In the past I’ve pointed out that we should factor in a “margin of random” when interpreting polls. Today, Gallup brings us a poll that advises even more caution when looking at poll numbers. In summary, when asked what percentage of Americans are gay or lesbian, 35% responded “More than 25%.” A majority of Americans believe that at least 20% of Americans are gay or lesbian.
One can speculate for hours about the reason why people answered this way. Perhaps it’s a bunch of right-wingers believing they’re Lot, living on the outskirts of Soddom. Perhaps it’s gays who live in gay neighborhoods? Perhaps it’s straights who live near gay neighborhoods? Perhaps it’s casual observers of politics who don’t give a flying frack but, having seen the amount of national discussion of gay issues over the last decade, simply presume there’s got to be a lot of them or else we wouldn’t talk about such a yucky topic so often?
At any rate, regardless of your social circle or political views, it doesn’t take a moment’s thought regarding the demographic consequences of homosexuality to realize that there can’t be many of them. If more than a quarter of our population simply didn’t reproduce, that would be something quite noticeable.
But people don’t think before they answer polls. Only 4% of people got the answer right (NB: I would have been one of those), and a vast majority gave answers that were wildly wrong. So the next time you get upset about a poll showing that 75% of Republicans believe that Obama is a Hindu who was born on Jupiter, or 60% of Democrats believe that George Bush used items he ordered from the Acme catalog to blow up the Twin Towers, or that 99% of Americans believe that God created the universe in a single day because the Biblical seven days seems awfully slow for an omnipotent being, remember that 1 out of 3 people believe that more than 1 out of 4 people are gay.
Apollo posted this at 10:38 PM CDT on Friday, May 27th, 2011 as Amer-I-Can!, Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!, Politics
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Los Angeles policemen will soon drive patrol cars equipped with license plate scanners and infrared cameras, so they can better detect crime, and 355 horsepower V8s, so they can better chase down criminals. Who will then be released, because the state doesn’t have enough money to build enough prisons to house them.
The license plate readers may be legitimately useful, and the infrared cameras are creepy when deployed indiscriminately. But what gets me is the engine. If this is the engine I think it is (produced by GM’s Australian division, Holden), it’ll get highway mileage in the mid-20s and city mileage in the mid-teens. Which isn’t bad for 355 horsepower, but why on earth do city police need 355 horsepower cars? The only use for that would be to engage in high speed antics with other high powered cars.
This is starting to become one of my pet peeves. A Ford Fusion with a 4 cylinder engine has 175 horsepower and will get 23/33 miles per gallon, about 50% better than GM’s V8 will get (NB: I use the Fusion as an example, but basically every mid-sized sedan will perform about the same). Compared to 355, I guess 175 horsepower isn’t that much, but it’s still an awful lot of get-up-and-go to have such good mileage. I cannot imagine more than 1% of modern police work needing a faster car than that (here’s the old Fusion, which only had 160 horsepower, getting to 60 in about 11 seconds; 30 years ago, those were sports car numbers). Actually, I’d be surprised if .01% of police work needed more power than a modern 4 cylinder engine can provide.
Giving the police high performance V8s wastes gas, and it encourages them to use those high performance V8s to drive fast. I guess the occaisional police chase is necessary, but by and large policemen driving fast is nothing more than testosterone-fueled safety hazards that give officers an unhelpful (from a citizen’s perspective) sense of machismo.
Apollo posted this at 4:01 PM CDT on Thursday, May 26th, 2011 as Liberty and/or Security
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It hurts me on the inside to watch this.
I’m glad we no longer have a stupid, bumbling president, otherwise this would be proof of his stupidity and of America’s ignorance of the world.
Apollo posted this at 11:58 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 as CHANGE!, Excruciatingly Correct Behavior
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Holmes: My dear Dr. Watson, whatever do you make of today’s vote in the Senate?
Watson: Er, peculiar. Four budgets up for a vote, all of them fail. Kind of bad legislating, isn’t it?
Holmes: Yes, quite. But look at how peculiar the loss was. Look at these vote totals:
The Ryan Budget: 57 nos, 40 ayes. No Democrats voted “aye,” and five Republicans — Brown, Collins, Murkowski, Paul, and Snowe — voted no. Paul voted “no” because the bill doesn’t go far enough.
The Obama Budget: 97 nos. You read that right. No “ayes.” It was nice of Democrats to tee up an embarrassment of their own, to go with the other embarrassments.
The Toomey Budget: 55 nos, 42 ayes. Only Brown, Collins and Snowe voted against it. Why the difference? Toomey’s budget didn’t touch Medicare, and balanced the budget in nine years through big discretionary spending cuts.
The Paul Budget: 90 nos, 7 ayes. Only Coburn, DeMint, Hatch, Lee, McConnell, Paul, and Vitter voted for this libertarian dream of a budget, which cuts (non-defense) spending to 2008 levels and levels the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Education, and Hud.
What do you make of it, Watson?
Watson: Well, that Obama budget sure didn’t look very popular. Dead last, absolutely no votes.
Holmes: Very good, Watson. A Democratic President, Obama, can’t get a single Democratic Senator in a Democratically controlled Senate to vote for his plan.
Watson: Well, perhaps he’s just not that good at government.
Holmes: The president of the United States not being good at government? Are you sure?
Watson: Well, isn’t it bleeding obvious?
Holmes: Oh, quite. But you don’t need me, Sherlock Holmes, to tell you that. There’s something more afoot here. What of the Democratic Senators that wouldn’t back their own president?
Watson: Well, they’re United States Senators. They can’t always be partisans, now, can they?
Holmes: You’re getting warmer.
Watson: I am?
Holmes: Yes. Senators are partisans, but what’s often more important to them than a president of their own party?
Watson: Money? Power? Doing the right thing?
Holmes: [Bangs head against wall] No, Watson. Reelection! That’s what’s on the mind of these Senators.
Watson: I don’t understand. How does humiliating their own president help Democratic Senators get reelected?
Holmes: If their president is sure to be reelected himself, there is no reason for them to humiliate him, and indeed there would be every reason to show some loyalty. Presidents are quite capable of punishing people who vote against them on a whim. No, Watson, something has got them spooked. They’re afraid that he’s going down, and they’re trying to put some distance between themselves and him so they don’t go down with him.
Watson: So they’re like rats leaving a sinking ship?
Holmes: Not quite: the rats have more honor.
Hubbard posted this at 8:00 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 as The Democratic Congress, Vignettes, Walking the Cat Backwards
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If you get offended by Napoleon Dynamite, you really ought to do some self-reflection on why you choose to take offense so easily. And while you’re doing it, you ought to lock yourself in a small room and try really hard to not inflict your idiotic oversensitivity on your fellow citizens. And if you choose not to do that, and instead to use your own idiocy to reduce your fellow citizens’s enjoyment of life, you are a Bad Person.
Apollo posted this at 6:15 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 as Grumblin Mumblins, Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!
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Jennifer Rubin summarizes the conventional wisdom on the right:
Democrats are high-fiving, certain that Medicare is now the killer issue for 2012 (and indifferent to the presence of a third-party candidate). I rather doubt it, and not because the New York state Republican party is the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. As the Cook Report’s David Wasserman put it recently, “The three-way dynamic in NY-26 is simply more proof that special elections are mutant species. No two of the recent competitive special elections in NY-26, HI-01, PA-12, NY-23, or NY-20 have been exactly alike; their only commonality is that they held very little larger predictive value.”
Try as Democrats might to deny it, 2012 will be a referendum on the president; all elections with an incumbent president are. It will boil down to President Obama’s performance jobs, economic growth and the debt. Having failed to perform on all three so far, Obama will have his hands full.
She might be wrong, for reasons that Henry Olsen explains:
Tonight’s decisive victory by Democrat Kathy Hochul in the NY-26 special election will be tomorrow’s No. 1 topic of political conversation. Why did Hochul win a seat so Republican that John McCain won it handily, one of only four New York House seats to resist Obama? While the parties will argue over whether ads attacking Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan were to blame, a look at the underlying demographics confirms a year-long trend against the GOP among blue-collar whites. . . .
It’s bad enough that Hochul is running even with Obama’s totals from the best Democratic year in the past three decades. But the comparison to 2010 is truly frightening. Republicans were competitive in two statewide races last year, those for comptroller and attorney general. Fueled by the GOP wave, the Republican candidates in those races received 66 and 60 percent in NY-26 — well above McCain’s 52 percent in 2008 and George W. Bush’s 55 percent in 2004. Hochul is running 15 points ahead of the lowest performing 2010 Democrat, and, because of Davis, Republican Jane Corwin is running about 18 percent below the lowest performing Republican.
The verdict is clear. For whatever reason, the blue-collar independents and Democrats who voted Republican in droves last year did not vote GOP tonight. And many blue-collar Republicans voted for Davis rather than Corwin.
If Olsen is right, then David Frum’s historical metaphor might be wrong:
Paul Ryan is the Barry Goldwater of 2012. . . .
The political dangers in the Ryan budget could have been predicted in advance. In fact, they were predicted in advance – and widely. Yet the GOP proceeded anyway, all but four members of the House putting themselves on record in favor. Any acknowledgment of these dangers was instantly proclaimed taboo, as Newt Gingrich has painfully learned. Bill Kristol and Charles Krauthammer have enthusiastically promoted Paul Ryan as a presidential candidate. And this morning, as the reckoning arrives, the denial continues. Here’s Jonah Goldberg in a column arguing that “perhaps the only guy who can explain the GOP budget should run.”
In reality, Ryan is very unlikely to accept this draft. He declined the opportunity to run for US Senate in Wisconsin, likely because he sensed he could not win a state-wide election in which his budget would be the main issue.
Now we’re likely headed to the worst of all possible worlds. The GOP will run on a platform crafted to be maximally obnoxious to downscale voters. Some may hope that Tim Pawlenty’s biography may cushion the pain. Perhaps that’s right, at least as compared to Mitt Romney, who in the 2008 primaries did worst among Republicans earning less than $100,000 a year. And yes, Pawlenty is keeping his distance from the Ryan plan. But biography only takes you so far. The big issues of 2012 will be jobs and incomes in a nation still unrecovered from the catastrophe of 2008-2009. What does the GOP have to say to hard-pressed voters? Thus far the answer is: we offer Medicare cuts, Medicaid cuts, and tighter money aimed at raising the external value of the dollar.
No candidate, not even if he or she is born in a log cabin, would be able to sell that message to America’s working class.
In Frum’s scenario, Paul Ryan wouldn’t be Goldwater in 1964 but rather Gingrich in 1996. Bill Clinton didn’t run against Bob Dole so much as he ran against Dole-Gingrich. Paul Ryan today, like Gingrich in 1996, is the face of Republican party. And just as Dole had many significant differences from Gingrich but wasn’t able to separate himself from toxic Newt, so might the 2012 Republican nominee suffer from association with Paul Ryan.
Jonah Goldberg, remarkably enough, has a solution to the dilemma:
If Paul Ryan got in the race, he would be my first choice for president. But, as I suggest in my column today, I don’t think that’s the only reason he should get in the game. The NY-26 race will be wildly over-interpreted by the press and the Democrats as a death-blow to Ryan and the GOP budget. But that interpretation may well have a self-fulfilling aspect to it. You can be sure that the Democrats will only intensify their MediScare tactics.
If you think that’s a huge problem, Ryan getting in the race might be the best possible option. Because by getting in, Ryan would allow the rest of the field to differentiate themselves from Ryan and the House budget. Most of the contenders would have to differentiate themselves from Ryan while also coming up with more serious entitlement-reform plans of their own than they might otherwise.
Let’s assume Ryan gets in and loses and, say, Tim Pawlenty wins the nomination. After “pushing off” from Ryan in the primaries, Pawlenty would be far better situated to tell Obama in the general, “Look, you’re running against Paul Ryan. He’s not on this stage. I am. I beat Paul Ryan. Deal with me and my ideas.”
So Paul Ryan should run. If he wins the nomination, then Republicans will get the best possible spokesman for the Ryan budget, which right now seems likely to be the biggest domestic issue in the race. If Ryan doesn’t win, then the Republican nominee will be able to distance himself from a plan that not even the base liked. But if Ryan stays out of the race, then his plan will be an issue that the eventual nominee will have to defend—and worse, that Obama will demagogue relentlessly. History, Mark Twain once noted, doesn’t repeat itself but it rhymes. Will Gingrich ’96 rhyme with Ryan ’12?
Hubbard posted this at 10:34 AM CDT on Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 as Is It 2012 Yet?, Tea Time
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Within living memory, Meridian Hill Park, which is a two minute walk from where I live, was safe enough that on hot days, children would sleep outside there. Admittedly, there were many bad things about Washington, DC, during the Great Depression, but despite it being a poorer era, it was undoubtedly safer. I’m not a child, but I wouldn’t think of going there after dark. Yes, this area has gentrified, but not that much yet.
The 1960s began the notion that we were jailing too many people, so we relaxed the laws, which lead to a surge in crime during the 70s and 80s. It took tough on crime politicians in the 90s to bring crime rates down. Thanks to Brown v. Plata, the state of California is being forced to release 30,000 odd criminals. The Last Psychiatrist quipped, “You can have bilateral retinal cancer and be able to point to which Justices voted for or against this.”
One of the most knowledgeable writer on crime rates and prison, Heather MacDonald, had this to say:
There is already reason to doubt that the rosy future of a lowered prison population and a lowered crime rate predicted by anti-prison activists will come to pass, since some of their premises are incorrect. First, it is not the case that we’re sending innocuous bumblers to prison. In fact, prison remains in most places a lifetime achievement award for persistence in criminal offending. The JFA Institute, an anti-incarceration advocacy group, estimated in 2007 that offenders ended up in prison in just 3 percent of violent victimizations and property crimes. In 2004, only 1.6 percent of burglars were in prison, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. It can be unsettling for a layman to hear a big-city prosecutor’s typology of crime: “non-serious crimes” consist of basically everything you can do criminally without a gun or other use of force. Steal a car and you get probation; hijack a car with a driver in it, however, and you’re going to prison. The person who just lost a car, even if fortunate enough not to have been threatened while in it, probably doesn’t regard the theft of his vehicle as “non-serious.”
Second, parole violations are not trivial. If a criminal is missing his appointments without a valid excuse—such as a job interview or medical appointment—and without notifying his parole officer, it’s likely that he is up to no good.
Most Californians are undoubtedly feeling dread today reading about the Supreme Court’s decision. My guess is that the state will find a way to avoid a mass prisoner release, whether by quickly commissioning new prisons, relocating state prisoners to already overcrowded county jails, or sending prisoners out of state. Though it is too late now to make any difference in the immediate prison budget, it remains imperative to restore sanity to the state’s public-pension system. If the state weren’t obligated to pay its corrections officers such high salaries and pensions, it could have built more prison capacity. Unfortunately, Governor Jerry Brown just struck another sweetheart deal with the corrections union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association.
Mark Krikorian, as always, manages to tie things to immigration:
The GAO reported in March that in FY 2008, there were 27,000 illegal aliens in the state prison system for whom California was receiving partial (very partial) reimbursement from the feds. (See here, p. 30.) That’s close to the total number our black-robed rulers have ordered released. And that’s not counting the legal immigrants who’ve made themselves deportable by committing crimes.
Obviously, the federal government is complicit because of its longstanding refusal to get serious about enforcing immigration laws. But California’s state and local governments and the state’s delegation in Congress have contributed to this, through sanctuary-city policies, promotion of amnesty, resistance to mandatory E-Verify, in-state tuition for illegals, etc.
But in dealing with the immediate problem of complying with the Supreme Court’s latest ukase, immigration law can be useful. You certainly don’t want to let criminal aliens get off with less punishment than Americans, but in deciding whom to release, it would be better to release a criminal onto the streets of Mexico or El Salvador than the streets of California. And if they come back, they’re then guilty of the federal felony of re-entry after deportation, which means California’s prisons don’t have to deal with him any more (assuming Eric Holder’s Justice Department will prosecute re-entry cases, which can’t be assumed).
Oddly, Conor Friedersdorf proposes a wave of ankle bracelets, which seems expensive and worthy of a police state. Further, once the ankle bracelets got started on nonviolent offenders released from prison, they would almost certainly be extended to nonviolent offenders who never actually went there in the first place, rather like the cameras in high crime places that are now ubiquitous. More likely than ankle bracelets, but equally as worthy of a totalitarian state, is that the released prisoners will be outsourced to psychiatry. The Last Psychiatrist asks:
Where do you think all of these released prisoners will go? Home? To work?
They are being offloaded to psychiatry. To rehabs, to “involuntary outpatient,” to probation and their weekly/monthly drug tests and verification of medication compliance; to SSI.
I will grant you that it is much better than prison for those individuals. But this process justifies, institutionalizes, government control of individuals while in the public realm. It becomes that much easier to justify X or Y in the service of monitoring. Psychiatry becomes a willing (happy) tool of the government, because it pays.
If we want to talk about the things that can be done about prison overcrowding, or about changing the reasons for such high incarceration rates, we can do that. But to offload the entire mess to the psychiatrists is the kind of madness that will destroy everything that America was supposed to have been standing for.
My own prediction: nothing good is coming of this. Either California gets a surge in crime, or government, in the name of preventing crime, grows and insinuates itself through surveillance, using either high technology or questionable psychotherapy.
Hubbard posted this at 7:50 PM CDT on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 as The Law Is An Ass--An Idiot, We're all DOOMED
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In my continued search for a presidential candidate to support, I’ve narrowed another one down. Recall my criteria: two-term elected executive, doesn’t say flippant, stupid crap about immigration.
Two-term New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, while not setting the world afire, did seem somewhat interesting to me. No more:
Johnson frames immigration — legal and illegal — as matter of pure calculation. “I’m completely pragmatic, and it’s a matter of commonsense cost-benefit analysis. What are we spending, and what are we getting? Immigration is a really good thing, the basis on which this country was founded. Yes, there are welfare services being provided that I don’t think should be provided, but these are issues that are relatively easily dealt with — rather than building a fence across 2,000 miles of border, or having the National Guard standing arm-in-arm across 2,000 miles of border.”
Whatever the virtues of his preferred policy, this is idiocy. What’s easier to do in America: reform our social programs (on a state and federal level) to be more in accord in with libertarian ideals, or to build a fence? Isn’t it obvious that building a fence would be easy-peasy-Japanesey? A few billion dollars and a president willing to build it is all it would take; the political will is already there. A libertarian overhaul of our welfare programs? Really? We currently can’t find the political will to reform programs (Medicare, Social Security) that are hugely expensive and objectively unsustainable. Reforming our social welfare programs would be no easier. Useful, certainly; maybe even necessary. But easier than building a damned fence?
And from a liberatarian perspective, what’s more in tune with the proper role of the federal government: welfare programs, or border security? Proper management of our welfare programs is nice, but it is no substitute for border security.
So Gary Johnson doesn’t get it, and doesn’t care to think about it enough to get it. We’ve already got enough politicians in Washington who use platitudes in lieu of thinking about immigration, I’ll take a pass on supporting another.
Apollo posted this at 11:02 AM CDT on Tuesday, May 24th, 2011 as Is It 2012 Yet?, The Melting Pot Boils Over
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Two commencement address recently were rebloggable. First, an old Neil Postman one that was never actually given, but still has a beaut of an opener:
Members of the faculty, parents, guests, and graduates, have no fear. I am well aware that on a day of such high excitement, what you require, first and foremost, of any speaker is brevity. I shall not fail you in this respect. There are exactly eighty-five sentences in my speech, four of which you have just heard.
Also, one from Willie Brown:
I’ve done a lot of graduation speeches in my time, but none compared to one I recently delivered at the lockup unit of San Francisco’s Youth Guidance Center, otherwise known as juvenile hall.
It was for the GED graduation class.
It have to admit that I had my doubts as I was being patted down by the guards. All I could think of was: Michelle Obama is speaking at Spelman College and I’m speaking at juvie hall.
But it all melted away as I entered the room where 10 kids were waiting in gowns and mortar boards with their parents.
Now, some of these kids are in there for some very serious crimes, including murder, so I knew the ceremony wasn’t going to be full of the usual platitudes about standing on the threshold of life.
The valedictorian was a bright young man who opened by talking about how, at age 8, he had joined a gang because his older brother had been killed. And how his brother had been the one person he admired.
He went into all that followed, and how it landed him where he was now – and about how he now needs to work his way out of it.
He ended by saying he’s looking forward to continuing his education, even getting a college degree – behind bars, if he’s not out by then.
When my turn came, I told the kids they had to understand that rules are the rules, and that they had followed the rules to earn a GED. That constitutes a certain key toward your freedom, I told them.
Now once you get this GED, I said, you’ve got to know what the next key is – so one day you won’t be in here celebrating an achievement, you’ll be out there celebrating an achievement.
When I walked out of there, my only thought was that if only one of those cats was impressed enough to say, “I’m going to get that key,” it would be worth more than the whole stack of honorary degrees I’ve been handed over the years.
Hubbard posted this at 10:33 AM CDT on Monday, May 23rd, 2011 as The Right Words
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Hugh Hewitt’s how-to-debate-Obama advice here is generally sound:
First, let the president talk, and talk, and talk. (And talk.) His frequent rhetorical cul-de-sacs numb the minds of listeners and set up the opportunity for sharp contrasts between the definitive and the ambiguous, the purposeful and the feckless.
Second, look right at him when responding. This so unnerved President Obama that his anger and frustration was visible. Whether he brought the sense of superiority to the White House or whether it erupted there, the president does not care for people who challenge him directly, cannot seem to believe that anyone would have the temerity to do so. This is the sign of a deep insecurity, and Netanyahu used it.
Next, speak from specifics, using facts and especially history. Netanyahu used history to spank the president on Friday. A GOP nominee armed with specific references — not just to Obama’s many blunders but also to clear evidence of the American exceptionalism that Obama has clearly rejected — will put the wordy academic on his heels.
Finally, express core truths bluntly — especially the harshest ones, such as the nature of Hamas. The president has been shrinking from clarity for more than two years, whether it is clarity on Iran, on the butcher Assad and the nutter Chavez, and most recently on the key Palestinian problem — that Hamas, like Hezbollah to the north, wants Israel destroyed.
A key thing to add would be a dash of ridicule. Obama takes himself quite seriously, so a few tweaks will get under his skin.
Hubbard posted this at 10:07 PM CDT on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 as Is It 2012 Yet?
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We are normally less than fond of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but when she’s right, she’s right. Michael Walsh in The New York Post explains:
On Monday, in Kentucky v. King, the high court upheld the conviction of a man arrested after cops — who were tailing a suspected drug dealer into an apartment building — smelled marijuana smoke and banged on his door. When they heard noises coming from the apartment “consistent with the destruction of evidence,” they broke in and found drugs.
But they had the wrong guy. The drug courier was in another apartment. Hollis King may have been breaking the law, but he was minding his own business, on his own premises, and only became a suspect after the police had made their mistake.
But Justice Sam Alito, writing for the 8-1 majority, said, in effect, So what?
“Exigent circumstances” — in this case, the possible destruction of evidence — justified the forcible entry. He wrote: “The Kentucky Supreme Court held that the exigent circumstances rule does not apply in the case at hand because the police should have foreseen that their conduct would prompt the occupants to attempt to destroy evidence. We reject this interpretation” — since King could have simply ignored the knock at the door, or could have opened his door and declined to answer any questions.
“Occupants who choose not to stand on their constitutional rights but instead elect to attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame for the warrantless . . . search that may ensue.”
What planet is Alito living on? The whole point of the Bill of Rights is to restrict authority. The Founders, who suffered under the British system of “general warrants” and “writs of assistance” — i.e., fishing expeditions — wished to ensure that no American home could be searched without probable cause and a duly issued warrant specifying exactly what police are looking for.
The case has been remanded to Kentucky, to sort out whether the circumstances were truly “exigent.” But Alito’s interpretation is an open invitation to abuse — as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg emphatically warned in her dissent:
“The court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases. In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down — never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant. I dissent from the court’s reduction of the Fourth Amendment’s force.”
Perhaps they’ll waive the fifth and eighth amendments, too. . .
Hubbard posted this at 12:28 PM CDT on Friday, May 20th, 2011 as We don't need no stinkin' Constitution, We're all DOOMED
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Let’s ignore the fact that EPI is a liberal think tank (we all know how eager Liberals are to accept Hoover or Mercatus studies). Let’s see who can spot the real problem with Ezra’s analysis of this graph:
Apparently “Economic Recovery Measures” that don’t work, shouldn’t really be a factor when considering how to deal with our massive deficits. Nevermind that “Porkulus” amounts to nothing more than a giveaway to favorite Democrat constituencies.
What a joke.
Jamie posted this at 9:34 AM CDT on Friday, May 20th, 2011 as It's Economics - Stupid!, Journalism
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Marine Le Pen is a favorite of The Weekly Standard, despite the reflexive anti-Americanism of her National Front Party. So her qualified approval is of the treatment of Dominique Strauss-Kahn is noteworthy:
I don’t particularly like the American justice system, but in my opinion there’s at least one respect in which they have something to teach us: namely, the fact that they treat the immigrant maid and the head of the IMF perfectly equally. We have a lesson to learn from that: …on how to treat the victim [of a sexual assault], on how to treat the powerful and the poor, who should be treated on an equal basis, which is not the case in France. You know very well, if this episode had occurred in France, it would not have turned out [the same way]…
Hubbard posted this at 4:22 PM CDT on Thursday, May 19th, 2011 as The Right Words, Those Wacky Foreigners, Uncategorized
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Many years ago, our old Professor, Jack Pitney, wrote a shrewd assessment of Newt Gingrich that relied heavily on the poetry of Walt Whitman. Each section described a facet of Gingrich’s personality, opening with a quote from Leaves of Grass. Pitney began the section on pragmatism thus:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then, I contradict myself;
(I am large–I contain multitudes.)
Recently, NRO’s David Kahane sounded eerily similar:
In fact, he reminds us very much of a certain someone we adore — a say-anything kind of guy who’ll throw a principle under the bus in a heartbeat if he thinks it will curry favor or benefit him politically. A guy whose motto is: “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself,” and goes right on singing his song of himself before the cameras without the slightest embarrassment.He is large, he contains multitudes, Mr. Newt does, and you wingnuts ought to cut him some slack. After all, look how well it all turned out for Barack Hussein Obama.
Perhaps the only way to describe the Newtster is to rehash old Walt.
Hubbard posted this at 8:11 PM CDT on Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 as Belles Lettres, Politics
1 Comment »
LaForge: Captain, if we re-route ancillary credits toward this endeavor, the resulting economic incentive might provide a sufficient engineering catalyst to spur technological innovation.
Riker: So, basically, we offer them prize money to make the damn thing?
Data: Pricely, sir.
Picard: Make it so!
The objective of the project, currently being explored by the X Prize Foundation and Qualcomm, is not just to create one more cool gadget for “Trek” fans … although the idea of a hand-held, automated medical diagnostic device is pretty cool. The objective is to extend the reach of health information and services to billions more people in the world.
“We believe this is a fundamental step in helping people become true ‘health consumers’ who can have as much say in assessing and accessing health care as they would any other service or product,” Don Jones, vice president of wireless health strategy and market development at Qualcomm Labs, said in this week’s announcement about the project. “Qualcomm believes the value of this X Prize is also in changing the cost structure and focus of health care. By having consumers take the initial actions to obtain health assessment data, the use and the quality of physicians’ time is improved.”
The competition is modeled on earlier incentive programs such as the $10 million Ansari X Prize for private-sector spaceflight, or the $10 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize for super-efficient road vehicles. The basic idea is to encourage the development of mobile devices that can diagnose patients at least as well as a panel of board-certified physicians.
“The goal obviously is to drive a lot of innovation toward this narrow goal of easy-to-use, low-cost, minimally invasive, rapid, portable and scalable diagnosis,” Jones told me during a follow-up interview.
Tom posted this at 10:02 AM CDT on Monday, May 16th, 2011 as I have seen the future. . ., Nerdom, Science!
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