Friday, June 06, 2003

Orrin Judd has the precise answer to Glenn Reynolds's mewlings on partial birth infanticide abortion ("THOSE 'CONSERVATIVES' who are celebrating the passage of partial-birth abortion legislation in the House are guilty of Congressional Activism. Constitutionally, Congress lacks the power to regulate abortion, and it's very difficult to style oneself a defender of limited government and federalism while supporting this legislation"):

It is true, as some are saying, that Congress really has no authority to regulate such things in a truly constitutional system. But neither did the Supreme Court have the authority to invent a "right of privacy", the sole basis for Roe v. Wade. The notion that the more democratic branches of government should defer to the usurpations of the least is not strict constitutionalism but lunacy. If the Court insists on intervening again the states, Congress and the Justice Department should simply ignore its ruling.
If the very system is under attack from within, the other branches should not sit aside quietly.

The Judiciary lacks the power to touch abortion, as well, strictly speaking; but I don't see a parade of Libertoids yammering about that, either (we call this "outcome determinative philosophy," or, more simply, "I know what I like").

I say, remove the issue from Article III review. It's in Congress's power.
Holy shiznit, I was linked on InstaPundit, on this post, and someone thought I was full of shit!

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Don't Hurt Me, Dear

Thought I should get that out of the way first.

So, where exactly do I sign up to become King of Swaziland?

[King] Mswati is Africa's last absolute monarch. He is currently married to nine wives, with a wedding pending for wife number 10, and has chosen an additional fiancee after reviewing videos of topless maidens performing a traditional Reed Dance ceremony.
Now, I personally think polygamy is wrong, and it's generally bad for society as a whole, and I WOULD NEVER EVER EVER ENGAGE IN IT BECAUSE I FEAR LOVE MY INCREDIBLE WIFE TOO MUCH, but:

Dude, that's a heckuva way to live.

Via the ever-resourceful Ben Domenech.
My one Sammy Sosa post:

I believe him. None of his other bats are corked. This is overblown.

Here are some other thoughts:

Jimmy is cheesed off about Jose Canseco's diatribe (here), rightly, I might add. Michele of A Small Victory is more exacting, and doesn't come down on guilt or innocence one way or another. Ben Domenech points out that this is spinning out of control, like any other feeding frenzy, and correctly points out that Rick Reilly is an ass (my word, not his).

UPDATE: Lucas Sayre (another of those bright voices lost, kinda, if Google drops blogs from its hit parade), disagrees, and thinks Sammy just tried to sneak the bat in. Like I said, I think that's silly -- he's had slumps before -- but then again, I can't say that with certainty.

UPDATE (SQUARED): Little Tiny Lies has this gem on Jose "I'm Not Too Sexy for Steroids" Canseco:

T. Crown also mentions the fact that noted bonehead and Madonna-fluffer Jose Canseco is complaining that Sammy Sosa is being attacked because he is Hispanic and black. I don't know if you understand how funny it is to hear a Miami Cuban like Canseco complain about Latins getting bad treatment. Being Cuban in Miami is like being a Mormon in Salt Lake City. It's a major advantage.

Cubans are highly successful as a group, and being Cuban gives you networking advantages, but they're still entitled to government handouts because the government would rather die than admit Cubans are successful and Mexicans and Puerto Ricans aren't. It's a sweet deal.

When I was in law school, Florida was paying the tuition of Cuban students as long as they promised to work in Florida for three years after they graduated. Right, like you're going to pry a Cuban loose from Miami with a crowbar. This is home, baby. And why do we want lawyers to promise to stay? I think we should pay their tuition, regardless of race, only if they promise to move to Montana.
Can we just pay to have Canseco move somewhere?
So Google is taking blogs out of its equation, at least sorta.

I'm of mixed feelings on this: My own mild dread at seeing a Usenet link pop up (and the nostalgia I now feel for them), is offset by the knowledge that, as much as taking off the (politically frequently savvy) blog-niche from search results will reduce noise, it's going to cut out a lot of well-qualified academics in a broad variety of fields, as well as some incredibly bright guys whose jobs and insights are well-grounded, and who bring much needed expertise to laymen. Sometimes they even give a different perspective from a well-known medium.

And that doesn't even count the brilliant folks out there who aren't "credentialed" the way those others are, but who bring a different insight than the well-credentialed loonies of the world.

A Google search is like any other variable tool; sometimes you know exactly what you want; other times, you find what you want accidentally.

In some ways, the internet sucks a lot more than it did ten years ago.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

I like this site -- there's a Howard Dean fisking!
I pharmaceutical companies are evil for making a profit, what does that make an industry with a twenty to fifty percent profit margin?

Just wondering.
Must... not... chortle.
The Old Oligarch on why paranoia is simple rationality:

The kicker: I installed a RAID array on the "experimental" computer. Since the power supply was fairly limited, I need to split the two molex-type power cables into four to power the four drives in the array. Radio Shack has always carried these molex Y-adapters. I go to the Radio Shack on Maple Ave. in Fairfax, VA. I browse around, but can't find where they've got the molex. They are clearly re-arranging the store (things in boxes, etc.), so I figure they might be hidden away. A saleswoman asks me what I'm looking for. I explain to her what I'm trying to do and what I want. (Since "molex" isn't really a standard term.) She tells me that Radio Shack doesn't make such a thing. I assure her they do. She tells me, no, I would have to go to CompUSA or Circuit City for that. I repeat that a) They make them, b) They usually stock them, and c) I don't know why she's sending me to their competitors. She's confident, however, that she's right, and goes to peddle an $80 robot to some kid whose parents are in the store.

I ask the guy behind the counter for the catalog. I find the molex adapter part number. He punches it into the computer. Not only do they make them (big surprise), there are three right there in the store! I buy two, show them to the saleswoman, and leave. Idiot!
Been there, done that. I tried building a random-number generator (don't ask) out of Radio Shack parts many moons ago. Got the parts, two of the capacitors didn't work. Went back to the Shack, no more capacitors of the kind I need on the racks (duh), was told they don't carry capacitors. Showed them the package with their price tag. Must be a different store. There isn't another Radio Shack for fifty miles. Which store did you go to? We can call them up. I. Didn't. Go. To. Another. Store. I. Came. Here. But we don't carry that. I have not gone back to Radio Shack to purchase anything since.

Southerners can do electronics; we just gave up on Radio Shack a long time ago.

Monday, June 02, 2003

Been there, done that, never wrote it so well:

You call home to see what to get for takeout. No one answers. Hmm. They should have been home an hour ago. Do you:

1. Figure they’ll be home by the time you get there

2. Start imagining a sequence of events that ends with you finishing your will, surrounding yourself with pictures of your departed loved ones, swallowing 89 barbiturate tablets and putting a plastic bag over your head

If you answered 2, you are as bad as me. I tend to get . . . unhinged when wife & child are very very late, and I can’t raise them. They’d left at two for a bike ride; back in two hours, my wife said. To me that means 120 minutes, each composed exactly of 60 seconds. To my wife, and any other sensible person, it means that indefinable allotment of time that’s longer than an hour but shorter than the entire afternoon. Still, I don’t start to sweat when minute 121 has elapsed and I’ve not seen them through the spyglass or the thermal monitors. In fact I often don’t notice they’re late until they’re really late. Then the sequence starts: “I hope nothing’s happened” becomes “I suspect something happens” becomes “I know for certain that they both fell off a bridge into the Mississippi,” and this leads to horrible conjectures. How long will it take to find them?

“Here’s your credit card,” says the clerk who’s ringing up your order.

“At least it’s not winter,” you reply. “They’ll find the bodies faster.”

By now you’re resigned to the worst. You might as well pick up a pack of Marlboros on the way home. Start smoking again. What’s the point. You’ll have nothing to live for. Put your head in the oven . . . no, it’s electric. Great. Local man found dead. Roasticide suspected.

But then you get mad. Mad, somehow, that your wife was late, and didn’t get in touch with you by skywriter or mental telepathy.
The cold sweat and the hallucinations are the worst part.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Proof that Roe was a bad idea from the misbegotten start: When concluding sentences like this are common:

So far, the fight over fetal and embryonic rights is in a delicate stalemate. Each side risks overreaching. One government department that handles family-planning funds is already marshaling evidence about whether various birth-control methods—like the pill or IUDs—work by interfering with implantation of an embryo in the uterus. Trying to crack down on birth control may be a step too far. But arguing against “Laci and Conner’s Law”—which Congress will likely pass—could also be a losing battle. For now, with the majority of Americans behind it, Roe remains the law of the land. The question is whether the law can protect fetuses without eroding the rights their mothers fought so hard to win.
If you have to rely on the sufference of "a majority" of Americans for a "right" protected by the Constitution, it's probably not a right protected by the Constitution, and it's ultimately as malleable as the popular will demands.