A Financial Marshall Plan

A collapse of the Eurozone would be a disaster of 1929-like proportions. But what’s for us in the United States to do about it? The Eurozone is a bigger economy than the USA, and there are a multiplicity of apparently competent technocrats running the show in the EU and its constituent nations confronting the problem.…

Theocratic Quips Less Scary Than Advertised

I’m enjoying the process of deflagging quotes. Today, I came across an article on Slate describing what are portrayed as theocratic tendencies among Republican Presidential candidates. So without referencing the original Slate article with these quotes, see if you can match up the following statements to the following Presidential candidates competing for the Republican nomination:

An Aspirational Quiz

Inspired by Tod Kelly’s claim that we U.S. Americans are really closer to one another politically than we think, following is a quiz. All remarks are taken from the speeches of either John McCain or Barack Obama accepting their respective parties’ nominations in 2008. I picked these in part from Tod’s reference to the nominating…

Standing Legally

I’ve opined several times before that the legal concept of “standing” should be interpreted broadly, particularly in the realm of Constitutional law, with an eye towards encouraging litigation of disputes on their merits. Too often the courts choose to attack a litigant’s standing as a way of avoiding making an actual decision on the merits…

Friday Jukebox: 1933

I’m getting ready to throw the End-Of-Prohibition Party. So of course I’m thinking of old standards. Bear in mind that the original of this one was in 1928 in German, but didn’t make it into English until the New York premiere in 1933 (it flopped, closing after twelve performances): I’ve also found this bit of…

Of Two Minds At Once

It takes four Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court to bring a case onto the docket. Typically when fewer than four indicate they want to review a case, the case dies a quiet death and no one pays attention. It’s very unusual for a denial of Supreme Court review to garner national attention, and it’s…

Puts You There Where Things Are Hollow

Today’s question from the good doctor makes me ask a more basic one. Why do people crave fame? Is fame useful for something else? It’s obviously not always a platform to wealth. It’s not always a platform do good works or to change minds. It can be those things, but clearly not always. Is it just inherently…

Libyan Spider Hole

The Beeb is reporting that Muammar Quaddafi has captured by Libya’s transitional government, hiding in a spider hole much like Saddam Hussein had been. Or maybe he was killed. (UPDATE: Al-Jazeera and the Gray Lady are both reporting “died of wounds after capture”.) Lots of bad information circles around in wartime. So — mission accomplished? This wasn’t…

A Hundred Thousand Words Later…

I just finished A Feast For Crows last night. Now I’m considering whether to drop the extra money on A Dance With Dragons, but of course I know I’m going to. Still, I am taking a bit of time to consider it. Here’s why. (Spoilers below the jump. If you don’t want the spoilers, don’t jump, don’t…

Jerry Blows The Call

Let’s say you and I are sitting at lunch and you get up to use the restroom. Uninvited, I grab your cell phone and start paging through your text messages and your directory and whatever else might be there. Are you legitimately upset with me for doing this? Have I done something wrong? Yes, and…

Getting Into Shape For The Election

A reversal of policy like this has to have come from either Holder or Obama. And it hasto be motivated by the fact that November 6, 2012, is less than 400 days away. It’s bad policy (leaning on the landlords is particularly not endearing to me) and a waste of resources (aren’t there any terrorists…

Poway Prohibits Pedagogical Proselytization

A calculus teacher named Bradley Johnson at a public high school in Poway, California decorated his classroom with posters described as: …two large banners, each about seven-feet wide and two feet tall, hung on the wall. … One had red, white, and blue stripes and stated in large block type: “IN GOD WE TRUST”; “ONE…

Online Universities

My co-blogger has some excellent thoughts up about online univerisities and non-traditional students. I think it’s front page material. Please take a visit to Not A Potted Plant and give him your thoughts and feedback.

A Lemon Of An Idea In Alabama

If you are convicted of a misdemeanor in Baldwin County, Alabama (that’s on the east side of Mobile Bay, bordering Florida, with a county seat in the I’m-sure-it’s-lovely city of Bay Minette), the judges will give you a choice — serve your time in the county jail or promise to go to church once a…

A Work In Progress

The English word “republic” is taken from the Latin phrase “res publica,” a concept which embraced the government, the culture, the community, and the aggregate sum of public acts of citizens. After the meeting in which the Framing of the original Constitution took place, Benjamin Franklin is quoted as answering a woman’s question of “What…

A Ghastly Price For Success: Krokodil

The war in Afghanistan (remember that one?) clearly is resulting in, at long last, a decrease in the opium poppy trade, and the concomitant decrease in the global supply of recreational heroin. Apparently, heroin has become next to impossible to obtain in Russia, not from law enforcement activity but rather because there just isn’t enough…

A Lost Opportunity In San Juan Capistrano

The government, and people acting on behalf of the government, may not endorse religion, and may not favor religion over non-religion. By the same token, they may not endorse atheism nor favor non-religion over religion. The government, and those acting on behalf of it, must be neutral about religion. The most oft-cited Supreme Court passage…

In Which I Return To Dangerous Territory About Which I Am Admittedly Ignorant

Here in California, Governor Brown has just signed a law mandating that the history curriculae of the public schools include coverage of “the contributions of gay, lesbian and transgendered Americans.” Below the fold, I have some thoughts about this but if you want to skip directly to the comments, my question is “Who should be on the curriculum?” In my…

A Decade of Decriminalization

Ten years ago, Portugal decriminalized drugs, including “hard” drugs like cocaine and heroin. Since then, drug-related crime is down substantially, addiction is down, and drug-related health problems (i.e., infections from unsterilized heroin needles) are down dramatically also. At the same time, Portugal is an economic basket case, having needed a substantial bailout of its economy…

Scandinavian Reality Blindness

In Norway, teachers are trained and encouraged to teach non-traditional gender roles to four-year-olds. This includes the use of books that caused tremendous controversy here in the USA, like “King and King.” Generally this has been non-controversial: The only pushback to date was from the Norwegian Christian newspaper, which raised a debate about whether kindergartens…

Well Intentioned Hysteria

If I told you that hundreds of abducted, runaway or thrown-away children in the United States fall into prostitution annually, you’d probably respond with empathy for that issue. How awful that kids — just-pubescent or near-pubescent children — should be reduced to turning tricks on the street. What kind of monsters would pimp out children? My…

Cyrenaica Conflict Causes Constitutional Crisis

The Speaker of the House yesterday sent a ‘warning letter’ to the President concerning the United States’ participation in NATO’s ongoing military adventure in Libya. The political fight now is about the War Powers Resolution, a law of debatable constitutionality and a consistent source of debate and concern. The core of the challenge is this:…

Loving At 44

Forty-four years ago today*, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in the famous case of Loving v. Virginia (1967) 388 U.S. 1. At the time, sixteen states outlawed interracial marriages. But on June 2, 1958, the 24-year-old Richard Loving and his sweetheart, 18-year-old Mildred Delores Jeter, got married. They had to go to Washington,…

No Sex Please, You Live In A Dorm

Seriously? The President of Catholic University thinks that going back to single-sex dorms is going to cut down on the number of undergraduates having sex, and therefore improve academic performance. (Via.) A few thoughts on this (admittedly fueled  by a rather strong preblogging G&T)…

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

By way of Jonathan Adler, I came across this Gray Lady editorial concerning California’s renewable-energy mandate. Renewable energy means, for the most part, solar and wind power. The primary concern raised by the author is that while greenhouse gasses and fossil fuels are not implicated in solar or wind power, they do exact an environmental…

Closed Front Doors, Open Back Doors

Roger Williams’ concept of “separation of church and state” first became a part of Establishment Clause jurisprudence in Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878), and became incorporated to and applicable to the several states by way of the Fourteenth Amendment in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947). What this means was…

Afterlife as an Afterthought

Last night, I attended a debate sponsored by the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism or more colloquially, “Jew U”) ostensibly on the question “Is There An Afterlife?”; I style it a “debate” although it was more of a moderated conversation. I went because two of the four debaters were Sam Harris andChristopher Hitchens. Pitted…