Ten Second News

Ah, Abortion

~by sidereal When I’m asked for my opinion on abortion (or when I give it unprompted) I have to decide how long a conversation I want to have.  If I want it over with, I use the crude political vernacular and say I’m a ‘progressive pro-lifer’.  If I don’t mind exploring the issue a little…

Doubling Down

There seems to be quite the fooferaw over responding to the Tiller murder developing between several bloggers that I respect: Publius and Hilzoy at ObsidianWings, and Megan McArdle.  A quick summary:  Agreeing with an Ezra Klein post in essence calling (correctly) the murder an act of political terrorism, Hilzoy wrote that Congress should respond to the murder…

Justifying Abortion

This fascinating paper on abortion has probably been circulating for some time, but this is the first time I’ve had a chance to read it. A brief note about the author’s hypotheticals: I suspect the pro-life response to many of these scenarios would be similar to torture opponents’ rejoinder to the ticking time bomb: “Yes,…

Honest to god,

I can’t imagine a stupider course of action, given this country’s demographics and demographics to be, than for one party or ideology to loudly assume a lack of qualifications for an eminently qualified person because she’s Hispanic. Seriously. It’s like Republicans are trying to become as relevant as the Whigs.

not nearly enough

From hilzoy: “I am strongly pro-choice, but I think it is perfectly possible to be opposed to abortion on principled grounds, and I think that it would be an enormous mistake to conflate all people who are opposed to abortions with either Dr. Tiller’s killer or the likes of Operation Rescue. That said, large elements…

WWJD?

Alex Knapp has the definitive take on whether Jesus would have waterboarded, as some have claimed.  It’s definitive because Alex went through the trouble of interviewing the Man Himself.  A little snippet: So let’s just ask the question right off the bat: should Americans use torture–sorry, enhanced interrogation techniques? Jesus Christ: Put your sword back…

What consolation of philosphy?

“Critchley leafs through the pages of his register and concludes, as did Montaigne, that the consolation of philosophy is ‘the stillness of the soul’s dialogue with itself. … It is the achievment of a calm that accompanies existing in the present without forethought or regret. I know of no other immortality.’ … Nor do I.”…

Sunday Poem Series

from Poem 64 by Catullus, translated by Horace Gregory (Some people don’t like Gregory’s translation because of his somewhat freewheeling liberties with the text. But I find his work to be by far the most moving realization of Catullus’s verse. – Br. Freddie) Now when the gods, relaxed, took ease upon the Ivory-footed couches and…

Principles

…When a talk show host accuses someone who disagrees with them of hating their country or expresses hope that a political leader fails or that someone suffer a horrible act of violence, they are standing on principle.  When someone else who is nominally on that host’s “side” expresses a belief that a particular policy, unpopular…

Ricci, Impartiality, and Empathy

At the risk of beating a dead horse, Jack Balkin pens a magnificent piece on how criticism of the decision in the Ricci case, particularly to the extent that criticism claims it to be an example of “empathy” leading to judicial activism, simply misses the mark, particularly in its assumption that “empathy” was on the…

But What About the Real Economy?

Noah Millman writes: But if we get a true dollar crisis, that calculus no longer obtains. If the United States faces a situation at some point in the near future where we cannot finance our debts from abroad in our own currency, we would be forced into the kinds of austerity measures that created deep…

John Derbyshire and the Wise Latina

“Judge Sotomayor was raised in public housing? So was I. Her mother was a nurse working late shifts? So was mine. When did white working poor people disappear off the face of the earth? Where are the eager listeners to their “compelling stories”?” ~John Derbyshire John “Derb” Derbyshire pendulates between very sensible and very silly. …

In Defense of Figureheads

Using Geraldo Rivera as a barometer of Latino opinion is probably a bad idea, but there was something oddly touching about this (via): I have goosebumps,” says Rivera, 65, born to a Catholic, Puerto Rican father and Jewish mother. He defines himself as the former. … “It finally happened. Wow. Look how the Puerto Rican…

continuity and the culture of death

1 a: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body b: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings c: an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction ~the definition of Life, from the Merriam Webster dictionary…

Run Sestak Run

He says he’s in against Specter.  Good for him. Pennsylvania is going deep blue.  And the Penn Republicans are going hard-right base wackos.  Unless they do an about face and talk Tom Ridge into running, the GOP doesn’t have a chance.  If Sestak can pull a Ned Lamont in the Primary, the seat is his. …

Thoughts on the Champions League Final

After an unbearably over-hyped build-up, Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United was pretty darn anti-climactic. Adding insult to injury, the match forced casual or otherwise unaffiliated fans to choose the lesser of two (great) evils. Barcelona has gradually become the Iberian equivalent of Steinbrenner’s Yankees, and not since the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees has a…

a quote for the end of the afternoon

“A series of cataclysmic events leads to the annihilation of a war-mongering elite. All that remains is a rogue group of working-class types who are motivated by racial resentment, obsessed with drilling, and led by a balding, blue-collar spokesman. Not only does this describe the 2008 GOP — the party of Joe the Plumber, “Drill,…

The Relevance of Experience

Commenter Mike Farmer expresses an objection to my and Mr. Larison’s defenses of Judge Sotomayor’s “wise Latina woman” comment that I suspect is pretty typical and has strong surface appeal: She might have a deeper understanding of some aspects of the world, but this is irrelevant, and it’s individually possessed, if so, not inherent in…

Larison on Sotomayor

Daniel Larison has put together some excellent thoughts on the current leading objections to Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the SCOTUS.  I have my differences with Larison’s preferred jurisprudence, but he does a far better job than most explaining why the current primary objections to Sotomayor make exceedingly little sense from a conservative standpoint.  Larison’s explanation…