Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Now who's the "activist" judge?

Everyone's heard about the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Medellin vs Texas:

The Supreme Court ruled that [treaties] are binding only if the treaty explicitly says so or if there is legislation to make that clear. For all of American history, many treaties have been deemed to be what is called "self-executing," meaning that their provisions are automatically binding. But not all treaties fall into this category. The Supreme Court's ruling set a bright line for which treaties are self-executing — namely, those that explicitly say so or have accompanying legislation that says so.

The court said the president, acting on his own, cannot make a treaty binding on the states.

Every time the Court does something the right wing hates, they all start yammering about activist judges, saying that the job of the Supreme Court isn't to interpret law. The term "strict constructionist" is used for conservative judges like Scalia, Thomas and Alito, although none of them claim the label for themselves (apparently they think of themselves as textualists or originalists). The idea is that the Court shouldn't be reading meaning into the constitution that isn't explicitly spelled out, such as a right to privacy. Of course this is bullshit. The wingnuts are fine with arguments supporting expansive presidential powers based on nothing more than this short sentence "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States". I don't see anything in there about a state secrets privilege, do you?

I do believe that the constitution must be interpreted, and that it was designed to be interpreted. But to get back to the case at hand, I don't see a lot of wiggle room in this language - "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding." How anyone can read that sentence, from Article 6 of the Constituion, and come away thinking that treaties are not self-executing is beyond me. Treaties made under authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land, judges in every state shall be bound thereby, the laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding. I think that's quite a "bright line" all by itself. I don't see anything there about requiring explicit language or federal legislation.

Doesn't this really put the lie to any claim the conservative judges have on textualism or originalism or even constructionism? They're just playing it by ear and according to their own political biases, the same as every other judge.

Posted by 4 comments

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Bracket

Here's my bracket for this year (click for larger, readable version). I went with Georgetown all the way, though I'm not sure they have it in them. You may notice an overall Big East bias as well. That's because they're better than everyone else.

UPDATE: I was 14-2 yesterday. Of course, after talking up the Big East, the one team from the conference I picked to get upset won easily.

UPDATE: College Basketball sucks. Why does anyone even watch this garbage?

Posted by 7 comments

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stupidity on Parade

Everyone seemed to enjoy this the last time I did it, so when I noticed some more stupid comments today, I thought I'd share again. This time it's a TMZ article about naked pictures that are supposed to be of Kristin Davis from Sex and the City. I don't really think they look anything like her, but who knows. Most of the comments seem to be focused on her pubic hair.


Posted at 1:39PM on Mar 19th 2008 by PUH-LEASE

Possibly the stupidest thing on the internets (and that's obviously saying a lot) is the phenomenon of people posting "first" in comment threads. These people kind of remind me of people who have mullets. Every normal person is making fun of you, you'd have to be a complete moron not to realize that everyone is making fun of you, and yet you still go ahead with behavior that only serves to make you look like a moron. And like many of these comments, this one is made all the more pathetic by the fact that it isn't actually first.

5. well isn't that special. i am going to go throw up now and eat something else. if you stare at the light to long it could cause blindness. jeepers creepers where did anthony go. do you really care about this stupid article? i didn't think so..

Posted at 1:44PM on Mar 19th 2008 by HUMP BACK IN THE HOLE

Another thing people seem to do for no reason I can figure out is comment on things they purportedly don't care about. There are a lot of things I read that I don't really care about, and I don't really feel the need to comment on any of them.

7. I saw those pictures.

Somebody needs to buy her a weed-wacker!!!!

Posted at 1:55PM on Mar 19th 2008 by FABIO

23. I always shaved myself even in the early 90s and so did my friends. People were shaving in the 80s too. A hairy bush was in as "au natural" in the late 60s and 70s.

Posted at 2:34PM on Mar 19th 2008 by Anna

25. Me too. It is better to be bald and not get lice. *itch, itch*

Posted at 2:37PM on Mar 19th 2008 by Tiny Dancer

28. It DOES look well maintained !!! When you get ALL your hair waxed off it looks like a little girls vajayjay.....ewwwww!!!
It could also be what is known as a "winter bush"....LOL AND, when you remove all the hair it just looks and feels horrible when it starts growing back....and itchy, too. If you want more info, just go to "stop dissin' my".....LOL

Posted at 2:47PM on Mar 19th 2008 by Hmmmmmmm

34. Hey Dumb a"ss: Why don't get take your stupid a ss to another site if you don't like this one? Especially that talks about hairy beavers>>>>>>>>>

Posted at 3:26PM on Mar 19th 2008 by Don't like it,lump it!

43. Not every dude wants an unmowed lawn. Get over yourself Brad.

Posted at 6:53PM on Mar 19th 2008 by I like mine manicured

44. Yeah, I don't want a thick hairy beaver. I guess you can floss after you are done with the meal.

Posted at 6:54PM on Mar 19th 2008 by Stan The Man

45. I like the burger without the fur.

Posted at 7:00PM on Mar 19th 2008 by Kent

Like I said, most of the comments focused on her pubic hair, and these are my favorites of those. Kind of makes you wonder if some of these people have ever had sex at all.

27. OO it was only 5 yrs ago...I thought it was when she was much much younger...yea there is no excuse for a bush these days lol

Posted at 2:47PM on Mar 19th 2008 by Me

2008 - 1992 = 5 years? I guess math isn't Me's strong suit.

Ok, so as stupid as some of these comments are, judging by the last time I did this, politics seems to bring out an entirely new level of stupidity. Next time I do this, I might use a YouTube comment thread I found featuring World of Warcraft players, but I'm really not sure I can stand that much stupid.

Posted by 8 comments

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lost Madness

Go vote for your favorite Lost characters. I think I pretty much agree with most of the results so far, except I would have rather had Juliet ousted in the first round, that bitch.

Posted by 18 comments

Better Late than Never

For the last month or so, I've been watching Smallville, which I never got into before. Since there's almost nothing on TV these days, I thought it was a good time to try to catch up with a show that's been on for several years. I just started season 5. It's a pretty decent show, though it has some silly formulaic things and some inconsistencies that I could do without. I've watched several shows now this way, either after the entire run (Alias), or caught up in the middle (Battlestar Galactica, 24, The Wire, Rescue Me, Nip/Tuck). Aside from the obvious benefits of no commercials, and not having to wait between episodes, particularly season finales with cliffhangers, there is another cool thing I've noticed about watching shows this way. You get to see a bunch of actors in smaller roles that you wouldn't have noticed otherwise. I watched several of the shows mentioned above around the same time, and noticed several people who had small parts in more than one show I was watching at the same time (like Callie Thorne from Rescue Me, The Wire, and Prison Break or Michelle Forbes from Battlestar Galactica, 24, Prison Break, Boston Legal, and Alias), that I would never have noticed if I watched it normally. Also, you see a lot of people who go on to larger roles later, that you don't remember from the smaller parts. I notice this a lot when I watch Seinfeld reruns as well.

Anyway, on Smallville so far, I've seen many people who have gone on to do other more noticeable parts, or at least parts I'm more familiar with. I never watched The OC, but there was a guy from that on one episode. The lawn boy who sleeps with Eva Longoria from Desperate Housewives was in a couple of episodes. From Battlestar Galatica, I've seen Chief Tyrol, Dualla, and Helo. DL from Heroes was in the episode I watched last night. Boone (AKA God's frickin' gift to humanity) from Lost was in a few episodes, and Kate had the tiniest (I had to rewind it to be sure it was her) little non-speaking part in one scene. Also, in the other direction, actors in the show who were previously in more noticeable roles, I've seen two of the three kids from Home Improvement, Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder (though it's obvious why they'd cast them in this show), and of course, Bo Duke as Jonathan Kent.

Posted by 10 comments

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Movie Quotes Meme

This seems to be going around lately, I'm sure someone tagged me with it, but I would do it anyway since it reminds me of when I used to do it every week, and it was a lot of fun. I don't know how difficult these might be, I just decided to go with movies I've seen recently, which may or may not be recent movies, since most of my favorites I've done before.

UPDATE: Answers to quotes left:
1. I am Legend
9. Transformers
11. Blades of Glory

Instructions: Look up 15 of your favorite films on IMDb and take a quote from each. List them below. When someone guesses the quote correctly, cross it off the list. Leave a comment with your answers. And NO CHEATING.

1. "I... I promised a friend I would say hello to you today. Please say hello to me. Please say hello to me. "
2. "You just killed a helicopter with a car!" (Patrick)
3. "You know what else you should do? Nail his penis above the entrance to the elementary school. That'd really teach him a lesson. " (Fridge)
4. "This machine in my lap? It is not a time machine." (Patrick)
5. "...the funny thing about my back is that it's located on my cock." (Patrick)
6. "How can you be so obtuse?" (Chris)
7. "I'll tell you what I'd do, man: two chicks at the same time, man." (Patrick)
8. "A water break? Water is for cowards. Water makes you weak." (Chris)
9. "He's been in cryo-stasis since 1935. Your great-great-grandfather made one of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankind. "
10. "...and then your Mommy said, "Just do it already!" which was very confusing to Daddy, so I took the most literal translation." (Patrick)
11. "No exaggeration, I could not love a human baby more then I love this brush. "
12. "That's bullshit. Smurfette fucks all the other Smurfs. Why do you think Papa Smurf made her? Because all the other Smurfs were getting too horny." (Patrick)
13. "You picked us. You volunteered. You said that you would do what it takes to save American lives. You're not a liar, are you? Or too weak to see this through? This is it. Let go of David Webb. Will you give yourself to this program." (Fridge)
14. "You're nothing but a drifter who found a bag of mail. " (Chris)
15. "I can't believe we're paying to see something we get on TV for free! If you ask me, everybody in this theater is a giant sucker! Especially you!" (Fridge)

Posted by 12 comments

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Movie Quotes Meme

Fridge tagged me with this, so here goes.

Instructions: Look up 15 of your favorite films on IMDb and take a quote from each. List them below. When someone guesses the quote correctly, cross it off the list. Leave a comment with your answers. And NO CHEATING.

1. I do have a test today, that wasn't bullshit. It's on European socialism. I mean, really, what's the point? I'm not European. I don't plan on being European. So who cares if they're socialists? They could be fascist anarchists. It still doesn't change the fact that I don't own a car. (Chemist)

2. JUST a bit outside.(Chemist)

3. Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit. (Chemist)

4. Chief, I was just wondering: I suppose that mangy red-bone hound's got no place else to go either. [spits tobacco juice on the dog's forehead] (Mr. Furious)

5. But I think this is the only way to find that boy. Now that penis had a mole on it - I'd recognize that penis anywhere. In spite of the juvenile snickers of some, this is a serious matter. That seducer and despoiler must be stopped; he's extremely dangerous. (Angelos!!)

6. Stupid, worthless, no good, goddamn, freeloading son of a bitch. Retarded, big mouth, know-it-all, asshole, jerk. You forgot ugly, lazy and disrespectful. Shut up bitch. Go fix me a turkey pot pie. No dad, what about you? Fuck you. No dad, what about you? Fuck you. Dad, what about you? Fuck you. (Angelos)

7. Now, I had heard that word at least ten times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master. (Chemist)

8. It's K-K-K-Ken c-c-c-coming to k-k-k-kill me.(Angelos)

9. Since you're new here, I'm gonna cut you a break... today. So, why don't you make like a tree and get out of here? (Chemist)

10. When I was a lad I ate four dozen eggs
Ev'ry morning to help me get large
And now that I'm grown I eat five dozen eggs
So I'm roughly the size of a barge!

11. You know, I can't believe this, [...]. I'm so disappointed in us. I mean, all our lives we've been saying how great it would be if we went to parties, right? And now it's our party and we're in the john. We're in the john! (Chemist)

12. Think big, think positive, never show any sign of weakness. Always go for the throat. Buy low, sell high. Fear? That's the other guy's problem. Nothing you have ever experienced will prepare you for the absolute carnage you are about to witness. Super Bowl, World Series - they don't know what pressure is. (Angelos)

13. I don't know why they call this stuff hamburger helper. It does just fine by itself, huh? I like it better than tuna helper myself, don't you, ...? (John)

14. There's no way on earth we're going to get out of here tonight. We'd have more luck playing pickup sticks with our butt-cheeks than we will getting a flight out of here before daybreak. (Toast)

15. Look, I like you, I really like you, but I gotta tell you, I have become seriously and emotionally involved with someone who isn't my aunt. (John)

Posted by 27 comments

Historical Meme - Chris

Chemist tagged me with this one and I've been putting it off, but here goes. The rules -

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. List 7 random/weird things about your favorite historical figure.
3. Tag seven more people at the end of your blog and link to theirs.
4. Let the person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.

Forget all the tagging. Especially since Chemist already tagged pretty much everyone I know in blogland. If you read this and haven't done it, feel free. And leave a link.

I don't really have one favorite historical figure. For this exercise, I'll pick Julius Caesar.

1. As a young man, he was forced into hiding to avoid being killed in Sulla's proscriptions.
2. He's rumored to have had an affair with King Nicomedes of Bythynia.
3. He was kidnapped by pirates for ransom. He later raised a fleet, hunted the pirates down and crucified them.
4. He had a long-term affair with Cleopatra.
5. He had seizures which have been speculated to be eplieptic.
6. He was not born by cesarean section, although that was rumored even during his life.
7. According to Suetonius, his last words were 'και συ τεκνον?', not 'Et tu, Brute?'. This is Greek for "you, too, child?". Educated Romans often spoke Greek rather than Latin.

Posted by 15 comments

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Historical Meme

Chemist tagged me with this meme. I've put it off for a week or so since, as Angelos said, it's more like homework.

The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. List 7 random/weird things about your favorite historical figure.
3. Tag seven more people at the end of your blog and link to theirs.
4. Let the person know they have been tagged by leaving a note on their blog.

So, I did #1 without any trouble, but reading through the rules, I see that #2 is going to give me a problem. I don't have any favorite historical figures that I can think of off the top of my head. #3 also, will be a problem. I'm not sure I even have seven readers, but even if I do, Chemist and/or the people he already tagged have likely already tagged them. Finally, #4 is something I'm not a fan of anyway. If you don't read my blog, then why would you give a crap about what memes I might be tagging you with? So anyway, all this to say, there's no chance I'm going to do this meme very well anyway, so I've decided not to bother.

Posted by 7 comments