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Listen to this

2005-09-02 , , , Comments

Listen to the [AM radio interview with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin](http://www.zen41771.zen.co.uk.nyud.net:8090/WWL-AM%20Interview%20Nagin.mp3).

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Eminently amusing

2005-06-29 , , , Comments

The arch Libertarians and the Objectivist disciples of Ayn Rand’s writings have always seemed humorless but this is pretty funny. From the [article](http://www.freestarmedia.com/hotellostliberty2.html):

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter’s home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called “The Lost Liberty Hotel” will feature the “Just Desserts Café” and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon’s Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand’s novel “Atlas Shrugged.”

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

“This is not a prank” said Clements, “The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development.”

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Should we be alarmed?

2005-05-12 , , , Comments

H.R. 418, REAL ID Act of 2005 (read a copy
[here](http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h109-418) or
search [thomas.loc.gov](http://thomas.loc.gov)), contains a passage
ammending Section 102© of the Illegal Immigration Reform and
Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note) to read:
> NO JUDICIAL REVIEW- Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction—
> (A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1); or
> (B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision.

Which sounds rather broad given that the section of law read:
> (a) In General. The Attorney General, in consultation with the
Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, shall take such
actions as may be necessary to install additional physical barriers
and roads (including the removal of obstacles to detection of illegal
entrants) in the vicinity of the United States border to deter illegal
crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States.

> © Waiver. The provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 [16
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.] and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
[42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.] are waived to the extent the Attorney General
determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the
barriers and roads under this section [amending this section].

It will be interesting to see what a court makes of that since it sounds to this
layman’s ears like a broadside against the judiciary and limitations of
Congressional and Executive power.

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Reaction to transcript of Harvard's President Summer's remarks

2005-02-18 , , , Comments

Read the full text yourself, [available at The Crimson](http://www.thecrimson.com/today/article505844.html). Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I’m certain that his observations regarding the lack of certain religious, ethnic or racial groups in particular jobs, which is to say that there is a preponderance of some other easily identified stereotype in those fields, will cause hoots and howls. Regurgitating stereotypes is an easy target but you need to read far enough into his remarks to find him skewering anti-discrimination practices because of the “quality of marginal hires … when major diversity efforts are mounted” to really get something to whip up a mob but anyone who found that objectionable should be equally irate over his reasoning about girls and boys. He asserts that women are poorly represented in top positions because, in summary:

  • high-powered jobs demand sacrifices and commitments women don’t make.
  • the availability of aptitude at the high end.
  • socialization and discrimination.

He has it neatly wrong. The first and third artifacts of socialization— job demands and discrimination are part of its expression and reinforcement. This continues with much qualification toward:
> … there are some systematic differences in variability in different populations, then whatever the set of attributes are that are precisely defined to correlate with being an aeronautical engineer at MIT or being a chemist at Berkeley, those are probably different in their standard deviations as well.

All of which is simply an elaborate and defensible way of saying that girls aren’t good at Math and Science because they are intrinsically not good at them. Whatever the intention, this is regression from the status quo to the justification. That’s rather good rhetoric but awfully bad thinking for the leader of a university.

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New clothes for that new regime

2005-02-03 , , , Comments

Clever. From Jest Magazine:
[Banana Republican Fall 04 Catalog](http://www.jestmag.com/3-5/banana.html)

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Disappointed

2004-11-03 , , , Comments

I’m not sure what disappoints me more, that the elections for president and
senate went the way they did or that I share an ever decreasing amount less
in common with the majority of the voting age population of this country.

It’s going to be a hard four years. I don’t even want to think about judicial appointments, what’s left of our natural resources and civil rights or even paying down the national debt.
I’m sure this administration will leave a fine legacy.

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