5 years ago
"Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Minority Member Leahy."Not that I'm gloating. After eight years of Clinton and a near miss with Gore, never. Just savoring this brief interlude.
Alleged Bin Laden Tape Airs If authentic, the tape reveals that al Qaeda chief may still be alive.In other news:
Alleged Alien Invaders' Tape Airs If authentic, the tape reveals that aliens may exist, intend to enslave humanity a la Jabba the Hutt in Return of the Jedi; chain-mail bikini shares soar.Well, I thought it was funny. Sheesh.
Despite the arrests, many mysteries remain, including the motive for the attacks. The pair had been living in Washington state, and it is unclear why they allegedly chose to make the Washington, D.C., area their shooting range. Their relationship is also unclear, and it is unknown whether one or both are suspected of having pulled the trigger in the attacks. -- WaPo.Why would anyone attack the greater D.C. area? I mean, why of all places would you attack the nation's capital? That's about as farfetched as attacking New York City. I wonder if the FBI has determined yet whether these men traveled to the D.C. area intending to kill? I don't know. It might take a long time to figure that one out.
Jennifer Lopez Seeks Divorce After Less Than a Year -- Reuters.
He paused and left the thought incomplete, returning to the safe ground of forensics. "Of course, I wish I could complete all the skeletons and take everything out of the ground. Look at that one." He picked up the lower jaw of a child. "It has almost all the teeth in it but when we pulled it out of the ground, they fell out. This one doesn't have wisdom teeth -- they grow after 18 so we know this one was younger than that." He turned back to the personal impact. "I don't have any disturbing emotions. When I was 13, I witnessed the death of my friend when a drunk policeman killed him in 1939. We went to the railroad storage area to look for something. Three policemen rushed in and kicked us out. They were all drunk. One of them raised his gun and shot him through the heart. I lifted my friend's head. His eyes rolled back in his head and he died. They just looked and walked away." He paused again and looked back at the table of bones. He picked up a small one, no more than a couple of inches long. "You know what this is?" he asked. It was the shoulder bone of a child.Yeah, really funny guys, those commies. Uncle Joe, and all that. Can you believe that Ronald Reagan guy? "Evil Empire"? What a hoot! Idiots. You know how some people rub their dogs' noses in it to house-train them? Wish I could rub the anti-anti-communists -- the eye-rollers, the jack-asses wearing the Chairman Mao caps and the Che Guevera t-shirts at the annual WTO-Starbucks-McDonald's-"globalism"-whatever-dude-I-just-wanna-get-high protests -- wish I could rub their noses in their icons' handiwork. They're like Holocaust deniers, just denying a different holocaust.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against non-random searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon random selection, supported by Oath or affirmation, and describing in no particular detail the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.Not only could the police could stop and search you as you drove to work, walked to the park, or lounged in your backyard for no particular reason, but they could only stop and search you for no particular reason. The benefit of this system would be equal protection: no one could complain that the government singled him out for search and seizure based on unfair criteria because the government singled him out for no reason at all. It would be equally likely that the police would frisk a middle-class woman walking in a swanky suburb or a young man in an inner city neighborhood. But society couldn't tolerate such a system. First, too many criminals would escape. Since there's a limited number of criminals in society, and a limited number of searches the police can perform, a policy of randomly searching the general population would minimize the number of criminals who would be searched and discovered. But the second, and I think more important, reason society would tolerate this random scheme is the fact that it would be equally likely that criminal and non-criminals would be searched.
The intent of the scientists who want to perform that procedure, a type of cloning, would be to derive healthy replacement cells that are a perfect genetic match for a human patient. But because the procedure would create a microscopic embryo that would be capable, briefly, of turning into a human clone if implanted into a woman's uterus, some groups oppose it, saying destruction of the microscopic embryo would be tantamount to murder.(Emphasis added.) Note how the reporter carefully explains that the "intent" of researchers who kill embryos isn't killing but healing. Why? No one argues that scientists kill human embryos for the jollies, and the therapeutic purpose of embryonic stem cell research is well-known and granted. No, I think the reporter is attempting to make a fine distinction between knowledge and purpose that doesn't wash in these circumstances and misleads readers as to the nature of the moral debate about embryonic stem cell research. Here's the distinction I think the reporter is drawing. A person can do something not intending a consequence but with the knowledge that that consequence will likely, even certainly occur, like the general who orders his soldiers into battle not intending to kill them, but knowing that some will certainly die. But that distinction doesn't wash in this case because the researcher who harvests stem cells from an embryo not only knows this act will certainly kill the embryo, but is doing the very act that will kill the embryo. If there is still a difference between intent and knowledge in these circumstances, it's too fine for me to see. What I see is a researcher who intentionally kills an embryo for the benign purpose of healing other people. The reporter's explanation of researchers' "intent" is misleading because opponents of embryonic stem cell research don't deny the benign purpose of researchers, and supporters don't deny that the researchers are knowingly or intentionally killing embryos to accomplish that purpose. The debate centers on two questions: is an embryo a human being or just a potential human being, and is it OK to kill a human being or a potential human being for this benign purpose.
Once the Court admits (as it does) that mental retardation does not render the offender morally blameless, there is no basis for saying that the death penalty is never appropriate retribution, no matter how heinous the crime. As long as a mentally retarded offender knows the difference between right and wrong, only the sentencer can assess whether his retardation reduces his culpability enough to exempt him from the death penalty for the particular murder in question.
... authorities have painted a picture of al-Muhajir as a former gang member who was born in Brooklyn but raised in Chicago, where he was convicted of various petty crimes as a teen. He apparently grew up a Catholic, but converted to Islam after moving to South Florida in the late 1980s. Despite this conversion, authorities say he developed a penchant for violence. ...Imagine that: al-Muhajir became a violent sociopath despite his conversion to Islam. Rats. There goes my plan for bringing about world peace by forcibly converting everyone to Islam and killing anyone who won't....
"With the release of this report, the administration dropped a dirty bomb and it's going to cost thousands of American lives."Power plant pollution: it's like radioactive fallout from a terrorist "dirty bomb" intended to kill and sicken thousands of people. How clever, and so much more subtle than the usual "pollution is terrorism against the environment" analogy. I haven't formed an opinion as to whether the proposed regulations make sense, but over-the-top environmentalist idiocy like this confirms my gut instinct that they do. What a jerk.
Everyone knows Fox News Channel has a conservative audience, right? Actually, a Pew Research Center poll puts the viewership at 46 percent conservative, 32 percent moderate and 18 percent liberal -- not much different than the 44 percent conservative audience for CNBC or 40 percent conservative for CNN and MSNBC. The difference is more apparent on individual shows: Bill O'Reilly's Fox audience is 56 percent conservative and 5 percent liberal, while Larry King's CNN audience is 38 percent conservative and 19 percent liberal.Judging from the small numbers for "liberal" viewers, one might think lefties didn't watch TV news. (Which means they must be listening to NPR and PBS, right? Wrong, says this Pew Center study (link via Kausfiles), finding that 36% of NPR listeners are self-described conservatives versus 20% self-described liberals.) No, the real reason is that the right has successfully turned "liberal" into a dirty word for most lefties (as this great Bloom County strip explains, along with another involving Opus's appearance before a Senate committee, which I can't find on the web), which explains the popularity of the obnoxiously self-righteous term "moderate" and the still more odious label "progressive."
[A]rmies are built to be used, not admired. McClellan was in love with watching his grand army in its resplendent blue uniforms march up and down big parade squares in camp, and was in love with the attention and respect the commander of the Union army garnered. ... In battle, McClellan was hapless, not because he didn't understand the battle tactics of the day, but because simply lacked the decisiveness and courage a general needs. ... Today's Pentagon seems to be in love with its reputation as the world's greatest military, but if reports of its skiddishness about Iraq are true, it seems to want to be admired as a military force, not used as one where high casualties are possible. ... We'll need our military leadership to carry out the orders of President Bush in destroying the Islamofascist conspiracy and ending its threat of international terror. Let's hope President Bush doesn't have to weed out a few McClellans on his way to discovering a US Grant. Let's also hope that if he does encounter a McClellan or two, he'll have the nerve to sack them and promote competent leaders who will take the fight to the enemy.
(1) suspend all food advertising and marketing campaigns directed at children; (2) remove sugar-sweetened soft drinks and snack foods from vending machines in schools; (3) end sponsorship of scholastic activities and professional nutrition organizations linked to product promotion; and (4) refrain from political contributions that might influence national nutritional policy-- is not based on The Onion. It's based on The Simpsons (Episode 1308: after authorities "determine that Springfield is pound for pound the fattest town on earth, ... Marge ... hires a lawyer and wins a class-action lawsuit against big sugar. The Judge then decrees that sugar be banned from Springfield for life.") (Via Best of the Web) (See also Overlawyered here and here.)
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