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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The New York Times is Dumb

Today, I bought sixteen issues of the New York Times, took out the editorial page, and left the rest on a park bench for the vagrants that compose my army of the night to use as blankets and barrel fire fodder. The primary reason I did this is to instill a sense of loyalty in my genial band of bandits, but the larger purpose is so that, for the next couple of weeks, I can use the Op/Eds from today to housebreak pets. And not, like, a bird or a cat or something: no, a giant mastiff or German shepherd. Because that is pretty much all any of the goddamn columns today are good for.
Justice Sunday Reloaded
In a recent Op-Ed article in The Times, Paul Gewirtz and Chad Golder showed that the most conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, voted to invalidate laws passed by Congress - a good measure of judicial activism - far more often than the justices considered most liberal.

For one, nice job just completely sidestepping making the argument, instead relying on a month-old Op-Ed (note: the “op” stands for “opinion” not “well done, peer-reviewed study.” Hey! Guess whether Gewirtz and Golder were trying to sell a viewpoint?) that requires either Lexis or a paid subscription to the Times online to read. It helps if you just pretend that the basis of your argument can be assumed, doesn’t it?

Second, the point itself is manifestly false. The fact that conservative justices invalidate laws of congress more often during a ravenously liberal congress is not a “good measure of judicial activism” because activism is when you invalidate (or allow laws) that are not in the constitution. In order for the premise to be true, you would have to take as unassailable fact that the US Congress never goes outside of its constitutionally prescribed powers. To, for example, issue a specific law with regard to some brain dead chick in Florida. For example.

Even then, I’m not sure what the hell the Op-Ed is supposed to be talking about. It’s so full of pointless attacks on everyone, from the Church to Bill Frist, that I’m not even sure what it objects to. Is the main problem using a church for something they deem politically partisan in nature? Is the problem that this group doesn’t represent general, mainstream opinion? They mention that there were nontraditional ideas discussed (“William Donohue, the president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, argued that the Supreme Court should be able to overturn a Congressional enactment only by a unanimous vote. That is a terrible idea, one that would undo the system of checks and balances designed by the founders”) but decline to actually criticize them in any substantive way, except to say it would undo the founders’ vision. You know what else would undo the founders’ vision? Completely skullfucking any concept of federalism by the rampant expansion of what is considered part of the commerce clause, or gutting the contracts clause of Article I. But the Op-Ed clearly doesn’t favor that.

Fighting the Last Hijackers

I’m convinced that reporters should not be able to talk about certain things. For example: Airline security. This is the second such article from the Times in recent memory where someone totally misses the obvious point that if there is a group that is not searched, or who is, as a matter of policy, ignored by airport screeners, that creates what we’ll call “a glaring weakness.” His argument, inasmuch as he has one since this is, again, a bunch of tangentially related paragraphs, is that it is difficult for terrorists to get onto airplanes, so they will start bombing other crowded areas instead.

Most terrorists probably gave up on the first idea after Sept. 11, 2001, when airlines started locking cockpit doors and telling pilots not to open them, no matter what anyone was threatening to do to flight attendants or passengers. Even if there were still terrorists planning to take over planes, they wouldn't need to bother smuggling weapons on board because they could kill people by stabbing them with pens or strangling them with belts.

Yes. Because in a fight between 50 passengers and six terrorists, the pen is going to be the vital component. I can’t believe he even bothers to leave this suggestion in since, if you believe his entire article, the TSA is working. It’s making terrorists turn to places other than airplanes to focus attacks. And as an aside, I’ve flown in the past year out of Atlanta, Washington National, Denver, Dulles and BWI and I haven’t spent more than five minutes in a line at any of them. And I get searched literally every time I go. Last time I flew, National found and confiscated a spoon I had in my backpack. To be honest, I think we’re okay.

And by the way, the “turn it over to private companies” worked great the first time, right? After all, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that private companies never put their profits over safety considerations. And since, presumably, the hiring of these firms would be left up to individual airports or state legislatures; I can’t imagine it would be low-bid.

The other thing Tierney says is that we should implement a registration program so “frequent travelers” can get onto airplanes more easily, bypassing security. They did this with NAFTA and customs: guess what! Drug smugglers registered for it, since, despite being drug smugglers, they are also not completely retarded. Letting people bypass security is bad since, what, you’re going to arrest them afterwards?

No Emotion Left Behind

Hey, I remember back when we had “programs” to teach kids ethics and emotional stability. They were called families. And I’m sorry, but teachers are dead on the inside. Seriously and completely dead. Their black and twisted souls are eaten away like the inside of a rotted log, filled with insects and whiskey. Unionization, bad pay and a pervasive sense of apathy have destroyed whatever school system we had during the Cold War when, Goddamnit, we didn’t care if these kids had any stability because the Ruskies were going to bomb is at any fucking second and if Timmy gets beat up at recess, then Timmy needs to strap on a pair and take some Karate lessons.

Do you really think that public school teachers are the ones who need to be enhancing the morality of our students? And given their success in helping us eke past, like, Kenya in the latest rankings of public school students in the world, maybe giving them more responsibility is not what they need.

cranked out at 6:05 AM | |

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