October 8, 2007 archive

Dark Matter

I see so much fine reporting–and writing–here that I don’t feel competent to try any of that type of stuff.  So, I’ll just post some art and entertainment for everyone–once in a while–and read all I can.  They say you should write about what you know, so a little cosmology for those who are interested (and pretty pictures for the rest of us).

Hubble Deep Field

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Hubble took a picture of the same spot for 10 consecutive days so astronomers could create this image.  This picture is of the newly born galaxies as they were about 12 billion years ago. 
(This really doesn’t have anything to do with dark matter–but I like the picture)

Want to understand what’s wrong with the Republican Party?

Then read this.  Seriously.

That is why the Republican party is in shambles. The majority of us have decided that the movers and shakers in the GOP and the blogospheric right are certified lunatics who, in a decent and sane society, we would have in controlled environments in rocking chairs under shade trees for most of the day, wheeled in at night for tapioca pudding and some karaoke.

Dred Scott, Originalism and A Living Constitution

Originally published at Talk Left in October 2006. Warning, will likely put you to sleep.

Scott Lemieux pens a very interesting article on the Dred Scott decision and its merits  and meaning in today's law and politics. It is worth reading in its entirety but  I want to focus on a few points made by Lemieux:

. . . George W. Bush — demonstrating the forthright advocacy of conservative jurisprudence for which Republicans are famous — went out of his way to assure the public during one of the 2004 presidential debates that he would not, in fact, appoint Supreme Court justices who would interfere with the ability of Congress to ban slavery in Puerto Rico. Bush's strange remarks were widely interpereted as a dog-whistle signal to his anti-abortion-rights base, some of whose intellectuals (most notably Justice Scalia in his dissents in Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Stenberg v, Carhart) have compared Roe v. Wade to Dred Scott. Jeffrey Rosen turned this comparison against Scalia in his merciless evisceration of the justice's support for the Court's egregious Bush v. Gore decision. And on it goes. But should this much weight really be put on Dredd Scott?

. . . The most common attack on Dred Scott, however, does not concern the finer points of interpretive theory. Rather, it's a critique borne out of a romanticized view of legislatures as being better able to resolve difficult social questions than courts. . . .

It may have been the most common attack but it was not the best one. Abraham Lincoln, most notably in his Cooper Union address, presented, to me at least, the most devastating arguments against the legal correctness of the Dred Scott decision. I'll discuss that and a few other things on the other side.

Load more