Gail Collins commenting on how provencial Rick Perry is:
RICK PERRY has never spent any serious time outside of Texas, except for a five-year stint in the military. Nobody sent him off to boarding school to expand his horizons.
So aside from the five years that he spent flying around the world (his website states that he flew to “South America, Europe and the Middle East”) he’s never been outside Texas? Does one have to hate the place one is from and be a rolling stone to spend “serious time” away from the place of one’s upbringing?
And let’s clarify what “outside of Texas” means. Perry is from Paint Creek, but has mostly lived in Austin since 1991. I guess both of those places are “in” Texas, but they’re 268 miles apart. For reference, it’s 250 miles from Woodbridge, Virginia to Manhattan.
So let’s rehash. Rick Perry grew up in the smallest small town on the Texas prairie, spent four years 325 miles away (it’s 328 miles from Woodbridge, Virginia to Yale) at a college whose enrollment was literally thousands of times the size of his high school class, spent five years flying to four different continents and almost certainly being exposed to people from every state and dozens of countries, and has spent 20 years living in a city of about a million people hundreds of miles from where he grew up.
But his horizons weren’t expanded because he didn’t go to boarding school.
Apollo posted this at 1:48 PM CDT on Monday, September 19th, 2011 as Deep in the Heart of Texas, Kulturkampf
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Apparently Maureen Dowd thinks that if you get bad grades in college you should crawl under a rock and die in shame. If I were pandering to readers of the New York Times, I would probably write a similar thing.
But if I were instead a thinking man, I might realize that stupid is as stupid does. Query:* If Rick Perry’s so dumb, how come he’s been so successful? And if Barrack Obama’s so smart, why has his presidency become a universally recognized disaster?
Obviously, if I were reallya thinking man I wouldn’t care about what grades presidential candidates got in college. But what if I were a half-way thinking man? I might wonder why I was judging Rick Perry based on knowledge of his college grades, but I was judging Barrack Obama in without knowledge of his college grades. That ponderance might spark some additional self-reflection.
* See, I went to a highly selective liberal arts college and graduated with honors from a borderline prestigious law school (and I even believe in evolution!), so I’m allowed to say terribly pretentious things like “Query,” even when questioning my intellectual betters at the Times.
Apollo posted this at 10:41 AM CDT on Monday, September 19th, 2011 as Is It 2012 Yet?, Kulturkampf
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I’m torn as to which part of this story is funnier. The main portion of the story features a bunch of leftists hyperventilating; if I were to combine the comments of the various interest groups into a single image, it would be Rick Perry handing out guns, bought with secret corporate contributions, to the men of Texas and telling them to shoot their women when they are unclean according to the laws of Leviticus. If that’s not funny enough, though, the story ends with Ed Koch pointing out that his litmus test for who to support for the presidency is whether a candidate believes in evolution. Never mind that Perry hasn’t said he doesn’t believe in evolution; it’s the irrelevancy that gets me. Imagine a creationist announcing that he won’t vote for a candidate who does believe in evolution, and I suspect the humor will get to you.
At any rate, Politico does a better-than-expected job of getting a small amount of truth into this story. Like the caption for the picture pointing out that ”The epidemic of liberal angst isn’t just a matter of specific Rick Perry policies.” No, it’s a matter of identity politics for the self-identified intellectuals. And where the story points out that the number of executions has actually decreased under Perry. The story would have been more truthful if it had pointed out that the number of executions has almost nothing to do with the governor (he doesn’t pass the sentences or schedule the executions, and he couldn’t stop them if he wanted to), but that level of truth might have overwhelmed the humor value of the story.
Added: Also worth checking out for unsupported Perryphobia is this Dana Milbank column in which he brands Perry a “theocrat” because Perry has strongly held religious beliefs. Missing from the column is, as best I can tell, any example of Perry attempting to use law to enforce religion, which would seem to be essential to theocracy. The title of the column is “Perry is no libertarian,” but as best I can tell there’s only one comment in the column that is inconsistent with being a libertarian (the bit about the pledge of allegience, but that quote has the ring of being taken out of context). Milbank seems to be working off the assumption that libertarians don’t abide by morality, advocate that others abide by morality, or believe in a religion. Libertarians can do all of those things, they just don’t want to use force to coerce others into doing those things. The article might more correctly be titled, “Perry is no libertine.”
Apollo posted this at 11:25 AM CDT on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 as Is It 2012 Yet?, Kulturkampf
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Following on our earlier discussion, Pauper alumnus Conor took some time to dig into Perry’s book, Fed-up!, today:
Here’s what I’ve found after further digging: if you care about federalism, Perry isn’t to be trusted. That is the only conclusion to draw after reviewing his lengthy, impassioned treatment of the subject in Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington. Its passages, juxtaposed with Perry’s recent actions, represent a betrayal of principle far more stark than I realized before reading the book. Its account of why federalism matters is anything but legalistic. And a man who intended to stand behind its contents would never support a Federal Marriage Amendment, which would ban gay marriage in all states, imposing a traditional definition even on places like New York, where a duly elected legislature has already passed gay marriage.
The passages he cites makes it clear that, as of last year (if not last month) Perry preferred a federalist system that allowed different states to define marriage however they pleased. This cannot be squared with an endorsement of a Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), which defines marriage as monogamous and heterosexual both at the state and at the federal level. From the 2004 version:
Marriage in the United States shall consist solely of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.
There are only two possibilities:
- Perry lied, either in his book or in his recent statements;
- Perry has no flipping idea what the FMA is.
Though I’m fairly cynical when it comes to politicians — it’s a cynical business after all — there’s a non-zero chance that Perry is confusing terms. More specifically, his recent statements on the matter have called for a “Federal Marriage Amendment” in terms that sound more like a constitutional amendment version of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Despite the similar names, the two are completely different: the FMA strips citizens of the right to define marriage in their own state; the latter would protect them from being bound by the decisions of citizens of other states. In short, the FMA is an affront to the values of Fed-Up; a DOMA Amendment would embody it.
Taking a closer look at Perry’s exchange with Tony Perkins, it’s amazing how confused the conversation is. I’ve highlighted FMA-like statements in red, DOMA-like ones in blue, and ambiguous ones in black:
TONY PERKINS: You said that, “Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said that marriage can be between two people of the same sex and you know what that is New York and that is their business and that is fine with me, that is their call. If you believe in the tenth amendment, stay out of their business”.
GOV. PERRY: Let me just, I probably needed to add a few words after “that’s fine with me” its fine with me that the state is using their sovereign right to decide an issue. Obviously gay marriage is not fine with me, my stance had not changed. I believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
TONY PERKINS: Governor, we are about out of time but I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I think I hear what you are saying. The support given what’s happening across the nation, the fear of the courts, the administration’s failure to defend the defense of marriage act.
The only and thin line of protection for those states that have defined marriage, that have been historically been defined between a man and a woman. The support of a marriage amendment is a pro-state’s rights position, because it will defend the rights of states to define marriage as it has been.
GOV. PERRY: Yes sir, and I have long supported the appointment of judges who respect the constitution and the passage of a federal marriage amendment. That amendment defines marriage between one man and one woman, and it protects the states from being told otherwise. It respects the rights of the state by requiring three quarters of a states vote to ratify. It’s really strong medicine but is again our founding fathers had such great wisdom and their wisdom is just as clear and profound today as it was back in the late eighteenth century.
Honestly, I can’t tell what to make of this conversation; seriously, I’ve no idea. But whatever it is, Perry needs to clarify his position immediately so he can concentrate on more pressing matters.
Fingers crossed, Rick.
Tom posted this at 2:05 PM CDT on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 as Kulturkampf, Politics and the English Language, We don't need no stinkin' Constitution
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From this story about my governor’s choice of prayer partners:
Meanwhile, some have criticized Perry for teaming with the event’s host organization, the American Family Association, which regularly organizes protests of companies that it considers too gay-friendly. An association spokesman has also been highly critical of Islam and suggested that the Nazi party was founded “in a gay bar in Munich.”
Is that last statement true? The journalist who wrote the story felt no need to explore that question; he just gave the quote and expected readers to be appalled. I abhor this style of journalism, because it seems to be used exclusively against one side of the political spectrum.
If what the guy said was true, it would certainly be an interesting historical bit, though I’m not positive I would draw any conclusions about the modern world from that fact. I mean, the Nazi party was unquestionably founded in a German bar in Munich, yet modern Germans seem okay enough. I’ve attempted to research the statement, but all I can find are gay groups pointing at the statement as an example of hate speech, and people who support the American Family Association saying that it’s an historical fact because they read it in the same book that that the spokesman. Snopes has nothing.
Since journalists won’t tell us whether the statement is true, I’ll idly speculate. On its face, the statement isn’t outlandish – I don’t know much about gay bars in Weimar Germany and don’t feel like that general topic is worth my time, but at the least the statement isn’t impossible. In my experience, when you say unflattering things about people on the left and they respond by pointing at your statement as patently offensive without addressing its merits, that’s a pretty good sign that what you’ve said was true. Moreover, the Southern Poverty Law Center is involved, which almost guarantees some level of chicanery.
But I also have to think that if it was true, it’s the sort of thing we would have all heard by now. Hitler’s masculinity has never been beyond the pale in Allied countries, and World War II occurred during a time when being gay was not widely seen as a good and masculine thing. The Nazis had numerous political enemies who escaped Germany before the war and would have probably been happy to reveal this fact if it was true (or even believable in the context of the times). Overall, I think this weighs more heavily than my presumption that flakking Leftists are obscuring the truth. I’d say it’s probably not true that the Nazi party was founded in a gay bar.
Apollo posted this at 11:55 AM CDT on Monday, August 8th, 2011 as Is It 2012 Yet?, Journalism, Kulturkampf
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Oh man, a lawsuit, based on Lawrence v. Texas, to decriminilize polygamy is being filed by someone represented by Jonathan Turley. While Turley isn’t the biggest or most respected name in the legal academy, he is a somebody, and he’s not a fool. If he’s involved with this suit, it’s something to take at least somewhat seriously.
I haven’t read Lawrence since around the time it came out, but I went back and reread it today. I recommend you do the same. Here are some things to keep in mind as you do.
- The Utah bigamy statute: “A person is guilty of bigamy when, knowing he has a husband or wife or knowing the other person has a husband or wife, the person purports to marry another person or cohabits with another person.” It’s a felony.
- “Cohabit” means something along the lines of “living together as husband and wife.” As best I can tell (I have no prior knowledge of Utah law), Utah’s criminal code provides no definition of “cohabit,” but a statute in a different Utah code defines “cohabitating” as “residing with another person and being involved in a sexual relationship with that person.” That seems likely the definition that would apply to criminal code.
So the law of Utah makes it an offense for a married man to live with, and have sex with, a woman other than his wife. The question in this case isn’t whether the state must recognize polygamous marriages; the question is whether the state can throw you in jail for living a polygamous lifestyle.
Now go read Lawrence. I don’t think you can draw a line between laws banning sodomy and laws banning polygamy, at least not if you look at the law the way Lawrence did:
The present case does not involve minors. It does not involve persons who might be injured or coerced or who are situated in relationships where consent might not easily be refused. It does not involve public conduct or prostitution. It does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter. The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle. The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter. The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual.
Apollo posted this at 1:02 PM CDT on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 as Kulturkampf, The Law Is An Ass--An Idiot, We don't need no stinkin' Constitution
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This is worth noting as a cultural phenomenon. I’ve some sympathy for the point, but it’s so overdone as to be stupid:
“It was taking the blame off the rapist and on the victim,” said Nicole Sullivan, 21, a student at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and an organizer of the SlutWalk planned Saturday in that city. “So we are using these efforts to reclaim the word ‘slut.’”
If a rich man were to pin $100 bills to his shirt and walk down a dark alley at night, I think it would be fair to call him a fool. If there were a wave of men pinning $100 bills to their shirts and getting robbed, it would be fair for a police officer to say that men should not dress like fools if they don’t want to get robbed. . If people started pinning money to their shirts and marching to reclaim the word “fool,” I’d happily call them what they asked me to.
I’m not sure how that’s much different. It doesn’t take the blame off the criminal to point out that there are types of behavior that are more likely to attract criminals; such information merely empowers people to adjust their lives, if they choose, to avoid being victimized.
But feminists want to make their point. And guys know that, generally, leftist protest girls are easy, and these leftist protest girls seem to be asking you to talk dirty to them. So there will be marches.
Apollo posted this at 11:06 PM CDT on Friday, May 6th, 2011 as Kulturkampf
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Conservatives, it seems, also control money. And can write scathing, well-reasoned letters that get lots of attention.
Were I a business that had King & Spalding as a law firm – well, first I wouldn’t, because big firms like that always overcharge. But if I did I’d dump them because no one wants to be represented by pusillanimous lawyers. When you give into one group, you raise the specter that you’ll give in to them all. Prof. Jacobson sums up why no law firm should ever cave to this sort of crap:
There’s a beauty and level of comfort in the ethical rules and principles which govern attorneys; the rules provide a compass which insulates attorneys from pressures to do the wrong thing, whether those pressures are brought by clients or outsiders. I teach my students that the rules of ethics are not an enemy, they are an attorney’s best friend.
When attorneys put business convenience ahead of the attorney’s duty of loyalty to a client, there is no good outcome.
And if I were a business that got threatened by a gay rights group to change my business partners, I’d look very closely at what happens to King & Spalding. I imagine the commonwealth of Virginia will not be the last client to dump them out of fear of being dumped first. If King & Spalding loses a lot of business over this, it will make pressure from gay rights groups a lot easier to resist in the future. This may be a Pyrrhic victory they’ll come to regret.
Apollo posted this at 10:58 PM CDT on Friday, April 29th, 2011 as It's Economics - Stupid!, Kulturkampf, The Law Is An Ass--An Idiot
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So it looks like Michelle Bachmann is going to run for president. In the past I’ve tried to ignore her existence, because she doesn’t seem like a terribly consequential figure, and, because she is both attractive (for a politician) and conservative, she is polarizing regardless of her actual merits, or lack thereof. Add the fact that she’s obviously unqualified and this is almost certain to become an enormous distraction from the serious candidates and the issues of the day. If the Sarahpalin experience has taught us anything, it’s that the media (and, let’s face it, the public) would rather spend its time diving into the irrelevant minutiae of an attractive woman than reporting on legitimate stories.
Let’s just hope she has a video record of giving birth to her five children so as to avoid that controversy. Even then, I’m sure tracking the true origins of her 23 foster children will keep Dr. Sullivan busy for much of the cycle.
Apollo posted this at 11:01 AM CDT on Thursday, March 24th, 2011 as Is It 2012 Yet?, Kulturkampf
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Weird. I suggest reading the whole letter, but here’s what I take as the upshot:
- The president is declaring section 3 of DOMA unconstitutional because he believes the judiciary will strike it down at some point in the future.
- The president will continue to enforce this unconstitutional law.
- The president will not defend this law as constitutional in the judiciary because he believes that the judiciary will strike it down.
This strikes me as a bizarre sort of posturing. First, there’s no independent basis for the president’s determination of constitutionality. It defers entirely to the judiciary’s standards of constitutionality. Despite what this letter claims, the judiciary is not “the final arbiter” of constitutionality; all three branches of the federal government have an independent duty to examine the constitutionality of laws, and our system is designed so that the American people will not be afflicted with any law that any branch considers unconstitutional. The Congress can revoke a law or refuse to fund its enforcement; the president can refuse to enforce it; and the courts can refuse to allow it to be enforced. For any one branch to base its interpretation solely on the interpretation of another branch deprives the American people of the constitutionally-created division of power.
Second, if the law’s unconstitutional, don’t enforce it. Why are they planning to continue enforcing an unconstitutional law? That strikes me as an impeachable offense. The president has a duty to see that the laws are faithfully enforced, but the Constitution is THE law; that’s the whole rationale, for example, behind judicial review, that in refusing to allow unconstitutional statutes to be enforced, the judiciary is actually enforcing the Constitution. If the president is enforcing a law he believes to be unconstitutional, he is not seeing that the most important law is enforced.
Third, the president is refusing to defend in court a law that he is actively enforcing. This is pure bad faith.
Fourth, the refusal to defend defensible laws – even if the president believes they are unconstitutional and refuses to enforce them – is the end of constitutional government. We the people, through previous Congresses and Presidents, have expressed our opinion that DOMA is constitutional, and we deserve to have our interests represented in court by our non-political lawyers in the DoJ. Otherwise, I look forward to the next president defaulting on Obamacare, as well as any other laws I dislike. I’ll start making a list.
Finally, a less-substantive point after the break: Read the rest of this entry »
Apollo posted this at 1:15 PM CDT on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 as CHANGE!, Kulturkampf, We don't need no stinkin' Constitution
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Texas appears to be moving toward making teenage sexting not a felony. The attorney general says he’s not aware of any teenagers being prosecuted for kiddy porn under existing law, which is a good thing, but we shouldn’t leave bad laws laying around waiting for some jackass prosecutor to try to be the first to use.
Still, I can’t help but feel that the laudable current effort is still several years behind the mores of our times:
[State Senator Kirk ] Watson and [Attorney General Greg] Abbott said the new provision covering parents is designed to allow parents to be involved in court-ordered programs about the dangers of sexting. Abbott said he suspects that most of the teenagers who are sending sexually explicit images “don’t understand the consequences of what they’re doing.”
By sending explicit photos of themselves, he said, “they are exposing themselves around the world.”
The thought that would make Watson’s and Abbot’s skin crawl is this: the teenagers are perfectly aware of the consquences of what they are doing. We’re not dealing with illiterate babes in the woods being exploited here, we’re dealing with tech savvy kids loaded with hormones who are exchanging pictures with people exactly like themselves. I doubt there’s one out of twenty sexters who would be surprised to learn that their pictures could get beyond the original audience. As I’ve long said,* there’s a changing culture regarding nude and explicit pictures. In 20 years, I suspect these sexting teenagers will look back not with horror, like today’s serious adults expect, but with bemusement.
*That post is from 2007, but the bitter counterfactual it references looms much larger today. Then it only dealt with a senate seat. Now we can look back and think that if only Seven of Nine had fewer hangups about having sex with complete strangers back in the 90s, we’d have a different president today. It’s like I lost out twice.
Apollo posted this at 8:03 AM CDT on Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 as Deep in the Heart of Texas, Kulturkampf, Pop Culture Is Filth, The Law Is An Ass--An Idiot
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What happens when a coach forces his team to pursue excellence in the face of a decidedly unexcellent opponent? 108-3, that’s what.
The coach said he refuses to force his players to back down just because they have all but assured a victory, citing a desire to promote values that he feels are limited by contemporary culture.
“Too many people in the world right now allow the youth to not be as good as they can be, allow them to be lazy,” said McGill. “Here, I’m giving them an opportunity to live up to the best of their abilities and be proud of what they’re able to accomplish. If that’s what I’m being blamed for, then OK, I accept it.”
The best bit from this story:
While Christian Heritage has already apologized for the lopsided scoreline and administrators at West Ridge have said the school harbors no ill will and has moved on from the incident, there are still lingering concerns about what could happen when the teams play again.
Well I doubt those concerns revolve around who will win.
P.S. The Christian Heritage High School Crusaders? I love Utah.
Apollo posted this at 10:07 PM CDT on Monday, January 24th, 2011 as Kulturkampf
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Marriott’s decision also comes after years of discussing whether the availability of adult entertainment in guest rooms – for years, a money maker for hotels – is appropriate and whether secure safeguards exist to keep it away from children. It also comes as business travelers, especially, check into hotels carrying their own entertainment, whether Netflix DVDs, an iPod Touch or a laptop.
Apollo posted this at 9:54 PM CDT on Monday, January 24th, 2011 as Kulturkampf
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If anyone needs a good cheer-up today — or cheer-down, depending on one’s disposition — read Ann Althouse’s analysis of President Obama’s obfuscations and dodges regarding DADT and gay marriage. It’s devastating.
Tom posted this at 12:55 PM CDT on Thursday, October 28th, 2010 as I, For One, Welcome Our Judicial Overlords!, Kulturkampf, Ladies, Gentlemen, and the Rest of us, The Law Is An Ass--An Idiot
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This speech from Jeff Sessions puts Elena Kagan’s expulsion of military recruiters from Harvard in a context I had not thought of:
Around the same time Ms. Kagan was campaigning to exclude military recruiters—citing what she saw as the evils of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell—Harvard University accepted $20 million from a member of the Saudi Royal family to establish a center for Islamic Studies in his honor.
A recent Obama State Department report concerning Saudi Arabia and Islamic Shari’a law noted that:
“Under Shari’a as interpreted in [Saudi Arabia] sexual activity between two persons of the same gender is punishable by death or flogging.”
Ms. Kagan was perfectly willing to obstruct the U.S. military—which has liberated countless Muslims from the hate and tyranny of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban.
But it seems she sat on the sidelines as Harvard created an Islamic Studies Center funded by—and dedicated to—foreign leaders presiding over a legal system that violates what would appear to be her position.
Perhaps she would have let military recruiters on campus if they gave her $20 million?
Apollo posted this at 8:44 PM CDT on Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 as Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Kulturkampf, Running with the antelope, Veiled Threats
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