Thursday, March 16, 2006

Chutzpah Roundup

Brief overview of who's showing some balls on the web (or pointing out others who are).

Sirhan Sirhan, Robert Kennedy's assassin, is denied parole. He claims that Mr. Kennedy would not have wanted him to remain in prison. Jim Lindgren responds: "I suppose that it is just Sirhan's bad luck that somebody killed Robert Kennedy."

San Diego Law Professor Larry Alexander has a new paper arguing that "academic freedom" should not extend to professors when they are not doing an academic duty--e.g., politicizing their classroom. I only half-buy that argument anyway (I agree with it the context of a professor politicizing his Chemistry class, but disagree if it target's a professor expressing radical views in a "private," non-academic speech), but more importantly these endeavors always seem to boil down to trying to censure professors one disagrees with, irrespective of whether they are behaving inappropriately or not. And sure enough, Professor Alexander lays the blame directly at the feet of those favored whipping boys, the practicioners of "identity politics" and "crude post-modernism," making me suspicious that this is just one more salvo in the ongoing war between the liberal and conservative wings of the professoriate (and their respective allies). Thanks to Rick Garnett with the heads-up.

In California, a man wants the city to pay for damage done to his truck when a city dump truck crashed into it. The problem? The same guy was driving the dump truck at the time.

A family is suing its doctor because he didn't discover signs of likely birth defects in a developing fetus. The family claims that had they known of them, they may have chosen to abort.

Michael Froomkin reports that a slim plurality of Americans support Senator Feingold's censure motion--primarily due to surprisingly high numbers from Republicans. The FRC accuses Feingold (and presumably, the plurality of Americans who support his motion) of treason. As for me, I think intimidating dissenters into silence is far more treasonous to American ideals than holding a President accountable for breaking the law.

According to Kevin Drum, the most common word people associate with George W. Bush is "incompetent." Followed immediately by "idiot" and "liar."

Professor Bainbridge (with a cool new site design) still supports the retailiatory reaction against Justice David Souter for his Kelo vote. I still think he's wrong. So does Ann Althouse.

Mark Olsen says Democrats have no ideas (on Iraq). Jonathan Chait says Republicans are out of ideas (on everything). While on Iraq I don't think anyone has any idea (a state of affairs which can partially be laid at the feet of this administration, for so badly mismanaging the war that no option appears to be a good option), on other issues I side with Chait (stunning, I know). But seriously, what's been the last big idea from Republicans on any major issue of policy that's even been mildly popular? Social Security privitization bombed, the medicare "reform" is widely recognized to be a disaster, their only solution to the healthcare crisis are the crackpot "Health Saving Accounts," which aren't actually a solution even if one thinks they'll work exactly as planned (which they won't). As far back as a year and a half ago I was already claiming that Republicans had absolutely no agenda besides cutting taxes until the government went bankrupt. I think I've been vindicated.

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