The Locker Room

September 12, 2005

Roberts' style

Posted by Jon Ham at 6:55 PM

Didn't know until I got home and watched a replay that John Roberts gave this opening statement extemporaneously. No notes. That made it all the more maddening that the likes of Ted Kennedy, whose right shoulder on all his suits is worn from aides telling him in his ear what to say during hearings, presumed to lecture Roberts on the Supreme Court.

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Unbelievable price gouging in Katrina's wake

Posted by Jon Sanders at 5:18 PM

Get this: insidious handbag corporations are overcharging poor Katrina victims — who right now have only those $2000 FEMA credit cards to live on, despite George Bush's overt racism — as much as $800 for handbags. If that's not gouging ...

You know, I used to share Roy Cordato's approach to gouging, and I still think it makes sense, but there have got to be limits, man, to keep Big Handbag from making exorbitant profits on the backs of poor people like this. No, I must agree with the Earl of Gloucester about gouging: "O cruel! O ye gods!"

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Bush's fault?

Posted by Jon Ham at 5:17 PM

How will the media and the left blame Bush for this? Don't laugh.

UPDATE: Heh.

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Constitution Day

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 3:15 PM

On Friday, all schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law (public law 108-447) to observe Constitution Day by doing something - anything – related to the U.S. Constitution. The architect of this law is Robert Byrd, who, as one article points out, carries a copy of the Constitution in his pocket.

Has Byrd read the Constitution lately? There is no mention of public education in the Constitution. The Founders wisely delegated responsibility for public education to the states. Byrd has actually opened the door to the despotism that the Founders feared, namely using the power of the federal government to force the politic of a few on the young minds of a nation.

Constitution Day itself is harmless; all will agree that students need to know much more about the Constitution. Nevertheless, the ends do not justify the means, and the numerous politicians that support this law should know better.

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Re: NO Conventions

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 1:59 PM

New York only got the Republican convention last year. At this rate, we'll need a real third party before California faces "the big one." 

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Condescension anyone?

Posted by Jon Ham at 1:41 PM

I'm listening to the opening remarks to Supreme Court nominee John Roberts and I can't recall hearing this much condescension since Bill Clinton's grand jury testimony. As I write this Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is presuming to tell Roberts how important the Supreme Court is in our system of government. Of course, it's important to her because it has, over the past 30 years, has allowed Congress to do all kinds of things it shouldn't.  Before Feinstein, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) gave a speech that was a recitation of grade-school civics, back when there actually WAS grade-school civics. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) tied his remarks to Hurricane Katrina, implying that it was all the more important to have a liberal Supreme Court justice now that America has been shown to be so racist and classist. Oh, now Feinstein is bringing in the Holocaust talking about Jews being shot and their shoes being left on the bank as they floated down the Danube. Wha!!??

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NO Conventions

Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 1:36 PM

Congressional Quarterly reports that former Louisiana officeholder Larry Faucheux is promoting the idea that, as a gesture of support, solidarity, and goodwill, both political parties should hold their 2008 national nominating conventions in New Orleans.

Given the incredible, deadly incompetence of both Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco, the thought is surreal (and scary).

In short, someone else is bound to take it seriously.

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On bad argumentation from UNC

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:35 AM

One of the many fallacies of argumentation identified by Jeremy Bentham in his Handbook of Political Fallacies is argument ad misericordiam — the appeal to pity. I like the way it's defined here:

An Appeal to Pity is a fallacy in which a person substitutes a claim intended to create pity for evidence in an argument. The form of the "argument" is as follows:

1. P is presented, with the intent to create pity.
2. Therefore claim C is true.

This line of "reasoning" is fallacious because pity does not serve as evidence for a claim. This is extremely clear in the following case: "You must accept that 1+1=46, after all I'm dying..." While you may pity me because I am dying, it would hardly make my claim true.

Why I mention this is because the News & Observer's Under the Dome section today quotes the interim dean of the UNC-Chapel Hill Law School, Gail Agrawal, who is introduced to the reading public with the dubious distinction of "nearly upstag[ing]" John Edwards. Agrawi grew up in New Orleans, you see, and her home was flooded in 1965, and she went without food for a day as a consequence. Then she "became an attorney and married a physician and "bought a house in New Orleans on higher ground. And therein lays the moral of her story." As she says,

In New Orleans your income and your family's wealth determines whether you live on higher or lower ground. Your income and your wealth determines whether your house floods, not just from hurricanes but from the torrential rains.
Your income determines whether your house floods? I don't know about that theory; after all, Jesus taught that wise men don't build their houses where they're likely to be flooded.

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Opposition or Change

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:33 AM

Japan's election yesterday provides an object lesson in the power of reform. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), in power for most of the last 5 decades, won 296 seats in the 480-seat Lower House for its first majority in 15 years. This was even after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expelled 37 recalcitrant members. The main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) had made gains in recent elections -- leading some to hope for a true two-party system. The DPJ was on the wrong side of the central issue this time, postal service privatization, and lost one-third of its seats.

The main opposition for Koizumi had come from within the LDP's own ranks. He has handled that problem while demolishing the DPJ and coopting outsiders such as Takafumi Horie, founder and CEO of Livedoor. Once he wins his postal battle, Koizumi's next big fight will be the Constitution itself and the "no war" Article 9.
 

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