Monday, November 29, 2004

Law Schools' Faces Get in the Way of Military's Fist

A federal judge ruled today that law schools have a First Amendment right to enforce their anti-discrimination policies against recruiters from the military. In other words, the policies say, if you discriminate against gays (as the military does), you can't recruit on their campus.

Of course, there was a dissent:

"What disturbs me personally and as a judge," Judge Aldisert wrote, "is that the law schools seem to approach this question as an academic exercise, a question on a constitutional law examination or a moot court topic, with no thought of the effect of their action on the supply of military lawyers and military judges."

What disturbs me personally and as a citizen is that the military seems to approach this question as if there were some legitimate reason to discriminate, as if there were some reason why the British and Israeli militaries could include gays but ours couldn't, with no thought of the effect of their action on the supply of military lawyers and military judges.

Howard J. Bashman, who helped write a supporting brief on behalf of students who favored the law, said the decision would hurt the military and the public. "A ruling of this sort will cause the military to end up with a lower quality of lawyer," Mr. Bashman said.

The Sneaky Rabbit wonders if Mr. Bashman has noticed that policies like Don't Ask, Don't Tell will cause the military to end up with a lower quality of lawyer.

Why is everybody blaming the law schools for having an antidiscrimination policy, instead of blaming the military for making itself ineligible to recruit on any self-respecting campus?

P.S.: I don't usually comment on other blogs, because that's just too meta. But I'm disturbed by people who, like the Volokh Conspiracy's David Bernstein, describe this decision as "allowing private universities to discriminate against military recruiters."

David actually supports the decision, because he likes the idea of defying antidiscrimination laws. But this is really offensive spin. THE LAW SCHOOLS ARE NEUTRALLY APPLYING THE SAME POLICY TO THE MILITARY THAT THEY APPLY TO EVERYBODY ELSE.

Here's how it works: The law school asks all recruiting employers to sign a piece of paper saying, "We won't discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion, blah blah, or sexual orientation." The military says, "We can't sign that, because we discriminate against gays." The law school says, "Oh, we're sorry. If you don't sign, you can't come onto campus."

This is the opposite of discrimination.

And if you want to argue that it's unfair to include DADT within anti-discrimination policies, because DADT doesn't discriminate against gays, ask yourself whether it'd be okay for the military to allow Jews to serve on condition that they didn't let anyone know they're Jewish.

Those Lucky Immigrants

Headline in the Times: "Bush Picks Immigrant Who Rose to Executive for Commerce Post."

What if you're an immigrant who didn't become the CEO of a major company?

By all reports Virginia Feliz had been a happy 6-year-old before her mother's expulsion [deportation]. Two months later, doctors at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Program of Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center found that she had a major depressive disorder marked by hyperactivity, nightmares, bed-wetting, frequent crying and fights at school. Now, medical records show, she takes antidepressant drugs and sees a therapist, but the problems persist.

[....] In Brooklyn, similar cases cause concern for Birdette Gardiner-Parkinson, the clinical director at the Caribbean Community Mental Health program at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center. In one, she said, an outgoing, academically gifted 12-year-old began failing classes, mutilating herself and having suicidal thoughts after her Colombian father disappeared into removal proceedings. In another case, nightmares and school failure plague the youngest of six children whose father, a cabdriver with 20 years' residence in the United States, was deported to Nigeria six hours after he reported for a green card interview, seemingly for unpaid traffic fines, Ms. Gardiner-Parkinson said.

So maybe they were illegal immigrants, the people who left these children behind. But do you want to be the one to explain to their children why they have to live without a parent? Why it's morally right that they live without a parent?

Do Your Homework Next Time, People

So apparently most Americans want a Supreme Court justice who'll uphold Roe.

Fifty-nine percent said Bush should choose a supporter of Roe v. Wade, while 31 percent said they want a nominee who will try to overturn the decision, according to the poll. Support for Roe v. Wade was seen among both men and women, across most age and income groups, and in urban, suburban and rural areas, AP said.

Presumably millions of these people were in the 51% that voted for Bush. Boy, are they going to be mad when they find out Bush was the Republican candidate!

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Thank You, VH1

Without you, I would probably have been unable to find out what Sir Mix-A-Lot thinks about the fitness craze of the early 1980s.

Why do I feel like shooting myself?

Friday, November 26, 2004

Notes On A Scene From "13 Going On 30" That My Family Is Watching Downstairs

So there's this romantic scene where Jennifer Garner and some dude are smooching on a playground in New York City, and I think I can provide you with some personal insight into it.

In this scene, you can see Manhattan in the background. Jennifer Garner and the dude are lying on the ground, and apparently not worried about there being nasty stuff on the ground, even though this is a playground in New York at night. Also there is an inexplicable lack of winos and weird dudes watching them.

Now, it so happens that I walked past that exact spot earlier this year. The view of the bridge and the way the ground curves along the river are very distinctive. There's no playground there; it's a little park in Greenpoint. You wouldn't want to make out with somebody late at night there. Not even Jennifer Garner.

When I walked past, for example, there was a big fat guy lying on his back in a little Speedo on the grass. He looked dead. It was not at all romantic. There were several people lounging around who were not at all concerned about the nearly-naked possibly-dead guy, or much of anything else. I imagine these people had to be removed so that Jennifer Garner could make out with the guy there, and I also imagine that they cleaned the ground for her.

My friend and I walked past the little park, and then turned so that I could take a picture of my friend with the bridge in the background. As I was taking her picture, I realized that the bush a few feet behind her was not uninhabited. There was a head popping out of it. This also was not romantic.

It was the head of a rather disturbed-looking man who seemed not to have any clothes on. I took the picture quickly and we moved on. The man in the bush retracted his head. I still have a picture of the head in the bush.

I wonder if they noticed that guy when they cleaned the sketchy characters out of the park for the playground scene. If not, it'd be fun to go back and ask him what he thought of Jennifer Garner's performance. Maybe we could get him into a debate with the fat possibly-dead guy.

Well, the theme of "13 Going On 30" seems to have something to do with sudden life lessons in maturity. I imagine that if they ever release a "making of" DVD extra, and it includes the real story of the shooting of the playground make-out scene, we'll see that everyone involved learned some interesting lessons. Especially the dude in the bush.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Liveblogging the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

...I think the muppets are lip-syncing.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Rock N' Roll Fact Check

Welcome to Rock N' Roll Fact Check.

Just now, I heard a song by Maroon 5, where the singer insists that "I don't mind spending every day / Out on the corner in the pouring rain."

But according to their website, Maroon 5 is from Los Angeles.

What corner in LA gets "pouring rain" "every day"? The intersection of Implausible Street and Lying to the American People Avenue.

Shame on you, Maroon 5. The American people deserve the truth.

Monday, November 22, 2004

"A Booby-Trapped Raghead Cadaver"

The "hearts and minds" campaign starts with our hearts and minds, and apparently we're losing quite badly. Media Matters posts this excerpt from "Imus in the Morning":

Well people, [war] is still hell -- as the young Marine who plugged that bastard clearly understood from the previous day's combat when he had lost a comrade to a booby-trapped raghead cadaver and had gotten shot in the face himself. Was the NBC News embed unit there to record any of that, so that we could witness that bit of action from our living room sofas? Apparently not. Rather, we are treated to this episode, without benefit of combat context, so that we can have our knee-jerk "moral confusion" and guilt buttons pushed.

And pushed by what? By pictures of a soldier dispatching an enemy combatant who had sworn fidelity to some bearded fatwa fairy...

There's a reason those "knee-jerk 'moral confusion' and guilt buttons" are there, you despicable jackass. It's to keep us human.

"Without benefit of combat context"?

There is no context that matters. That's the point. Shooting a helpless wounded soldier has been wrong for hundreds of years, and it's still wrong. Even if the other side breaks the rules. That's the point. War is hell: sometimes you have to play by the rules, and risk your life for the rules, because that's the only way to know you're fighting for the right side.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

CNN Tonight

5:00: The Dulcet Tones of Wolf Blitzer, TV's Whitest Man
6:00: The Lou Dobbs Rabid Xenophobia Hour
7:00-9:00: I Don't Care
9:00: Larry King Makes Awkward Small Talk With A Wrinkly Rich Person To Whom Something Mildly Interesting Happened in 1983, Then Gets to the Bottom of the Mystery of How Bob Woodward's Kids Are Doing
10:00: Dizzying Tautologies With Aaron Brown

I can watch everything but the Xenophobia Hour. Honestly, Lou, what did immigrants and foreigners ever do to you?

Friday, November 19, 2004

The Way Things Are Going

You know who I think Bush is going to appoint as Secretary of the Treasury?

Those hordes of irritating Visigoths from the CapitalOne commercials.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Like Dogs After A Chipmunk

Prediction: Even if Hillary Clinton dies without running for President, the media will not stop looking for reasons to think she's running. A full 25% of American reporters will camp out permanently on her grave-site, squinting at the inscription on her tombstone, trying to read a campaign into it.

A Christmas Miracle

All I want for Christmas is for us to not invade Iran.


The Era of Big Government Is Over

BBC News has a fascinating little portrait of life in Grover Norquist's paradise: complete laissez-faire, no government bureaucracy, everything privatized. I'm talking, of course, about Somalia.

My favorite part of the BBC story is the feedback request form at the end:
Have you lived in a country without a government? Send us your experiences.

They're practically begging for bizarre fantasies from members of the Club for Growth.*

*Note: I will not, under any circumstances, provide a link to the website of the Club for Growth. Protocol be damned.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The GOP's Awkwardly Big Tent

Boy, this one's not easy to spin:

House Republicans were contemplating changing their rules in order to allow members indicted by state prosecutors to remain in a leadership post, a move designed to benefit Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) in case he is charged by a Texas grand jury that has indicted three of his political associates, GOP leaders said today.

So watch the Republican spin doctor fake towards the endzone, then make a surprise dash towards total absurdity:
Changing the rule is not a sign that lawmakers think DeLay will be indicted, Cantor said, but rather a public rebuke of an investigation they feel is wholly unwarranted.

Right. That'll show those prosecutors! And if those damn law enforcement officials continue trying to enforce the law, maybe the House GOP should change their rules to let child molesters serve in leadership positions! That'd really teach 'em!

I think it's now officially okay to mess with Texas.

Purple Prose

One of the greatest sentences of the year is snuggled into the end of today's New York Times story on Chuck Schumer's decision not to run for governor:

"Now that America has gone red, New York has special strength because we are both blue and talented," said Mr. Green.

When they said stop and smell the roses, this is what they meant.

The Insider Cabinet

So Rice will succeed Powell, and Hadley will succeed Rice. (Based on their records, those are probably the last two successes either of them will ever experience.) Apparently Bush has no hiring criteria other than loyalty and closeness to the president.

Mrs. Polonius makes a prediction: "Karl Rove will be the next Secretary of Homeland Security. And then Bush's dog will get Interior."

A nation waits...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Showdown at the Senate Judiciary Committee

The hyenas are beginning to circle around Arlen Specter, the pro-choice Republican who--according to Republican rules of succession--is entitled to take the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee in January. But there is fear and loathing in the Republican caucus.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Arlen Specter must prove to his Republican colleagues that he is the right man to head the Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday.

Onto one end of the dusty street steps lonely Arlen Specter, the Last Republican Moderate, spurs clinking defiantly in the desolate wind. Onto the other end of the street steps a squinting Rick Santorum, clad in tight black leather: the man who saved Arlen's life in the fierce primary shootout with Black Pat Toomey. Rick Santorum, the man who risked his own skin to save Brother Arlen, teeth gritted with a horrible determination that Specter not leave this town walking upright.

Bill Frist, the bartender, wipes his spectacles on his apron and shudders as he calls out the rules of the duel. "Count of three, gentlemen, then fire when ready."

Specter is all alone, and knows it. But behind Santorum there is an army of angry cowboys, with Hoppin' John Cornyn already describing Specter's gruesome death to the local reporter, and Orrin Hatch, his suit and tie somehow looking cleaner than ever in the dust and wind, muttering darkly about vengeance.

The town's liberals crouch in doorways and behind overturned tables and wagon-wheels, watching fearfully as the gunmen spit on their hands and test the wind. They say on days like this you can hear the sound of Robert Bork's laugh, echoing through the back alleys and across the dried-up pond.

A fit of coughing can be heard from Bill Rehniquist's room upstairs in the saloon. "Hurry," says the doctor, poking his head out the window of old Bill's room, "he hasn't got much time." Crazy Tom Coburn growls something about rampant lesbianism, and Santorum grins a little wider.

The sun beats down. Frist begins to count.

Another Loss

A moment of silence wouldn't be appropriate; it wasn't ODB's style. But spend a few minutes today appreciating how deeply, brilliantly weird he was:

I come with that ol' loco
Style from my vocal
Couldn't peep it with a pair of bi-focals
I'm no joker! Play me as a joker
Be on you like a house on fire! Smoke ya!
Crews be actin like they gangs, anyway
Be like, "Warriors! Come out and playiyay!"
Burn me, I get into shit, I let it out like diarrhea
Got burnt once, but that was only gonorrhea
Dirty, I keep shit stinks in my drawers
So I can get fzza-funky for yah
Murder, taste the flame of the Wu-Tang RAHH!
Here comes the Tiger verse Crane!
Ow, be like wild with my style
Punk! You playing me, chump, you get DUMPED
WU! Is comin THROUGH! At a theatre near YOU!
And get funk like a SHOE!

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Dickens on Ashcroft

From the Washington Post:

Attorney General John D. Ashcroft said yesterday that federal courts have endangered national security by ruling against the Bush administration on issues related to the war on terrorism.[...]

"The danger I see here is that intrusive judicial oversight and second-guessing of presidential determinations in these critical areas can put at risk the very security of our nation in a time of war," Ashcroft said in a speech at the Federalist Society's national convention.

He added later: "Our nation and our liberty will be all the more in jeopardy as the tendency for judicial encroachment and ideological micromanagement are applied to the sensitive domain of national defense."

So much for swearing to uphold the Constitution. Mr. Bring-Back-the-Monarchy was referring, apparently, to a recent decision saying that President Bush couldn't lock someone up incommunicado forever without counsel or a hearing (Hamdi v. Rumsfeld), and a more recent decision that, duh, the Geneva Conventions apply wherever there's an actual war going on, even if the President says "no they don't." (Hamdan v. Rumsfeld).

And herein he ranged with that very numerous class of impostors, who are quite as determined to keep up appearances to themselves, as to their neighbors.

Charles Dickens, Our Mutual Friend, p. 52

Friday, November 12, 2004

Narcissus in the East Room

Here's a New York Times goof, which was corrected immediately -- but not fast enough for the alert readers of THE SNEAKY RABBIT.

Is this some kind of a shot at Blair for being too much a Bush-clone?

We report, you decide.

Monday, November 08, 2004

A Brief Review of the Scott Peterson Trial

At least, for those precious seconds while the media is broadcasting this irrelevant crap, they're not misinforming Americans about something that matters.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Eerie Parallels Between Colin Powell's "My American Journey" and Hunter Thompson's "Kingdom of Fear," Part One

Okay, as a public service and a celebration of our democracy, THE SNEAKY RABBIT will now begin an occasional feature in which we note the weird similarities between the autobiographies of Colin Powell and Hunter S. Thompson. We begin in early childhood:

"They say our earliest memories involve a trauma, and mine does. I was four[...] I was playing on the floor and stuck a hairpin in an electrical outlet. I remember the blinding flash and the shock lifting me off the floor." ["My American Journey," page 7]

"My first face-to-face confrontation with the FBI occurred when I was nine years old. Two grim-looking Agents came to our house and terrified my parents by saying that I was a "prime suspect" in the case of a Federal Mailbox being turned over in the path of a speeding bus.[...] I had done it, of course, and I had done it with plenty of help. It was carefully plotted and planned, a deliberate ambush[....] I clearly recall thinking, Well, this is it. These are G-men....WHACK! Like a flash of nearby lightning that lights up the sky for three or four terrifying split seconds before you hear the thunder[....] What? What if I didn't confess? That was the question.[....] I learned a powerful lesson: Never believe the first thing an FBI agent tells you about anything." ["Kingdom of Fear," page 3]

We report, you decide.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Shut Up Shut Up Shut Up

Three years after a catastrophic terrorist attack which sent President Bush's approval ratings up to 90%, a liberal (yes, Kerry's pretty liberal) senator (remember, senators aren't supposed to be able to win) from Massachusetts (the rules already said a northeastern liberal couldn't win--even before Mass became the home of gay marriage) who rose to national prominence as a leader of the anti-Vietnam-war protest movement came within 22 electoral votes of beating a Republican president in a time of intense anxiety about terrorism and an ongoing war.

Can we please stop talking about "what Democrats did wrong"? I'm all in favor of re-examining our strategy, and looking to build a permanent majority. I think it's essential. But for the love of Christ, shut up about who lost this election. The laws of physics lost this election. We almost walked on water. That's nothing to be ashamed of. Seriously.

Good News, Bad News


History will place the blame for the disaster in Iraq squarely and unambiguously on George W. Bush and his radical conservatism. The right wing will not be able to blame it on liberal Democrats. We have been spared generations of arguments that "liberal weakness lost the Middle East."


We're all going to die.

Hide the Women and Children

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

       H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

The One Night When the Media Doesn't Control the Story

Norah O'Donnell on MSNBC just referred to "the Karl Rove, in his war room..." Then, a little later, "The Ken Mehlmann." I highly approve of this approach and recommend the rest of the media pay closer attention.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Election Prediction

Alan Keyes will be on a reality-TV show within a year.