Politics: June 2007 Archives

Illegal Immigration Summit

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I went to the Illegal Immigration Summit in Everett, WA tonight. A bunch of politicians were there, as well as representatives from some presidential campaigns (Tancredo, Hunter, Paul) and, most importantly, the founder of the Minuteman Project, Jim Gilchrist.

He was a very good speaker.

I got photos of protestors. slashdot.org
This is a dumb question:

Both Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. assured their Senate questioners at their confirmation hearings that they, too, respected precedent. So why were they on the majority side of a 5-to-4 decision last week declaring that a 45-year-old doctrine excusing people whose "unique circumstances" prevented them from meeting court filing deadlines was now "illegitimate"?

They also both assured their Senate questioners at their confirmation hearings that there were times when precedent should be overturned. Linda Greenhouse may be asking it because she wants to explain it, though it still comes off to me, at the very least, as though she is implying it is reasonable to think they would not overturn precedent because they promised they wouldn't, when in fact, they did no such thing.

Now, some people think Roberts is voting to overrule Brown v. Board of Education itself in this decision. In an ironic footnote, Roberts, in his confirmation hearing, used Brown as an example of when overturning precedent is a good idea (a fact which undermines both the claim that Roberts said he was slavish to precedent, and the notion that a good justice should be):

Roberts: If a overruling of a prior precedent is a jolt to the legal system, it is inconsistent with principles of stability...

Specter: Go ahead.

Roberts: I was just going to say, the principles of stare decisis recognize that there are situations when that's a price that has to be paid. Obviously, Brown v. Board of Education is a leading example, overruling Plessy v. Ferguson, the West Coast hotel case overruling the Lochner-era decisions.

Those were, to a certain extent, jolts to the legal system, and the arguments against them had a lot to do with stability and predictability. But the other arguments that intervening precedents had eroded the authority of those cases, that those precedents that were overruled had proved unworkable, carried the day in those cases.

The Rationalizer

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So this guy, Randy Cohen, writes an ethics column for the New York Times and Times Magazine. His syndicated column is called "The Ethicist."

He violated the Times ethics policy donating $585 to MoveOn.org in August 2004. He says he didn't think it violated the policy at the time (though he now concedes it does), because he thought of MoveOn as nonpartisan.

MoveOn in August 2004, was nonpartisan.

Well, here's the Wayback Machine version of MoveOn.org's web site on August 7, 2004. Let's see. It says we should vote against Bush ("vote for change"). It attacks Fox for alleged ties to the GOP. It claims Bush should not have been the President. It calls for the firing of Rumsfeld, and a censure of Bush. It heaps praise on Al Gore. And that's just the top six news items.

Either Cohen is lying about unethically giving money to an overtly PAC in 2004, or he is incompetent to not know it was overtly partisan, or he just forgot that he, in fact, unethically donated in August 2004 (i.e., the Scooter Libby defense).

Remember when Bill Bennett got busted by liberals for gambling, because they said he set himself up for such criticism by talking about "morals" so much (never mind that Bennett never attacked gambling as immoral)? This is, of course, far more egregious. A small amount of money, but a clear violation of ethics policy, and he attempts to justify it by lying about it being nonpartisan.

I don't want to beat up on Cohen. I am only mentioning it because it's worth noting that people like him simply can't be trusted (and yes, that goes for people of all ideologies).

This isn't about the "librul media," except in that we know that if this had been a conservative "ethics" columnist who was giving money to Swift Boat Vets For Truth in violation of his newspaper's ethics policy and then saying he thought it was nonpartisan, this would have been the #1 topic on Olbermann's show by now as an example of how conservatives/Republicans are so much worse than liberals/Democrats. slashdot.org

Bong Hits 4 Pudge

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Someone says to me "If school weren't essentially mandatory I would agree with the sentiment that you check your rights at the doors. But the reality is very few people have the ability to opt out via private school or home education. So given that the govt basically forces the kids to be there via mandatory attendance laws, I think it becomes critically important that your rights be maintained while under the govt thumb."

Setting aside home and private education, and also the internal logic of that argument, I'd like to question the premise a bit.

Isn't the greater offense that we are forced to be at school, in the first place? Sure, you can say it is for the greater good. So too can I say speech restrictions are for the greater good.

Let's look at relative harm (setting aside positive benefits, for now). You are forcing me, without being convicted of a crime, using physical force if necessary, to spend the better part of 12 years of my life's waking hours in a government-run institution, which I believe to be largely concerned with my indoctrination, at least as much as my education. And on the other hand, you don't let me hold up a sign that says "Bong Hits 4 Jesus."

Which is the greater harm? In most contexts, the former is called "kidnapping." I don't care what you call the latter, to me, it doesn't approach the relative harm of the former.

I'll take "forest for the trees" for one thousand, Alex.

That's not to say there's no greater good to come out of the former. But as an originalist and a little-l libertarian, I do not believe that the greater good can or should come out of the denial of fundamental liberty for the individual, unless, in some extreme hypothetical case, it's the only way to protect the liberty of the individual. And that is, of course, not the case here. You can accomplish the same thing by having schooling (of any kind) be voluntary.

But since school is going to remain mandatory, let's talk of rights. Since I am forced to be in the school too, shouldn't I have rights as well? You are taking away my right to be where and do what I want to do, and significantly harming my right to association. The government forces me to sit next to you and to be with you for hundreds of hours; should it allow you to subject me to any expression that you wish?

This is not a public square where I can just leave, or a TV where I can change the channel. I am forced, by the government, to be here. Should that crime be compounded by allowing whoever I am forced to be here with subject me to things I'd rather not be subjected to?

Of course, we can't take this too far. We can't let everyone say "that offends me" and have it thereby disallowed. You need a balance. You need to at once protect the kids who are forced to be there from potentially damaging expression, while at the same time protect the rights of all to reasonably express themselves. There's got to be a "reasonable person" standard here, and that standard should be enforced by the local authorities. If you don't like how it is enforced, get a new school board to fix it. slashdot.org
Because, unlikely more liberal judges like Sandra Day O'Connor, conservative judges are more likely to protect your right to free speech. slashdot.org

Executive Orders Are Not Laws

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In the recent flap over Cheney and the Executive Order for the National Archives, there's been talk that Cheney violated the law.

He didn't. At least, not by virtue of not following an Executive Order.

An Executive Order is not a law. The Constitution never gave the President authority to create such laws. There are no criminal or civil penalties for not following an Executive Order (though there could, of course, be penalties for other things: for example, violating an Executive Order could in some cases also be considered actions that constitute fraud, or treason, or some other statute).

All executive authority is vested in the President. The Constitution says so, in the opening words to Article II. Executive Orders, legally speaking, are merely a formal way the executive may use to express to the rest of the Executive branch what it is supposed to do, or not do. This can be done more informally through memos or personal conversations, none of which have any more or less legal standing than Executive Orders do.

And because all executive authority is vested in the President, and Executive Orders only govern executive functions, the President alone is charged with interpreting and enforcing Executive Orders. So if he wants to say "I do not interpret this order to apply to Cheney," it therefore does not. Or if he says, "I told Dick in a private conversation that he didn't have to follow it," that is more than sufficient. He can even say, "I thought it applied to Dick, but after the fact we talked about it, and I changed my mind: he doesn't have to follow it in the future, and this applies retroactively."

That also means that the President cannot be bound by Executive Orders. How does it make sense to say that the President has all executive authority, but that he can be forced to comply with an Executive Order? The Executive Order has no authority except via the President. The Order cannot have greater authority than the President. Again, these are not laws. It's similar to the Senate, which gets to make up its own internal rules, which no one else has any say over. You can't take legal action against the Senate for not following its own written rules. No one else has any authority in this regard. The Senate can choose to follow, or not, its own rules at any time.

All of that is entirely, perfectly, legally, reasonable.

Now, you can say you don't like the substance: you think this particular regulation SHOULD apply to Cheney. That's fine. You can also think Cheney's reason for not following it is nonsense (that because he is also in the legislative branch, he therefore is not solely in the executive branch, and any regulations for people "in the executive branch" do not apply to him; the more I think about it the more I think he has a point, though: what if some of his documents are specifically legislative branch documents? Why should those be governed by executive orders, any more than Harry Reid's legislative documents should be?). (Similarly, you can think the Senate SHOULD follow its own written rules, even though it is not required to.)

But regardless of any of those disagreements, the facts still stand that it is not against the law to violate an Executive Order (except the broad claim that you are undermining the authority of the Executive, which itself is not actually a law, though it is a Constitutional principle), that the President has full authority to say that the Order in question has not been violated or will not be enforced, and that there's no criminal or civil penalty for violating an Executive Order.

I am not even sure what anyone could do even if Bush held that Cheney did violate an Executive Order. Cheney can't be fired: he's an elected officer. Bush could, of course, kick Cheney out of the loop and take away all of his executive responsibilities, except for those mandated by the Constitution, which don't take effect until the President is incapacitated. I suppose the only other thing is that he could be impeached, which would be unlikely to happen on the basis of an Executive Order if the President said the Vice President did nothing wrong, but if the President supported the impeachment, then it very well could happen. slashdot.org

I Should Be Allowed To Think

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This TMBG song is about some teenage kid raging that because he's not allowed to put up band posters on public light poles, somehow his very right to think and express himself is being violated. It sounds like a lot of today's left, to me. I will exercise my rights in order to complain that I have no rights!

I saw the best minds of my generation
Destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical
I should be allowed to glue my poster
I should be allowed to think

I should be allowed to glue my poster
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to think
And I should be allowed to blurt the merest idea
If, by random whim, one occurs to me
If necessary, leave paper stains on the gray utility pole

I saw the worst bands of my generation
applied by magic marker to dry wall
I should be allowed to shoot my mouth off
I should have a call-in show

I should be allowed to glue my poster
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to think
And I should be allowed to blurt the merest idea
If by random whim, one occurs to me
If necessary, leave paper stains on the gray utility pole

I am not allowed
To ever come up with a single original thought
I am not allowed
To meet the criminal government agent who oppresses me

I was the worst hope of my generation
Destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical
I should be allowed to share my feelings
I should be allowed to feel

I should be allowed to glue my poster
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to think
I should be allowed to think
And I should be allowed to blurt the merest idea
If by random whim, one occurs to me
But sadly, this can never be

I am not allowed to think
I am not allowed to think


Republicans Censor Science

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Oops, I'm sorry, I meant Democrats.

This type of thing, of course, is precisely what many on the left have been complaining about by Republicans. But as usual, these things happen both ways, as they always have, and probably always will.

Short version: a state scientist in Oregon has been saying for years that global warming is bunk. The governor doesn't like that, so he is taking various actions to attack the scientist, including even trying to pass a law in Oregon that would allow the governor to appoint a climatologist, one he would pick, who obviously would agree with his views.

And what are his views? Interestingly, he believes the IPCC is wrong: the governor says the science is settled, and that the debate is over, which the IPCC itself denies, and which everyone by now knows isn't at all true. He has an essentially religious, not scientific, belief in global warming, and wants the authority to appoint a government scientist who would parrot his unscientific views in order to manufacture credibility.

A little bit north, in Washington, there's a similar battle, mentioned in the above article, but a bit more in-depth in a Times article. There, a state scientist made similar claims (and indeed, his main claim was absolutely correct). And in response to his main claim being absolutely correct, he was told by the state climatologist (he was, himself, assistant climatologist) that his e-mails would have to be run by him in the future, if tied to his state position. He refused and was stripped of his (honorary) title.

Of course, if Albright had made false claims instead, such as saying that the debate is over and the science is settled, he'd still have the (honorary) title.

I don't actually have a big problem with this, really. I don't think government should be doing very much science, and so it makes me happy to see it exposed as a political fraud, rather than science. It's kinda like that whole ice skating thing in the Olympics a few years back: that made me absolutely giddy, as I hate figure skating because it is inherently a fraud of a competition, and seeing it exposed as such so clearly was just wonderful.

Same thing here. Politics and science simply do not mix. They can't. One or the other will suffer, and it won't always be politics. slashdot.org

Scalia on "24"

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Justice Scalia used the TV show "24" as a vehicle to discuss why we need to consider how our legal framework might deal with the, unlikely as it may be, possible doomsday scenario of knowing about an imminent nuclear attack in a U.S. city, and having someone who has intel that will allow us to prevent that attack, and how we might get that information.

Some have been ridiculing and attacking Scalia for mentioning "24." "It's only a TV show, you idiot!," they say. Of course it's only a TV show. But that doesn't mean that it's not a valid point: "24" is only an example that many people are familiar with, and while many people just say "it's so unlikely it's not worth talking about," that doesn't mean we actually shouldn't talk about it.

Indeed, this concept is perhaps the major dividing line on the issue of torture. Some, like John McCain, think torture should remain illegal, but that in such a doomsday scenario, we should break the law and let the people (or their duly elected representatives) decide what to do about it. Others think the law should contain an exception for such a scenario.

I agree with McCain on this: the law cannot conceive of every possible situation, and we need to elect and appoint people capable of making such decisions. This can work so long as they are accountable.

Wil Wheaton made a silly comment: "When I turn on CNN, I wish our world leaders would watch a little more Star Trek and a little less 24." Well, as improbable as "24" is, it is far more realistic than Star Trek. Yeah, we don't need money, everyone has everything they need! Scarcity is no longer a problem because we have matter conversion! Let me know when you get teleportation and replicators actually working, along with the ability to easily find and colonize other planets, along with easily finding and mining resources from other planets ... then we can talk about how we could possibly have a society where everyone is loving and peaceful and has everything they need.

And, of course, it totally ignored Scalia's point, which is not that we should be like "24," but that the show displays examples of things that could happen, and we as a society have not yet come to terms with how to deal with those things in our legal framework.

But it got me thinking: what TV shows should we be patterning our country after? And no cheating by saying news, sports, reality shows, or other "nonfiction" TV.

My offering: the Smurfs. Slightly more realistic than Star Trek, and in addition, you get to create your own females! slashdot.org


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The dollar keeps dropping. Some of this is due more to perception than fact, although the perceptions are based on fact. For example, we have a high trade deficit, which right now has no major negative influence on our economy, but someday probably will. Same thing with the ever-increasing debt. Not to mention our massive unfunded liabilities in Social Security and Medicare. And investors feel that these are more important than our low unemployment and healthy GDP.

That's fine, I am not complaining. Regardless of the reasons why the dollar is dropping, though, people get upset about it. But they shouldn't. When the dollar is high, there are ways to be hurt by it, and ways to profit from it. Same thing when the dollar is low. Most of us shouldn't care whether it is high or low, we should just be ready to react to it.

So, I have some of my investments in European companies: even if they don't do quite as well as U.S. companies, they could still get greater profits because of the much healthier Euro. You could invest directly in the Euro. You could invest in American companies that have big overseas business.

It's not all about investing, either. You can buy American, as American goods become relatively less expensive. You could travel in the U.S. instead of abroad.

Like the climate, the only thing constant about economies is change. Don't panic. Adjust.

BTW, the Canadian dollar is supposedly closing in on the U.S. dollar. If it passes us, I say, just annex the whole "country." British Columbia can be North Washington. Yukon, South Alaska. Quebec, North New England. Manitoba: North North Dakota. slashdot.org

Romney on Abortion

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It's really bizarre to me that people are saying Romney is a flip-flopper on abortion, that he was firmly "pro-choice" as the governor of Massachusetts.

I was there. I remember the debates and everything. NOBODY thought Romney was pro-choice at the time. He vowed to maintain the state's pro-choice laws, because that is what the people clearly wanted and it would have been counterproductive to try to change it. But he clearly was pro-life. He just wasn't going to waste time and energy pushing that policy.

Now, I know he has changed somewhat on this issue since 2002. His "epiphany," supposedly, is about how his personal view on abortion now has more of a public policy role. It is possible that he really did have some epiphany to that end, I don't know. But it doesn't change the fact that everyone in Massachusetts in 2002, that I know of, on all sides of the issue, considered Romney to be pro-life, even though he vowed to not try to change the law of the state to reflect that. slashdot.org
And I have no privacy! slashdot.org
The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously smacked down the Washington State Supreme Court.

I've mentioned this issue before: basically, the people passed an initiative requiring the teacher's union to get permission from non-members who pay mandatory dues before using that money for political purposes. The union sued, and the state court, incredibly, said that the state law was an unconstitutional restriction on the union.

So, this went to the Supreme Court, which said to the state court, in effect, "what are you smoking?" Scalia called the claim of unconstitutionality "counterintuitive."

Of course, the union knew this was coming. They knew they were beat. So they lobbied the Democratic-controlled legislature to repeal the initiative. So they did that, and put an "emergency" tag on it (which means they are lying to the public by saying it is actually an emergency, in order to make sure the public has less opportunity to overturn the bill). And then the Democratic governor signed it, including the emergency provision.

The Democrats in this state are saying, yeah, well, screw the people. Screw their initiative, screw their right to a new initiative, and screw the rights of teachers to not give their own money to get Democrats elected, since that is the clear effect and intent here: the Democrats force teachers to pay dues, the Democrats allow the union to use those dues for political purposes without permission, and the union uses those dues to get Democrats elected.

Yay democracy. slashdot.org

Libby Pardon

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I don't know, I don't see why Libby should be pardoned just because this was a witch hunt. I do think it was a witch hunt, but so what? He was convicted of perjury and obstruction. If he did that, even if it was a witch hunt, he should be held accountable for it.

Now, I have serious concerns that Fitzgerald's case was actually proven beyond reasonable doubt, and that the jurors based their conviction decision on the evidence for perjury and obstruction rather than their view of the leak. Based on the evidence itself, based on statements made by jurors after the case, and so on, I think it is quite reasonable to question whether Libby was properly convicted. And if Bush were to pardon based on that notion, that would be reasonable.

But I just can't buy the claim that Libby's perjury and obstruction was either justified or irrelevant, which is essentially the case being made by many. And the left is right, it is hypocritical, given that it's the same basic claim they ridiculed when offered in defense of Clinton (though no more hypocritical than the left is being by taking the opposite view, of course).

I don't think Bush will pardon Libby, not before he leaves office. He'd have to say that what Libby was convicted of was acceptable, which would be a terrible thing to say, or he'd have to say Libby didn't actually do what he was convicted of (or that the conviction was not just), which, while reasonable, would be a politically suicidal claim. Then again, he can't get much lower in the polls ... slashdot.org

Media Crap

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In the wake of all this Paris Hilton coverage, people are defending it by saying things like, "when you ask people what they watch on TV they say PBS NewsHour, but they actually watch American Idol" and "we are obssessed with Paris Hilton" and "we know it is bad for us and we feel guilty but we can't get enough."

I do watch NewsHour. I don't have a problem with American Idol. I could not care less about Paris Hilton.

Indeed, Colbert joked the other night that Paris Hilton was back in jail, and he was sad to break the news to us. The joke being that everyone already knew. If I had not glanced at CNN.com's front page the other day and saw that, I would not have known. Colbert's saying so WOULD have been news to me.

I am not trying to say I am better than anyone else. I am saying, if you really think NewsHour is good and Paris Hilton is bad, then do what I do and change the damned channel.

And if you haven't seen it yet, check out Tommy Chong ripping an MSNBC anchor a new one over their inane coverage of Paris Hilton. Now, he got a little stupid when he implied MSNBC (home of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews) is being controlled b the Republican Party, but the rest is really good. slashdot.org

Hate Crime Epiphany

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The biggest reason we have hate crime laws is because the hateful motivation is taken as a de facto threat against others. As the NY legislature said, "Crimes motivated by invidious hatred toward particular groups not only harm individual victims but send a powerful message of intolerance and discrimination to all members of the group to which the victim belongs."

So in essence, when you are convicted of a hate crime, you are being convicted of the crime of threatening, or intimidating, a protected class of people. However, where is the evidence you've committed this crime? Where is the intent? The intent is the motive: that you hate that group of people.

Intent and motive are separate. But in hate crime laws, they are not. If you have a hateful motive in killing someone, you therefore are assumed to have the intent of intimidating or threatening people. That is a clear violation of the due process clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments.

(Note: my claim here is different from another common due process argument against hate crime laws, which is that they are unconstitutionally vague.)

The ACLU thinks that the current hate crimes bill in Congress protects due process. Now, they do have a good point, which is that past laws used any evidence of hate against a group as evidence of hateful motivation, and this bill does not: the hateful speech or association has to be specifically connected to the crime to be considered as such evidence. That's a good start, but at the end of the day, hateful motivation for the crime is still taken as de facto proof of intent of a separate crime: to threaten or intimidate a class of people. And that still violates due process. slashdot.org
Everyone who keeps talking about the administration lying etc., and who say my "excuses" are "weak," should listen to/watch Colin Powell's interview on Meet the Press today. He makes quite clear that they all believed the basic WMD story line, that everything presented in the UN speech was backed up by the CIA, and so on.

Russert asked Powell, well, your own intelligence agency at State (INR) disagreed with the intel on the aluminum tubes. Powell responded, and I gave that caveat in my UN speech, but at the end of the day, the CIA's analysis trumps INR's. Duh. slashdot.org
I saw this silly article awhile back. Its main claim is that there's nothing wrong with flip-flopping: it shows you are growing and learning!

The main problem is that the term "flip-flop" does not, in common use, simply mean "change your mind." If you change your mind due to changing circumstances, including new information, that is not a "flip-flop." That's why "flip-flop" is often reserved for matters of principle, like abortion.

It's not exclusively used for matters of principles, of course. It can also be used for other issues, where someone changes for no apparent reason beyond political, especially when they move back and forth over a relatively short period of time. Hardly anyone accuses John Edwards of "flip-flopping" on the war (he sponsored the authorization, and now is against it), but John Kerry was adamantly in favor of the war (indeed, he said Bush did the right thing by invading, shortly after the invasion) and within a few months was saying Bush was wrong, without any apparent new information other than polls showing Democrats opposed it.

But this article makes no such distinctions. He says Thomas Jefferson "flip-flopped" on the national debt when he made the Louisiana Purchase, but that's nonsense: making an exception to a rule is not a flip-flop, it's simply acknowledging the rule isn't absolute. Jefferson never said we should never under any circumstances have a debt, and he never later said a debt is a good thing. And in this case, anyway, the Purchase was guaranteed to pay for itself in short order anyway, so it was a good investment that clearly mitigated any concerns over the debt.

Similarly, Lincoln never "flip-flopped" on federal interference in slavery. The main reason he repeatedly gave for not interfering in slavery was preservation of the Union. But once the South seceded, that was no longer operative. Interfering in slavery would not threaten the Union more than it was already threatened. That's like saying it's flip-flopping for me to say I am not hungry so I won't eat, but then later, I grow hungry, so I eat.

The author closes his examples with, "Jefferson and his successors learned that changing circumstances sometimes require compromising your principles." Except, of course, that Jefferson and Lincoln in particular did not compromise their principles (not on those matters, anyway).

He does make the point that "not all flip-flops are equal." But calling any change of direction a "flip-flop" renders the term meaningless.

But then again, it's a stupid term, so maybe that's a good thing. slashdot.org
Democrats: yesterday I noted that Obama and Hillary think you are stupid.

John Edwards doesn't. Please nominate him.

Because no matter who the GOP nominates, it would be so incredibly easy to beat someone who would drastically increase taxes to pay for universal health care, who thinks the phrase "war on terror" damages our efforts to win the war on terror, who wants to repeal the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, but would create new rights to have Internet access, a college education, a job, and citizenship after working here for five years. slashdot.org

Feminism is Obsolete

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Why does feminism even exist anymore? Some silly feminist was on Colbert tonight and she was so desperate for issues she had to make some up.

She said, "women can't even go to their pharmacies and get birth control without it being denied them." Obviously untrue: the overwhelming majority of pharmacies offer birth control. Even almost all of those that won't offer the morning after pill still offer birth control.

Then she said of the recent court decision, "the Supreme Court just basically limited women's ability to sue their employers for pay discrimination." Also false. It has nothing to do specifically with women, but with any "protected class," and it wasn't the Court that limited anything, it was the Congress.

And why would a feminist think women need such special protection in the first place?

Her opening point was that feminism is about things like access to birth control, pay equity, and fighting against rape and domestic violence. Those were her only examples. Do you know anyone who disagrees with any of those things? I don't. slashdot.org
Obama and Hillary both said they won't participate in the Fox News debates. But they don't actually have a sound reason. They both know quite well that the debate would be handled as well as any of the others. They have nothing to fear from Fox News. Past debates on Fox News have been better than ones on MSNBC and CNN.

So why aren't they participating? Part of the answer is pandering to their Fox News-hating base, but it's more than that: they know that if they tried to explain what they had to gain from participating, that their base wouldn't understand it. In other words, they believe their base is dumb. slashdot.org
So I am watching the Democratic debate last night. And Bill Richardson said he wanted to do three things for immigration: increase border security, crack down on employers, and have earned legalization.

Here's what the conservative Heritage Foundation says we should "establish a realistic and practical temporary worker program, and implement the commonsense border security and workplace enforcement provisions of the bill."

Richardson's not too far off from the Heritage Foundation. They both agree we need to increase border security and go after employers and make it easier for people to work here legally.

I know the devil's in the details (do we have a fence? do we require positive checking by employers? do we have a path to permanent legalization?), and I am not saying they agree on nearly all the details, but the current legislation basically disagrees with those common principles. It would do nothing significant to actually enforce employer verification (in part because of all the loopholes), has no guarantees whatsoever of increasing border security, and would simply grant legalization to millions of people: including those who came after the deadline, since we have no way to know they came late.

I say scrap this thing and instead of letting the far left and moderate right hash it out, have the moderate left and far right hash it out. Get Richardson and Tancredo together on this and see what we can actually do. slashdot.org

eHarmony SUED?!

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A woman is suing eHarmony for discrimination because the company won't allow her to seek gay relationships on their site.


Said her lawyer, "You can't have a web site with a sign on the door No Gay People." Actually, yes, you can. You may not LIKE it, but they absolutely can do that. If you don't like it, don't use their service. Start your own.

I can't be certain precisely why eHarmony doesn't do gay relationships. Maybe it's just as they say, that their methodology for selecting potential mates is based on research regarding heterosexual relationships. Or maybe -- the founder if an evangelical Christian -- they simply don't want to encourage homosexual relationships. Whatever their reason, it is absolutely their right to exclude gay relationships. slashdot.org
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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