of the code of political correctness! Of course, I can casually mock men and jokingly express female superiority, but I bumbled into making fun of lesbians! And I said "we women" in a way that excluded lesbians. Now, I'm in trouble.

"'Scientific American' Somehow Makes A Woman Feel Bad About Her Body."

Oh, no!

Greetings from Madison.

Hi, everybody.

Essence of maggot...

... is going to make you feel better.

David Carradine, found dead in Thailand.

At the age of 72.

I loved him in the 1960s TV show "Shane":

And, much more recently, in the wonderful Taratino movie "Kill Bill":

What a face! What presence! Beautiful.


Let's parse Obama's Cairo speech.

Full text.

I'm on the road. Somewhere in Indiana. Obama's with the Egyptians, and I'm with the Hoosiers. Start the parsing without me.

At the Tall Grass Café...


... you might as well lie down and luxuriate, because I've got 500 miles to traverse, and I don't know when we'll take an off-ramp for some cheeseburgers and WiFi and offer up some new nuggets for you.

Caption contest!

Gay groups...

... detect what was rather obvious all along.

Does Sotomayor belong on... the North American Supreme Court?

About that senior thesis...

"Stupid chair. Emo kid is throwing slo-mo dove at my face."

Replacing song lyrics with a literal description of what's happening in the video. "Staring at the swim team gets you killed by a gang of dancing ninja men who know how to twirl..." If you know the song, before you click the link, I salute you! (Via Metafilter.)

(Cross-posted at Instapundit.)

"Blues is what I love, and blues is what I always do."

"Blues is my life. It's a true feeling that comes from the heart, not something that just comes out of my mouth."

We* saw Koko Taylor** at the Blind Pig*** in Ann Arbor circa 1970. Koko seemed pretty old then, but we were young. We're old now, and Koko lived a long time.

RIP, Koko Taylor.


* "We" = my then-future, now ex-husband Richard and I.

** The one song I know she sang that night is "Wang Dang Doodle," which, I see now, is a song Willie Dixon wrote for Howlin' Wolf. Neither Dixon nor Wolf liked the song, which Wolf called a "levee camp" song. We had no associations like that, of course. No thoughts of levee camps for us Ann Arbor college kids who filled the basement night club. We just assumed it was about sex — though I don't think anyone (in Ann Arbor) used the word "wang" to mean penis in those Vietnam-and-hippie days. It seemed like she hollered the lyric "all night long" a hundred times.

*** The Blind Pig is still around.

June 3, 2009

Ooh! Kitty!

"You want fries?" asks Obama — playing a burger-gofer in an inane sequence for NBC cameras.

And no, despite that HuffPo headline, he does not get “frustrated.” He’s being comical. Watch the video. You’ll see. You’ll also see Brian Williams — I’m thinking of the car scene — gesticulating in a way that can only be described as douchey.

(Cross-posted on Instapundit.)

What about Bagram?

The detention site Obama doesn't even want to talk about.

"If you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world."

So says President Obama as he leaves on his Middle East trip. I'm posting this because I know a lot of people want to talk about it. I'd resisted putting this up at first, because it obviously simply means that there are plenty of Americans who are Muslims. Not a big percentage, but in a populous country, a big number. Now, I think if a President ever used the phrase "one of the largest Christian countries in the world" to refer to the U.S., a lot of people would see an inappropriate blending of religion and government. But I'm guessing that the folks who are talking about this new quote are also fond of the statement that America is "a Christian nation."

And Obama has been pretty consistent in the way he embraces religion in politics:

On the radio just now, Rush Limbaugh toyed with the idea of supporting Sonia Sotomayor.

The theory is that, raised as a Catholic, she might be secretly pro-life. Is it a risk Obama would have taken? Perhaps it is. I assume the Democratic Party would do very well if the Supreme Court happened to overrule Roe v. Wade.

(Cross-posted on Instapundit.)

ADDED: Diane Feinstein: "I think she is a woman who is well-steeped in the law and well-steeped in precedent. And I believe that she has a real respect for precedent, and that she was not just saying that. And if that is really true, then I would agree with her. And I believe it is." The Senator attests too much, I think.

At the View-From-My-Window Café...


... you can talk about your immediate surroundings... or how you got through last night's thunderstorms. We sat on that porch in the dark and watched them roll in.

Let's watch C-SPAN clips of Senator Obama fretting about the dysempathy of those terrible judges, Roberts and Alito.

Via Andrew Malcolm, who says:

[Obama expresses] admiration for and no reason to doubt the fine character of either man.

But, ultimately, Obama explains on Sept. 22, 2005, a nominee's character alone is insufficient to earn his support because both men, he alleges without detailing the merits of specific cases, too often side with powerful interests over others, with large companies against individuals, with prosecutors over defense attorneys.

He says he's seeking a judge who wants to "even" the playing field and that in a private meeting Roberts agreed. But Obama states that Roberts' words are unconvincing and contradicted by his decisions. "Ultimately," Obama says, "we need [to] give more weight to his deeds than his reassuring words."
Give more weight to his deeds than his reassuring words? The funny thing is: if the American people had done that, Obama would not now be in the position to appoint Supreme Court Justices.

That book saying the Obamas' marriage isn't so hot.

Seems pretty creepy to me. "Renegade" is reaping the PR with stuff like:
There was little conversation and even less romance. She was angry at his selfishness and careerism; he thought she was cold and ungrateful.
Ugh. You can squeeze material like that — or just as bad in some different way — out of the raw material of almost any marriage.

"Your dog may not share Hamlet’s dithering melancholia, but he might have something in common with Woody Allen."

Animals and their regrets.

"We were an oppressed nation in China."

"Now we are being oppressed in America for a second time.''

"Why Sonia Sotomayor Came Out Okay Despite the Height of the Building She Grew Up In."

Despite that headline, John McWhorter doesn't really answer the question. He raises a lot more questions. Uncomfortable questions.

Me and Phil Specter on Twitter.

I just did 2 Instapundit posts about Twitter:
I TWEETED TWEETING. Twitter gets to your brain. In think it’s made me more Instapundit-y this go-round subbing for Glenn. Lord knows how he got so concise and spontaneous, pre-Twitter, but we’re all catching up.

Posted at 6:46 am by Ann Althouse

Tweeted, by Phil Spector. Response #1: Nervy to say that — given Tina’s story of domestic abuse — when you’re in prison for shooting a woman to death. Response #2: If I knew I’d get a laptop and WiFi in prison, my calculation about whether to commit crimes would change radically.

Posted at 6:45 am by Ann Althouse
Copied here to get things started and so you can comment.

ADDED: Phil Spector tweets here. You can see he's only following one person. It's Yoko Ono. Think about it.

AND: "Finished reading The Book Of The Damned. About to write an angry letter to the governer demanding that they return my wig."

UPDATE: The clever Tweeter confesses he's an impostor — and adds that Twitter should learn a lesson from this. Well, you can't expect Twitter to catch impostors the instant they start, and obviously, people are going to pose as various celebrities and near-celebrities. I've had impostors myself. The important thing is to react when it is called to their attention. For example, I've complained about impostors twice. Facebook responded. Sadly, No (a blog) insisted on keeping the impostors.

June 2, 2009

"One guy that was home at night was Batman."

"He was introduced in Detective Comics number #27 by Bob Kane. I always loved Batman. The way I looked at it, you had to come from another planet to be Superman, but I could be Batman… and you know I tried."

Just one item from a list of the best of Theme Time Radio With Bob Dylan. I love that radio show. I love satellite radio. And Bob Dylan. And now, I guess, Batman. Are you staying home tonight? I am. But I don’t think I could be Batman. Or even Bob Dylan. Do you?

(Posted at Instapundit too. Just felt like cross posting. Because I'm staying home tonight and I got the notion.)

"Republicans typically nominate someone familiar who's run for president before..."

"...such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain. But since the party appears to be in trouble right, Republicans might want to do what Democrats typically do, and look for a fresh face..."

The unfresh faces — tied at 21/22% each in a new poll — are Huckabee, Romney, and Palin. 2012 prospects look dreary — except to the even more dreary extent that Obama is a miserable failure.

At the Wild Flower Café.


Go wild, my sweet flower children.

The game that burned your eyeballs and made you question your sanity in the 1980s.

Tetris is 25.

"Federalism is an older and more deeply rooted tradition than is a right to carry any particular kind of weapon."

A unanimous 7th Circuit panel, consisting of Easterbrook, Bauer, and Posner, adhering to Supreme Court precedent, says that the 2d Amendment is not incorporated in the 14th Amendment and thus does not apply to the states. Easterbrook's opinion (PDF) — emphasizes federalism — the value of decentralized decisionmaking on the subject of gun rights:
One function of the second amendment is to prevent the national government from interfering with state militias. It does this by creating individual rights, Heller holds, but those rights may take a different shape when asserted against a state than against the national government.

Suppose Wisconsin were to decide that private ownership of long guns, but not handguns, would best serve the public interest in an effective militia; it is not clear that such a decision would be antithetical to a decision made in 1868. (The fourteenth amendment was ratified in 1868, making that rather than 1793 the important year for determining what rules must be applied to the states.) Suppose a state were to decide that people cornered in their homes must surrender rather than fight back—in other words, that burglars should be deterred by the criminal law rather than self help. That decision would imply that no one is entitled to keep a handgun at home for self-defense, because self-defense would itself be a crime, and Heller concluded that the second amendment protects only the interests of law-abiding citizens....

Our hypothetical is not as farfetched as it sounds. Self-defense is a common-law gloss on criminal statutes, a defense that many states have modified by requiring people to retreat when possible, and to use non-lethal force when retreat is not possible. Wayne R. LaFave, 2 Substantive Criminal Law §10.4 (2d ed. 2003). An obligation to avoid lethal force in self-defense might imply an obligation to use pepper spray rather than handguns. A modification of the self-defense defense may or may not be in the best interest of public safety—whether guns deter or facilitate crime is an empirical question, compare John R. Lott, Jr., More Guns, Less Crime (2d ed. 2000), with Paul H. Rubin & Hashem Dzehbakhsh, The effect of concealed handgun laws on crime, 23 International Rev. L. & Econ. 199 (2003), and Mark Duggan, More Guns, More Crime, 109 J. Pol. Econ. 1086 (2001)—but it is difficult to argue that legislative evaluation of which weapons are appropriate for use in self-defense has been out of the people’s hands since 1868. The way to evaluate the relation between guns and crime is in scholarly journals and the political process, rather than invocation of ambiguous texts that long precede the contemporary debate....

Chicago and Oak Park are poorly placed to make these arguments. After all, Illinois has not abolished self-defense and has not expressed a preference for long guns over handguns. But the municipalities can, and do, stress another of the themes in the debate over incorporation of the Bill of Rights: That the Constitution establishes a federal republic where local differences are to be cherished as elements of liberty rather than extirpated in order to produce a single, nationally applicable rule. See New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 U.S. 262, 311 (1932) (Brandeis, J., dissenting) (“It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”); Crist v. Bretz, 437 U.S. 28, 40–53 (1978) (Powell, J., dissenting) (arguing that only “fundamental” liberties Nos. 08-4241, 08-4243 & 08-4244 9 should be incorporated, and that even for incorporated amendments the state and federal rules may differ); Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia (1974). Federalism is an older and more deeply rooted tradition than is a right to carry any particular kind of weapon. How arguments of this kind will affect proposals to “incorporate” the second amendment are for the Justices rather than a court of appeals.
The panel adheres to Supreme Court precedent, but it also lays out the federalism argument in clear bold terms for future consumption by the Supreme Court.

Do you think it is good for the rules about whether one must retreat before using deadly force or the choice of self-defense weapons and so forth to be subject to variation from state to state? What do you think the famous Brandeis quote — "It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country" — in this context?

AND: See how this helps the Sotomayor nomination?
Sotomayor was labeled “anti-gun” by Gun Owners of America for refusing to extend to the states the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2008 decision overturning a Washington, D.C., handgun ban. The group said a January ruling by a three-judge panel that included Sotomayor displayed “pure judicial arrogance” for declining to throw out a New York state weapons law.
But Easterbrook and Posner — "two top conservatives on the federal bench" — are on the same side.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this year that states are bound by the Second Amendment’s protection for an individual’s right to bear arms -- in contrast to the three-judge panel in New York that included Sotomayor....

Mark Tushnet, a law professor at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, suggested it was the 9th Circuit approach that is “activist.”

“Judge Sotomayor’s position, and the apparent positions of Judges Posner and Easterbrook, is far more in the mainstream,” Tushnet said....

In a brief, unsigned opinion, [Sotomayor's 2d Circuit] panel said it lacked authority to overturn the ban because that is a matter for the Supreme Court. The high court has “the prerogative of overruling its own decisions,” the opinion said.
And that's exactly what the 7th Circuit said.

Ah, the gods of Supreme Court confirmation are smiling on Sonia Sotomayor. Now, I will place my bet that the white firefighters will lose Ricci v. DeStefano.

"What's that? Now it's making an appeal to reason? Never! Do you hear me, you eloquent, well-read behemoth? Never!"

"We'll die before we recognize what we secretly know to be true! The cognitive dissonance only makes our denial stronger! We have but one hope left: passive-aggressive slights disguised as impersonal discourse. Okay, everyone, careful now…careful… if this is going to work, we have to arrogantly assume that it won't be smart enough to catch on to our attempt to salvage some feeling of superiority and — oh, God, it's calling us out! Quick, avoid eye contact and stammer an apology! Tell it we were just joking! Tell it we were joking!"

"You don't let two stars collide without a detailed plan."

You can't just line up a face and an ass like that without planning. Not a celebrity face and ass anyway.

Married men and testosterone.

Harvard Magazine reports:
[Peter B.] Gray studied testosterone in saliva collected from 58 men (48 of them Harvard students) between the ages of 20 and 41. Half were married, and of those, 15 were married with children. He took four saliva samples from each man: two in the morning and two in the evening. The subjects also completed questionnaires about their demographic, marital, and parenting backgrounds. Among other things, the questionnaires asked how much time the men spent with their spouses (instead of hanging out with the guys) on their last day off from work, and measured the effort they expended caring for their children. Analysis showed that marriage, fatherhood, and longer periods spent with wives and children were all linked to lower testosterone levels. Fathers in particular had levels significantly lower than those of unmarried men. Researchers also observed that hormone levels in the morning samples were high and relatively even among the men; the differences appeared at night.
This is all very interesting, but let me extract one very useful piece of advice: Marrieds should not make bed time their primary time for having sex. Quite aside from the fact that you're tired, if this study holds true, the man is likely to have lower testosterone.

Why is Dick Cheney suddenly talking so much?

He says: the Vice President "was a job that required me to give advice. And I thought it better to do it in private than in public." But also: he's shopping a memoir to publishers and wants $$$.

These people don't look like dorks.

But you know very well that you and everyone you know will look like dorks.

I'm still playing Instapundit.

So check out my posts and feel free to use this post for comment purposes.

(Yes, I did a comments experiment over there yesterday, but I'm not going to keep doing that this week. I think Instapundit works well without comments.)

Do we love fiction because we love the real thing or because the real thing is scary?

You need a theory that explains horror films, don't you?

"I knew pro-abortion zealots and Fox News haters would attempt to blame us for the crime."

Bill O'Reilly stands his ground after the Tiller murder:

(Via Think Progress.)

Bob Woodward "flashes a glimpse of what he knows, shaded in a largely negative light, with the hint of more to come..."

"... setting up a series of prisoner's dilemmas in which each prospective source faces a choice: Do you cooperate and elaborate in return (you hope) for learning more and earning a better portrayal — for your boss and yourself? Or do you call his bluff by walking away in the hope that your reticence will make the final product less authoritative and therefore less damaging? If no one talks, there is no book. But someone — then everyone — always talks."

George Stephanopolos tells how Bob Woodward gets his access to the White House.

Students worried they would have too much fun.

14 to 1, they preferred the real classroom to a virtual classroom in Second Life.

Happy Birthday, darling.

June 1, 2009


Too much?

Dick Cheney, handmaiden to the left.

As usual.

Connecting the Tiller murder to the Sotomayor nomination.

It's not only possible. It's irresistible.

When (if?) Sotomayor is confirmed, there will be 6 Catholics on the Supreme Court.

And 2 Jews. Only 1 Protestant (the elderly Justice Stevens). Isn't that strange! Now, much as I think that's a problem, I don't think it's a problem you can suddenly get exercised about at the very point of the first Hispanic nominee on the Court. Otherwise, all those previous Catholic appointments that we didn't talk about would block the one Hispanic appointment.

Mental retardation as a mitigating factor ≠ mental retardation constitutionally barring execution.

These are 2 different issues, the unanimous Supreme Court said today. And Justice Ginsburg, the author of the opinion, schools the Sixth Circuit in the law of issue preclusion:
[M]ental retardation for purposes of Atkins, and mental retardation as one mitigator to be weighed against aggravators, are discrete issues. Most grave among the Sixth Circuit’s misunderstandings, issue preclusion is a plea available to prevailing parties. The doctrine bars relitigation of determinations necessary to the ultimate outcome of a prior proceeding. The Ohio courts’ recognition of Bies’ mental state as a mitigating factor was hardly essential to the death sentence he received. On the contrary, the retardation evidence cut against the final judgment. Issue preclusion, in short, does not transform final judgment losers, in civil or criminal proceedings, into partially prevailing parties.

The Tweet Spirit moved me.

I've been Twittering again.

UPDATE: I have 995 followers now. It would be really cool to have 1000. Just saying.

Snooty, sneezy, or sleepy?


Test your dog acumen. Click here for a hint.

"However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence."

Obama's response to the Tiller killing.

Exactly the only thing he could have said, isn't it?

"The 31-Year-Old in Charge of Dismantling G.M."

Now, there's a headline.
... Brian Deese, a not-quite graduate of Yale Law School who had never set foot in an automotive assembly plant...

Nor, for that matter, had he given much thought to what ailed an industry that had been in decline ever since he was born....

“There was a time between Nov. 4 and mid-February when I was the only full-time member of the auto task force,” Mr. Deese, a special assistant to the president for economic policy, acknowledged recently....

Mr. Deese’s role is unusual for someone who is neither a formally trained economist nor a business school graduate, and who never spent much time flipping through the endless studies about the future of the American and Japanese auto industries....

"I've been a New Yorker my whole life and he's the only thing that makes me afraid."

The Wild Man of 96th St.

"Mary Kay Letourneau Fualaau, the former teacher convicted of second-degree statutory rape in 1997..."

"... for conducting a sexual relationship with the 12-year-old student whose children she bore and whom she married after her release from jail, is now hosting a 'Hot for Teacher' night at the Seattle club where her husband and former student is DJ'ing (illegible MySpace page) as 'DJ Headline.'"

"I asked for something to eat, I'm hungry as a hog, So I get brown rice, seaweed, and a dirty hot dog."

Brown rice, seaweed, but no dirty hot dog, in the Japanese school lunch:

Just one of many school lunches from around the world (including the U.S.).

Via Metafilter.

"The newspapers reported that Boyle ran down a corridor shouting, 'I hate this show.'"

"The staff were concerned - something wasn't right. She looked lost. Not all there."

Susan Boyle, now under treatment for exhaustion.

"I basically thought of it as a blog entry."

Blaming blogging for what wasn't even blogging.

Don't look now, but...

... I'm Instapundit. This week, anyway. One third of, anyway.

(Feed me suggestions, please!)

IN THE COMMENTS: EDH said: “Enable comments! We have stormed the Bastille!”. Ha ha. I did it!

"The Waves Minority Judges Always Make."

Here's how the NYT teases its story:

What minority group did Sandra Day O'Connor belong to?


We women are the majority. If we are going to stock the Supreme Court according to demographics, we get the 5th seat. The men get 4.

Bill O'Reilly in 2007: "No question Dr. Tiller has blood on his hands."

"But now so does Governor Sebelius. She is not fit to serve. Nor is any Kansas politician who supports Tiller's business of destruction. I wouldn't want to be these people if there is a Judgment Day. I just -- you know ... Kansas is a great state, but this is a disgrace upon everyone who lives in Kansas. Is it not?"

Gabriel Winant writes:
This characterization of Tiller fits exactly into ancient conservative, paranoid stories: a decadent, permissive and callous elite tolerates moral monstrosities that every common-sense citizen just knows to be awful. Conspiring against our folk wisdom, O'Reilly says, the sophisticates have shielded Tiller from the appropriate, legal consequences for his deeds. It's left to "judgment day" to give him what's coming.
So now that Tiller has been murdered, does O'Reilly have blood on his hands?

Joe Gandelman says:
This does not mean there is a cause and effect between O’Reilly’s rhetoric and Tiller’s murder...

But... the over the top, demonizing rhetoric that has become the rage in 21st century America could have serious consequences....

Vigorous, heated discussion isn’t the same as demonization. And demonization has become the way to garner huge viewerships and readerships. But if issues are framed in terms of good versus evil some people could act.
I think Joe is saying that O'Reilly has blood on his hands.... although Joe avoids using the "demonizing" rhetoric that in his calculation is what makes you responsible for the actions your words inspire. Perhaps he means to invoke the First Amendment idea that lets us punish speech that creates a "clear and present danger." "Vigorous, heated debate" is important and protected. But there is a line that can be crossed, and Joe says it's "demonization." And O'Reilly demonized Tiller. So, Joe, could you spell it out? You meant to say that O'Reilly is morally responsible for Tiller's death, right?

Andrew Sullivan says:
O'Reilly demonized Tiller on 28 episodes of his show. I have no doubt his words wil be played endlessly on cable in some kind of hideous irony. This really could be the end to O'Reilly's dangerous, demonizing game.
What exactly does Sullivan mean? That O'Reilly should be shut down? That people should hold him responsible for murder and — what? — stop watching? I doubt if he means that O'Reilly will see the light and, on his own, decide to tone his routine down.

Is there now to be an argument that decent people who are anti-abortion cannot make strongly passionate statements in support of their cause — that they are linked to murder if they do? I don't think that's fair.

But very strongly stated arguments often backfire. You might want to refrain from making them. Consider this pro-abortion rights argument by Ric Caric:
[G]ive credit to George Tiller for being a courageous man and making an important contribution to human welfare. Abortion is a crucially important social asset as well as a legal right in American society. The fact that women are not forced to carry pregnancies to term has helped open up tremendous new vistas of freedom for American women and has been an incalculable benefit to our society as a result.... Given that the material in a pregnant woman's uterus is a "fetus," a woman has as much right to control and/or dispose of that material as she has a right to contraception, regulating her periods, or anything else to do with gynecological health. As a result, there should be more abortions in this country rather than less....

George Tiller deserves a lot of credit for performing abortions at all.... But he especially deserves credit for continuing to perform abortions and late-term abortions after the first armed attack on him.... But he kept providing abortion services to women in Kansas despite the vigilante death sentence hanging over his head. It's significant that Tiller died while attending a Christian church, the Reformation Lutheran Church of Wichita, Kansas. Not unlike Jesus, he died for the benefit of others.
Caric's argument would be more effective without the extreme rhetoric about "that material" and Jesus. But, I assume, like O'Reilly he wants us to pay attention to him. And I just have.

"Eminem, it's nice to meet you."

Bruno's alternative to the handshake:

Ryan Seacrest tweets that Eminem was not in on the joke.

At least not the full joke.