March 26, 2005
8pm, Manhattan Lounge, Second Avenue between East 89+90th streets. All are welcome.
‘I’ve been reading and hearing, ever since W’s reelection, that the RELIGIOUS RIGHT is in control. The populous is under the thrall of the bible thumpers (of course, not the liberals, who take their anti-thrall medicine, and are the only ones able to avoid the zombie-like affects of the religious right’s rhetoric.)’
-Carin at ‘Is this blog on’ has got a short list of impressive accomplishments proving the relgious right’s influence.
Leader of Venezuela, and hero to leftists everywhere, Hugo Chavez is pulling a Mugabe and redistributing land. What is it about Communist countries that they feel they need to starve large segments of their populations with every wacky new initiative?
March 25, 2005
Leonard Cohen’s ‘The Future’ reminds me of Terri Schiavo (or ‘playing name that tune with strangers online’)
I was playing poker online tonight (the free kind before anyone stages an intervention) and a guy kept writing what seemed like jibber jabber.
He wrote: ‘Destroy another fetus now. We don’t like children anyhow. I’ve seen the future brother; it is murder’ Nobody responded and I thought it was a pro-lifer doing some preaching. But, in an online poker room? That’s odd.
Then he wrote ‘Things are gonna slide, slide in all directions. Won’t be nothin, nothin you can treasure anymore.’
Maybe a Schiavo reference? Has discussion of the situation in Florida reached such saturation that poker isn’t even safe from it? Then he wrote ‘The vision; the vision of the world has crossed the threshold. And, it’s overturned the order of the soul.’
Heyyyyy, I know that line.
karol: are you singing Leonard Cohen?
him: ‘You’ll see a woman hangin upside down. Her features covered by her fallen gown.’
him: ‘And, all those lousy little poets comin round; tryin to sound like Charlie Manson.’
him:‘You don’t know me from the wind. You never will. You never did. I’m the little man who wrote the Bible. I’ve heard your stories; heard them all. I’ve seen your nations rise and fall. But, loves the only engine of survival’
him: ‘And, now the wheels of heaven stop. You feel the Devil’s riding crop. Get ready for the future; it is murder.’
him: ‘When they said, “Repent, repent”, I wondered what they meant.’
him: you were first at any site, any level to recognize lenny! god bless ya
him: ny sophisticate
him: gotta go but foist…recognize this guy?
him: ‘When we meet again; introduced as friends…please don’t let on that u knew me when: I was hungry, and it was ur world?’
him: got him?
karol: Bob Dylan
karol: ‘If you see her, say hello’
him: they are both in the norton anthology of modern american poetry
All that space in my brain being occupied by lyrics could really be better utilized.
I was going to write about Andrew Sullivan’s deep concern about the schism in the Republican party, as it relates to the Schiavo case with small government conservatives v. social conservatives, but Glenn Reynolds gets it exactly right and I have nothing to add.
The new 50 Cent album, The Massacre, is mediocre. How sad. Well, at least he’s still (very) nice to look at:
You commit the ‘crime’ of blasphemy in one country and are arrested for it in another. Where are you?
One of the more amazing aspects of the Terry Schiavo case is the fact on display that the president of the United States, by some accounts the most powerful man in the world, can’t pull any strings to save this woman’s life. Those who worried that Bush was going to declare martial law and cancel elections, and even those who talk with a wink and a smile about the privileges of power, should be able to see clearly that America is a country where the president does not have any power he wants.
Regular readers know I’m an anti-mushy kind of girl, but Petitedov just reminded me of one of my favorite love songs.
March 24, 2005
Judgment Day (by guest blogger Dorian Davis)
“This member of the government, the court, the judiciary, was at first considered as the most harmless and helpless of all the government’s organs, but it has proved that the power of declaring what the law is, by sapping and mining slyly and without alarm the foundations of the Constitution can do what open force would not dare attempt.”
–Thomas Jefferson, 1825
The job of the court, according to the Constitution, was simply to apply the laws of the legislature to individual cases. So, how did we start at that time–when the job of the court was drawn vaguely and broadly, like the outline of Cartman on South Park–and arrive at a period of rampant judicial activism on issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and euthanasia?
It started–and forgive me for the backstory–with Marbury vs. Madison, a lawsuit brought to the Supreme Court by William Marbury, one of the fourty-two liberal judges appointed vindictively by John Adams, and rejected by the incoming president Thomas Jefferson, in the spring of 1801. The court ruled with a bizarre and confusing verdict. It effectively stated that it had no authority, under the Constitution, to hear the case in the first place; therefore, the congressional Judiciary Act which brought the case before the Supreme Court was “repugnant to the Constitution,” or unconstitutional. In other words, in a power-grab of epic proportions, the judiciary conjured up a verdict that made the Supreme Court the final arbiter of the Constitution.
Today, the congressional Democrats–after four consecutive losing election cycles–are adopting the Marbury vs. Madison strategy of spiriting up rights and public policy from the judicial bench when it’s impossible to enact them in Congress. This, of course, requires judges of the same ideological bent. So, the same senators who approved Anton Scalia in a vote of 98-0 have obstructed the Bush nominees to an extent almost, completely, unparalleled in congressional history.
Justice Scalia spoke about this phenomenon a few weeks ago at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and I caught some of his talk on The Rush Limbaugh Show: He took congressional Democrats to task for opposing the Bush nominees who refused to acknowledge “unenumerated” constitutional rights. Why, asked Scalia, did the states and the legislature add a Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, which promised women the right to vote? If “equal protection” could be widely interpreted–and applicable to any situation–then why did the legislature pass a Nineteenth Amendment?
His answer: It was a literal document. There were no secret rights encrypted in the Constitution. There was a Nineteenth Amendment because women’s suffrage couldn’t be inferred from the Constitution. That was the whole point of having a Constitution, he said. It enumerated our rights. The danger of a mystical interpretation of the Constitution was that it reflected the morality and the political agenda of the judge presiding over a particular case.
The boldest offender in this respect is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It issues so many ridiculous and politically motivated verdicts that it finds itself overturned 85 percent of the time by the U.S. Supreme Court. Some of the greatest hits of the Ninth Circuit include the rulings that it is perfectly legal to finance and train terrorists–even terrorists openly targeting the United States–but illegal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, because it contains the words, “under God.”
Of course, many of the rulings that we consider “judicial activism” are absurd, and somewhat entertaining: There was the Florida Supreme Court’s interpretation of the words “seven days” to mean “seventeen days” during the recount in 2000. There was Doris Ling-Cohan’s interpretation of the words “husband and wife” to mean “man and man” in the constitution of New York State. It’s easy to forget, with amusement like this, that we are talking about serious things.
In the Terri Schiavo case, for example, the judiciary has taken a broader and more sinister power: it has–for the first time–mandated that someone, who is not a convicted felon, die from the slow and deliberate agony of a court-ordered famine. It is barbaric. And legal. And, it begs the question: How did something this awful become legally and morally defensible?
“The worst thing about the living Constitution,” Scalia said in his talk at the Woodrow Wilson Center, “is that it will destroy the Constitution.” Today, that remains my biggest concern for my own generation: that we will revise, and stretch, and interpret the Constitution until it’s a shadow of itself and, eventually, it will not exist.
Everyone has already seen ‘Million Dollar Baby,’ Right? (by guest blogger Dawn Summers)
Well, in case you haven’t, I’ll post the rest below the line.
Keep burning the candle at both ends and come out to the Archives Listening Project, 9pm, 12″ Bar (179 Essex St, just below Houston).
QUOTE OF THE DAY (by guest blogger Dawn Summers)
“One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo to elevate the visibility of what is going on in America, that Americans would be so barbaric as to pull a feeding tube out of a person that is lucid and starve them to death … This is exactly the issue that is going on in America, of attacks against the conservative movement, against me and against many others,”
-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas)
March 23, 2005
Is there something in the water? (by guest blogger Dawn Summers)
Watching the gaggle of press covering protestors being arrested for attempting to hydrate Terri Schiavo, I can’t help but feeling like Florida has become the media frenzy capital of the world.
In the past five years they have played host to:
Sure, California tried to compete with its Scott Peterson/mudslide/Governor recall, but hands down, Florida’s got them beat.
Thank goodness I live here, in the peaceful obscurity of New York City.