Stalking Scalia

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Today's Ronald Cass piece is a great read that covers the media sensationalism flanking Justice Scalia:

One of the week's big news stories was the dramatic account of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, accosted outside a Boston Mass, using a Sicilian hand gesture to explain what he would say to people who question his very public commitment to Catholicism. The implicit question wasn't whether it was alright for a judge to be a practicing Catholic. Instead, it was whether Scalia was improperly committed to positions on cases coming before the Court. Especially on matters like abortion, where the Catholic Church has an official position.

Yet publicly committing to a position - or to a set of beliefs and interpretations - is exactly what liberal Senators and the interest groups that support them were demanding during the recent confirmation hearings of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. No one on the Left seemed concerned that the nominees would be open to criticism, or even recusal, if they declared on the record that the Constitution contained a right to privacy that protected women seeking abortions from state interference or if they embraced a particularly expansive vision of such a right.

Despite the media virtually ignoring the nap Justice Ginsburg took during oral arguments two weeks ago, it never lets go of Scalia because, as Cass notes, "Scalia is the leading voice for a set of legal propositions that run counter to the political, social, and constitutional agenda of the dominant voices in almost every major element of America's Speaking elites."

Liberal blogger Atrios, a proud atheist (go figure), has suddenly become offended that Scalia might have made an improper gesture inside a church: "In other words, he didn't just make the sign for 'f**k you' he said 'f**k you.' In church. What will we tell the children."

I can't blame the justice for dismissing the reporter with that (hardly explicit) gesture, for he did not want to be bothered while attending religious services. He is routinely hounded to a greater degree than any other justice, by a mob of media elites who couldn't hold a candle to Scalia's intellectual capacity.

Ben Domenech on Plagiarizers

Monday, March 27, 2006

After reading this tidbit you never would have assumed the author himself was a serial plagiarist, but then again, can we really be so sure this is an original work of Benny boy:

Jayson Blair refuses to have any sense of guilt over his actions at the New York Times. He says he received no preferential treatment. He says he deserves to be hailed as a genius for his elaborate lies. He says he laughed at the sheer inaccuracy of his cliched description of Jessica Lynch's West Virginia family home.

Jayson Blair is just one more journalistic pezzonovante amidst a crowd of his peers. The only difference is, he's unashamed of his pretty little lies. In fact, he's proud of them.

The ultimate insult that we could pay towards this wretch would be to forget him. He deserves no more of our time.
Tough talk from a guy who was also unashamed of his lies when he denied his unforgivable activities, only to finally semi-apologize when the piles of evidence stacked against him towered too tall.

And before today we thought we couldn't loath Benny boy anymore than we already did, but now we have him on record berating a fraud no worse than the righteous man himself.

Kudos to INDC Journal and Michelle Malkin for not burying this embarrassing episode we can and should all learn from.

Farewell Creep

Saturday, March 25, 2006

As the hours pass more and more documents "written" by disgraced conservative writer Ben Domenech are turning out to be works of plagiarism, and while he'd like to think otherwise, the detective work is not only being done by mean liberals, but by the victims of his work such as conservative outfit National Review which has turned up uncomfortable amounts of plagiarized work. This whole mess now begs the question: has Benny written a single article that's original?

I was angry when I learned he plagiarized after I endorsed his blog. I became extremely angry when he went on the offensive against the liberals who took him down and continued to fight the accusations with excuses, and now words don't express my feelings for this creep who still hasn't released a full apology after scores of documents have surfaced with his byline though written by someone else. Here's his latest:

I want to apologize to National Review Online, my friends and colleagues here at RedState, and to any others that have been affected over the past few days. I also want to apologize to my previous editors and writers whose work I used inappropriately and without attribution. There is no excuse for this - nor is there an excuse for any obfuscation in my earlier statement.
What about an apology to the writers such as Flick Filosopher with whom you have no affiliation? What about to the conservative bloggers as whole who believe their own reputations have been tarnished because of your serial plagiarism?
I hope that nothing I've done as a teenager or in my professional life will reflect badly on the movement and principles I believe in.
There he goes again with his teenager nonsense and his "principles." Seventeen-year-olds should be held to the same level of accountability that adults are when doing the same work. I'm sure, like most conservatives, Ben boy believes minors who commit murder should face no less severe a sentence as they were able to walk the walk just like the worst of them.
I'm deeply grateful for the love and encouragment (sic) of all those around me. And although I may not deserve such support, it makes it that much more humbling at a time like this. I'm a young man, and I hope that in time that I can earn a measure of the respect that you have given me.


Yeah, he spelled "encouragement" wrong, but at this point we can't be surprised by anything from red face. And no Benny boy, you don't deserve any support or any measure of respect. You apparently love to play to "kiddy card" and for that you should be treated as such. Now go to your room. I hope we've heard the last from you.

And finally, I hope the conservatives bloggers out there will follow my steps and those of Aggressive-Voice reader The Gentle Cricket and remove all positive likes to, which at this time is still allowing him to write there. RedState readers for the most part have forgiven him for what is inexcusable.

Further Disgracing Himself

Friday, March 24, 2006

Ben Domenech, the conservative and former blogger at Red America who resigned after being accused of plagiarism, has posted a rebuttal to the charges...well, some a few of them. Sadly, it's mostly him blaming the liberals who tried to bring him down. You can read the entire thing for yourself, but here is just his partial response to some of the plagiarism charges, and they're weak:

I know that charges of plagiarism are serious. While I am not a journalist, I have, myself, written more than one thing that has been plagiarized in the past. But these charges have also served to create an atmosphere where no matter what is said on my Red America blog, leftists will focus on things with my byline from when I was a teenager.

Virtually every other alleged instance of plagiarism that I've seen comes from a single semester's worth of pieces that were printed under my name at my college paper, The Flat Hat, when I was 17.
Since when does being a teenager excuse oneself from plagiarism, or any act for that matter? When conservatives generally have no problem seeing death sentences handed out to criminals for committing acts at 17, certainly someone of the same age caught plagiarizing deserves no pardon.
My critics have also accused me of plagiarism in multiple movie reviews for the college paper. I once caught an editor at the paper inserting a line from The New Yorker (which I read) into my copy and protested. When that editor was promoted, I resigned. Before that, insertions had been routinely made in my copy, which I did not question. I did not even at that time read the publications from which I am now alleged to have lifted material.

But all these specifics are beside the point. Considering that all of this happened almost eight years ago, and that there are no files or notes that I've kept from that brief stint, it is simply my word against the liberal blogosphere on these examples. It becomes a matter of who you believe.
Well we're certainly not going to believe you!

Conveniently, Mr. Domenech fails to defend his review of "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within," a film released not eight years ago but in 2001. His review is almost identical to Steve Murray's of Cox News Service, and I'd like to know if an editor messed with that one too. From Kos; the first paragraph being Domenech's review, the second is Murray's:
Translucent and glowing, they ooze up from the ground and float through solid walls, splaying their tentacles and snapping their jaws, dripping a discomfiting acidic ooze. They're known as the Phantoms, otherworldly beings who, for three decades, have been literally sucking the life out of the earthlings of the human. They are swollen, insectoid, the nightmare descendents of Lovecraftian grotesque - if only the filmmakers had created a plot that was as memorable.


Translucent and glowing, they ooze up from the ground and float through solid walls, wriggling countless tentacles and snapping their jaws. They're known as the Phantoms, alien thingies that, for three decades, have been sucking the life out of the earthlings of "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within." Swollen nightmares from a petri dish, they're the kind of grotesque whatsits horror writer H.P. Lovecraft would have kept as pets in his basement.
How can you defend that? Well obviously that's a tough task which is why he chose to defend some other charges while ignoring the big ones such as this. Where's the apology? Instead of blaming liberals (though admitted some have taken their attacks too far) he should be manning up to his errors, and we should be thanking the lefties for uncovering a dishonest plagiarizer whom at this point is still refusing to come clean.

Disgraced Conservative Resigns

Just a few days ago I endorsed a new blog over at the Washington Post site called Red America. Turns out its author, Ben Domenech, is a serial plagiarist who repeatedly stole whole paragraphs from other writers' works and claimed authorship. This scandal might have gone unnoticed had it not been for the detective work of some liberal bloggers who did not like the idea of a conservative running the blog of a mainstream newspaper.

As someone who has been plagiarized in the past (most recently by a college newspaper columnist) I am glad Mr. Domenech resigned from his gig and wish him the best in his future endeavors, just as long as they're not in the field of journalism.

Your Crazy World

Thursday, March 23, 2006

There are many, many other stories I'd rather be reading about than Star Jones' successful breast-lift surgery, and I'm sure you feel the same. Here are some random pickings:

  • Kansans can now carry concealed weapons if they successfully apply for a permit, thanks to the state House that overrode Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' veto. We can now add Kansas to the list of growing states that allow citizens to protect themselves in public.

  • A tortoise that was living in a zoo died today, but don't feel too bad; he was 250 years old! One must wonder why God (or nature, for you trail mix eaters) would allow such a simple animal with such little purpose in life to live on this planet for so long. I guess maybe, its purpose is greater than what mankind can understand. The amazing story here.

  • As if you needed another reason to quit smoking, cigarettes apparently cause impotence. According to the study men who smoke are up to 40 percent more likely to suffer from impotence than those who don't. That's a pretty good reason to quit, although for some perhaps impotence is not such a bad thing.

  • And speaking of cigarettes, one was apparently the cause of a cruise ship fire that killed one passenger and injured up to a dozen. Not a good day for tobacco.

  • High school teens are dumb for advertising booze parties on MySpace, a site where bored teens pretend to know stuff and complete mindless surveys about their favorite color and number of times they've taken a shower today. They also advertise when and where the parties are at, and police couldn't be happier for this helpful service.

More later, kids.

Supreme Court Deals Blow to Law Enforcement

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

In one of the most important cases of Chief Justice John Roberts' first term, Georgia v. Randolph, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 (Alito not participating) today that police cannot search a home without a warrant when one resident invites them in but another tells them to beat it.

Writing for the majority, Justice Souter expressed concern that permitting police to enter a residence when an occupant objected would deny him his Fourth Amendment rights: "Assuming that both spouses are competent, neither one is a master possessing the power to override the other's constitutional right to deny entry to their castle."

Castle? That's pretty strong language for a justice who ruled last year that the government can forcibly buy your "castle" and sell it to a private interest. Souter was joined by the other three liberals and the increasingly left-leaning Justice Kennedy.

In his first written dissent on the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts wrote a lengthy diatribe, saying the decision "apparently forbids police from entering to assist with a domestic dispute if the abuser whose behavior prompted the request for police assistance objects."

Justices Scalia and Thomas, both of whom joined Roberts' opinion, also wrote dissents. All of the fun can be read here.

Whether the right call was made or not the decision will have a major impact on how law enforcement officers deal with the public.

More later.

No Harm if it's Just a Fetus

Monday, March 20, 2006

There's simply no reason to oppose this law, as it will have zero impact on a woman's quest to terminate her pregnancy:

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Jennifer Granholm will sign a bill requiring abortion providers to give pregnant women the option to see ultrasound images of their fetuses, a spokeswoman says.

Granholm generally has opposed anti-abortion legislation, but the bill was amended so it no longer requires pregnant women to see the ultrasound images, spokeswoman Liz Boyd said Sunday.

Critics called it a further erosion of women's rights.

The ultrasound bill is one of the "small, incremental steps...all designed to put up barriers" to legal abortion, Kary Moss, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press.

Oh quite the contrary, Ms. Moss. This law takes down barriers, because it gives women who are making an important medical decision an additional tool. All women should embrace this law. If an athlete can see an MRI of his shoulder before deciding to undergo season-ending surgery, then it would only be appropriate for a woman to be allowed to see her fetus before aborting it. This is, after all, completely optional on the part of the mother...or almost-mother.

And besides, if what's growing inside a woman's uterus is just a fetus or a "bundle of cells," what's the harm of seeing the thing before making the decision to get rid of it?

New Blog Worth Following

The Washington Post has started hosting a new blog called Red America, and its host Ben Domenech is already off to a good start. His methodical writing style comes off more journalistic than ranting ideologue, and so far it's quite insightful (he reminds us Daily Kos-endorsed candidates are 0-19).

I'll be paying attention to this one.

May God Have Mercy on Your Soul

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

That's what a circuit court judge told Joseph Smith after condemning him to death for the murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia. The trial is finally over, but now we must wait for the appeals process to commence:

Smith, 39, showed no emotion Wednesday as state Circuit Judge Andrew Owens read the official sentences - death for the murder count and life in prison for kidnapping and sexual battery.

Carlie's naked body was found four days after her disappearance on the grounds of a Sarasota church. News of the crime shook the community, and hundreds turned out for memorial services.

Absent from the courtroom was Carlie's mother, Susan Schorpen, who is in jail in Pinellas County on drug and prostitution charges. She has said the pain of losing her daughter led her to institutionalize herself three times and take drugs to numb the pain.
Now all we can do is pray for Carlie's mother, and hope she will find closure in this mess and begin the slow and painful process of turning her life around.

Long Live the Soft-Spined Republicans

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The sad state of the Republican Party is all the more apparent with their refusal to take on Senator Bill Nelson of Florida; hardly a political juggernaut:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris is under mounting pressure from Republicans to abandon her bid for the U.S. Senate and is expected to announce her plans later this week.

GOP leaders have urged Harris to get out of the race, saying she cannot win and that her role as Florida's secretary of state during the 2000 presidential recount could drive Democrats and independents to the polls in droves.

I used to like Senator Nelson. He was a respectable, moderate Democrat. But that all changed when he opposed the stellar nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. He has to go, and if it's not going to be Harris replacing him then the Republican establishment better find someone who will.

After 10 Seasons Isaac Hayes Can't Take a Joke

After 10 seasons of slaughtering every sacred cow imaginable you'd Mr. Hayes, who's been a part of the show since its inception, would not take the jokes on Scientology seriously.

Alas, the deep baritone singer who happens to be a Scientologist has asked to be released from his South Park contract. Here's more:

"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs ... begins," Hayes said in a statement.

"Obviously, Matt and Trey are disappointed that he's not going to be part of the show, but they're not going to make him do something he doesn't want to do," the spokesman, Tony Fox, told Reuters.

However, he said Stone and Parker "feel that it's a bit disingenuous (for Hayes) to cite religious intolerance as a reason for him pulling out of the show" because the series has lampooned religion since its start, taking shots at Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Mormons, among others.

The series grew out of two short films by Parker and Stone, "Jesus vs. Frosty" and "The Spirit of Christmas," the latter featuring a martial-arts duel between Jesus and Santa Claus over the true meaning of Christmas.
And that's what has made South Park so successful over the years; not because it makes fun of everything but because it does it so intelligently. The cartoon throughout its 10 seasons has crossed lines far worse than scientology jokes, but because it affects Mr. Hayes personally he felt a need to separate himself from the phenomenon to which he owes this end of his career.

Brady Campaign Gives Florida an "F+", Woohoo!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I admit I was a little disturbed last year when Brady Campaign only gave the state of Florida a D for its gun laws. To me I thought the anti-gun group was implicating there was more Florida could do to allow good Floridians to lawfully obtain weapons.

This year we get an F+ and I couldn't be more thrilled. I imagine Brady Campaign wasn't too thrilled when Florida allowed its residents, starting this year, to stand their ground against violent encounters instead of fleeing first.

Here are some of the reasons listed why Brady Campaign compliments Florida with such a prestigious rating:

Gun Safety Locks: Florida doesn't require its residents to keep firearms locked in the home because it's hard to used a locked gun on a violent intruder. Brady Campaign would prefer all guns be locked and rendered useless, and that residents dial 911 when they see a criminal enter a family member's bedroom instead of taking faster action. Because Florida looks out for the safety of its homeowners Brady Campaign gives it an F for safety locks.

Concealed Carry Laws: Florida is a "shall-issue" state, meaning anyone who qualifies for a concealed weapons permit and applies for one cannot be turned down. Because Florida doesn't allow police agencies to discriminate against blacks and other minoritys that shouldn't be allowed to carry Brady Campaign gives Florida an F for concealed carry laws.

The District of Columbia gets a B from Brady Campaign because it's gun laws are among the strictest in the nation. It also has one of the highest homicide rates in the country, but you won't that from Brady Campaign. D.C. would have received an A had Congress not been given the ability to repeal its laws that contribute to it being one of the most violent places in the country, but since Congress does have the ability to write laws it only gets a B.

Jail the Bitch

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Just look at that smug face on that Tampa woman sitting on her fence. Who does she think she is, putting up such a tacky sign in her yard? Good thing we have Homeowners' associations to keep people like her in check:

TAMPA - Before David Kelley went to Iraq, he bought his wife a "Support Our Troops" sign to display outside the couple's home in the Westchase subdivision.

But officials of Westchase, in northwest Hillsborough County, view the sign differently. They say the 2-foot-high sign violates community rules. Stacey Kelley, 24, received a letter from the homeowners association last month stating she could be fined $100 a day if she does not remove the sign.

"I've been crying and everything since I got that," she said. "It's ridiculous that no one can even show their support."

Deed restrictions prohibit Westchase residents from displaying signs outside their homes except "for sale" or "for rent" notices. Residents get a copy of the rules when they move into the community.
So does this particular homeowners association make an exception for Christmas? Are residents allowed to post "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" signs in their yards? Of course, because that makes sense. But when it comes to showing support for the troops, you best not be littering your yard with patriotic propaganda.

This is Just Hilarious

Either this CBS report is inaccurate or some of the liberals at Syracuse University are conditioned coming-of-age fascists (emphasis added):

More than a thousand of her fans lined up to hear her speak at Syracuse University Wedesday night, and the security in the area was tight.

Officers searched bags and coats as people went into hear Coulter speak. The security measure was taken since Coulter has been threatened in the past. A small group of students showed up to express strong opinions. They say Coulter should not have been allowed to come on campus because they disagree with her views. Meanwhile, others say Coulter is someone who helps them express their conservative ideas.
Well I guess if they don't want her there she shouldn't be allowed on campus. And while they're at it they may as well force her into a labor camp for espousing intolerable opinions.

Mr. Garrison Gets a Vaginoplasty

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It aired again last night, one of the many great South Park episodes that clandestinely pokes fun at liberals' sacred values, this time abortion.

Tired of being just an ordinary gay man, Mr. Garrison decides to become a woman and undergoes a vaginoplasty. Unbeknownst to him at the time, the surgery hardly makes him a woman, and it takes him awhile to figure it out.

Here are some memorable lines from the show; all of which are said by Mr. Garrison. Warning, explicit:

  • "Oh boy, men will do just about anything to get a look at our t*ts, won't they? Men are all the same. My boyfriend walked out on me! Turns out he was a f*g. But I've been livin' it up ever since, havin' sex with all kinds of different guys! Girl power!"

  • "Oh my God. Of course. I haven't gotten to experience a period because one of those truckers I slept with got me knocked up. [turns around and shouts] I'm pregnant, everybody! Hoh boy, now I can have an abortion!"

  • "[talking to another patient at the Planned Parenthood clinic] You here for an abortion too? Yeah, I discovered a few days ago I wasn't bleedin' out my coo, so I guess I'm knocked up. Is this doctor any good?..."

  • “[talking to doctor] Yeah, I've got one growing inside me. Now, are you gonna scramble its brains or just vacuum it out? If you want you can just scramble it and I'll queef it out myself."

  • "[after being told he can't have an abortion because he's not really a woman] Don't you tell me what I can and can't do with my body! A woman has a right to choose!"

  • "[now realizing he's still male] You mean, I'll never know what it feels like to have a baby growing inside me and then scramble its brains and vacuum it out?"

  • "You know what? I'm okay. Even though I'm not truly a woman, I think I still like the new me. I'd rather be a woman who can't have periods than a f*g. Hey guys! This girl is staying a woman! Who wants to pound my vadge! Girl power!"

Now Parental Notification Does Reduce Abortions

A few days ago I remarked on the NY Times abortion study that got plenty of coverage from the press and pro-choice groups. Today I have a feeling said paper will overlook the results of this study:

Abortion rates declined significantly among Texas girls -- though some got riskier abortions later in pregnancy -- after the state enacted a parental notification law, researchers say.

The findings could have a strong influence on the abortion debate. Texas is the biggest of 35 states that require minors to notify their parents or get their consent before obtaining an abortion, although a judge can usually grant a waiver.

Researchers at Baruch College at City University of New York studied the records of teen abortions and births for the two years before the Texas law took effect on Jan. 1, 2000, and for three years afterward.

Abortion rates dropped for girls ages 15 through 18, even though the 18-year-olds were not subject to the law. But the drop was more pronounced among the younger girls. Their rates fell 11 percent to 20 percent more than the rate among the 18-year-olds did.
Again, I don't believe parental notification laws go far enough. Minors should be required to have permission from their parents before getting abortions, just as they must be accompanied by them to R-rated movies. Which of the two cases is more potentially harmful to the child?

And to the many e-mailers who scream kids will now be subjected to abusive parents, there's always another method. Judges are available to minors who can obtain waivers. If you're mature enough to be engaging in sex, you're mature enough to use the legal system to your advantage.

Surprise: Most People Want Saddam Dead

Well this is kind of a no-brainer:

WASHINGTON - Two-thirds of people in the United States say Iraqis are better off now than under Saddam Hussein, but many longtime U.S. allies are less optimistic, AP-Ipsos polling found.

U.S. attitudes also differed from those in eight other countries on how Saddam should be punished if he is convicted of murder and torture. Americans want him to be executed. People in the other eight countries want him to spend life in prison.
Of course the people Saddam Hussein oppressed should have the final word on the dictator's fate, but this study has interest in the United States because it shows that support for the death penalty is still alive and well. Will Democrats campaign against capital punishment this year and in 2008? Not if they want to win.

Keeping Justice Ginsburg on Notice

It's appalling how little attention Ginsburg's napping episode has garnered. Just because we take for granted that federal judges serve for life doesn't mean the Constitution provides them an absolute blanket of impunity. Federal judges "shall hold their offices during good behavior," and I'm quite sure sleeping on the job finds no protection. Kudos to the bloggers and publications that didn't let this story go. Here are a few:

  • Newsmax opines: "Political redistricting is a tedious legal issue. So tedious, in fact, that Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg apparently fell asleep during oral argument in the Court's review of a controversial Texas redistricting plan directed by Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, in 2003."

  • Michael Bates of Renew America detects an agenda: "Perhaps her dozing off last week didn't merit the attention of the three broadcast networks. There's only so much available time and it would have been reprehensible for them to interrupt their wall to wall coverage of Vice President Cheney's crucial hunting accident."

  • The National Ledger sees the hypocrisy: "I'm guessing this would lead the news if it had been a conservative Supreme Court Justice and there would already be calls for the conservative to step down."

  • Truthdig covered it, as well as Doug Powers of MensNewsDaily who thought it was best to let her sleep: "Judge Alito was faced with one of his first big decisions since putting on the Supreme Court Justice robe, and he didn't disappoint conservatives-- he didn't wake up Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Kudos to Souter as well for not nudging Ginsberg."

No Guarantee High Court Will Revisit Roe

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A high number of conservatives are hoping (and assuming) that the new South Dakota abortion ban will force the Supreme Court to revisit the Roe decision sometime next term.

Captain Ed wrongly asserts, "Without a doubt, the Supreme Court will not be able to avoid the reconsideration of Roe." South Dakota's blatant defiance of the Supreme Court's recognition of the right to abortion does not necessarily have to reach the Supreme Court anytime soon.

The Court has already agreed to hear the challenge to partial-birth abortion next term and may not wish to consider the broad constitutionality of abortion again. South Dakota's law will likely be struck down by a district court (as it should, because it must follow Supreme Court precedent) and a subsequent circuit court of appeals. At that point the Supreme Court could simply refuse to hear it for themselves and allow the lower court's ruling to remain valid.

Four justices of the Supreme Court must decide to hear a case before a writ of certiorari is granted. When South Dakota's law is inevitably killed at the appeals level it is highly unlikely that any of the five justices who currently support Roe will wish to bring the ban back. The four remaining justices could remain to hear it but a wiser strategy would be for them to wait for one of the liberals to be replaced by another Bush appointment.

24 Delivers Nasty Groin Kick

My joy upon seeing the return of Jack Bauer's daughter, Kim (guess Elisha Cuthbert's movie career isn't working out so well) this season was abruptly cut short when producers decided to kill off fan-favorite Edgar Stiles in the most recent gas attack on CTU.

I know, as a fan of the hit Fox show I must always be prepared for the sudden departure of favorite characters. Yet the impact this time took me by surprise. Michelle had a good run last year. President Palmer was killed off so quickly we had time to shake it off the way we do with most fatalities. But Edgar resonated with fans like no other character. He was a hero last season, became pivitol in intelligence gathering after losing his mother to a nuclear attack, and through the hours has formed an unlikely bond with co-worker Chloe.

There was nothing Jack could do for Edgar, as he watched his friend slump to the floor from behind a sealed door. Never mind just a few hours ago he carried a cute little girl out of a mall and resuscitated her with a last minute injection of nerve gas antidote in one of the cheesiest moments of 24. He has performed an untold number of last-minute rescues throughout the many seasons, but alas he could nothing for Edgar.

We'll miss you old chum.

Good Behavior?

Monday, March 06, 2006

I wonder if during future judicial hearings Senators will ask nominees about the likelihood of them falling asleep on the job. Apparently Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wasn't too excited about the Texas redistricting case the Court heard this term and decided to get a quick nap in before lunch.

Curiously, the media wasn't at all interested in the liberal justice's decision to snooze through oral arguments. Time for her to go? I'm sure President Bush is just itching to get another one of his appointments onto the highest court in the land.

Dark Clouds Forming Over South Dakota

South Dakota just banned abortion in most cases, a direct violation of Roe v. Wade. Oh how the clouds must be forming:

PIERRE, S.D. - Gov. Mike Rounds on Monday signed legislation banning almost all abortions in South Dakota.

The law, designed to raise a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, is scheduled to take effect July 1.

Under the law, doctors in South Dakota will face up to five years in prison for performing an abortion except when the procedure is necessary to save the mother's life.

South Dakota Planned Parenthood said it planned a quick court challenge.
I will continue to point out in this space that Roe is safely protected by at least five justices of the Supreme Court: Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer. Even if Justices Roberts and Alito vote to overturn the landmark case -- and that's a questionable if -- Bush would have to replace one of the four liberal justices too see a reversal on his watch.

And with John Paul Stevens turning 86 this year, it may just be a matter of time before we see the abortion debate where it beings: in the state legislatures before accountable representatives crafting laws at the pleasure of their constituents.

Around the Blogosphere: ProLifeBlogs is already spreading the word.

Effectiveness of Parental Notification

The NY Times published a study today on the effectiveness of parental notification requirements for minors seeking abortions:

Since the United States Supreme Court recognized states' rights to restrict abortion in 1992, parental involvement legislation has been a cornerstone in the effort to reduce abortions. Such laws have been a focus of divisive election campaigns, long court battles and grass-roots activism, and are now in place in 34 states. Most Americans say they favor them.
According to this article the results have been mixed. Some states actually saw an increase in abortions after parental notification laws went into affect, and some saw the rate decrease but only ever so slightly. It is true the majority of Americans understand the rationale behind making abortions hard to obtain, and that's a good thing.

But for me this debate isn't even about abortion. It goes without saying the main goal of restrictive legislation is to decrease the number of abortions performed, but I believe the most important reason for having such laws is to benefit the parents. Never should a child be alone in making the decision to undergo evasive surgery.

Clooney Relishes Being 'Out of Touch'

Sunday, March 05, 2006

At the time of this writing this year's Academy Awards presentation has been extremely disappointing, with Jon Stewart looking dreadfully uncomfortable. He made a quip about Hollywood being liberal, and in his acceptance speech for best supporting actor for "Syriana" George Clooney had this to say:

"We are the ones who talked about AIDS when it was just a gay disease...This group of people gave Hattie McDaniel an Oscar in 1939 when blacks were still sitting in the back of theaters...I'm proud to be part of this academy, proud to be part of this community, proud to be out of touch."
So at this point the best part of the Oscars is a political speech. Sigh...

EDIT: A lame, lame night for the Oscar's. "Crash" won Best Picture, which is good because it is the best film of 2005. Visual effects should have gone to "War of the Worlds" but instead went to the bloated "King Kong."