Supreme Court on file-sharing

Slate has a great article on the current Supreme Court case on file-sharing technology.

I'm on the side of the file swappers. The parallels between this case and the TV studios trying to stop VCRs are striking. I think the Supremes will rule in favor of file sharing, and leave the record companies to go on suing little old ladies.


A new mission for the U.N.?

The U.N. wants to take over the Internet.

Why not? It does such a good job everywhere else it tries.

HT: Instapundit.

From the mouths of babes

... or, more precisely, from the mouths of game show hosts who look like Dan Quayle.

Pat Sajak, of all people, has a post that brilliantly and concisely captures the feelings many of us have when trying to have a political conversation with our left-wing friends.

The moral superiority they bring to the table allows them to alter the playing field and the rules in their favor. They can say and do things the other side can’t because, after all, they have the greater good on their side. If a Conservative—one of the bad guys—complains about the content of music, films or television shows aimed at children, he is being a prude who wants to tell other people what to read or listen to or watch; he is a censor determined to legislate morality. If, however, a Liberal complains about speech and, in fact, supports laws against certain kinds of speech, it is right and good because we must be protected from this “hate speech” or “politically incorrect” speech. (Of course, they—being the good guys—will decide exactly what that is.)

Protests about Ward Churchill, the University of Colorado professor and self-proclaimed Native American, who, among other things, likened some Sept. 11
victims to Adolf Eichmann (there go those pesky Nazis again), were characterized by much of the Left as an effort to stifle academic freedom. But, when Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers’ job is put in jeopardy over a caveat-filled musing about science and gender, it’s okay, because what he said was sooo wrong (even if it has to be mis-characterized to make the point).

When Liberals want to legislate what you’re allowed to drive or what you should eat or how much support you can give to a political candidate or what you can or can’t say, they are doing it for altruistic reasons. The excesses of the Left are to be excused because these folks operate from the higher moral ground and the benefit of the greater wisdom and intelligence gained from that perspective.

Read the whole thing. This points out the hypocrisy of those on the left, but there's an obvious parallel hypocrisy of those on the right who usually favor free speech -- except when they don't. This all highlights the honesty, intellectual integrity, logistical consistency and, of course, moral superiority, of the libertarian position: free speech means just that, free speech!

HT: Ace of Spades, who is quite a Sajak fan.


Oxy Morons, Part Deux

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) Director Greg Lukianoff sends an update on the Occidental case, in particular addressing poor coverage of the story by the L.A. Times:

The article does not address the actual substance of the sexual harassment claims that led to Antebi’s firing (two of the claims were from Jason’s student government rivals and the crux of their claim was that Jason had called one a “douche” and the other a “bearded feminist”); it does not mention that he was fired over the objections of the student management of the station (I will be writing about this soon); it does not mention the dissolution of the student government (which, despite Oxy’s claims to the contrary, was obviously related to the Antebi incident); it does not mention the subsequent revelation from FIRE that Oxy had relied on baseless and inaccurate allegations (including allegations of serious criminal conduct) against its students in order to justify its actions after the fact; it does not mention the absurd situation in which the General Counsel of the college essentially said the ACLU of Southern California did not know ACLU policy; it does not mention that there is still no student government; and so on and so on.
Lukianoff argues that the case has importance far beyond the political discrimination I pointed to in my first post on the subject. This appears to be a serious abuse of power by the administration involving serious ethical lapses and a real violation of Antebi's rights. I had some run-ins with petty tyrants at my university on a much smaller scale, and I share Lukianoff's outrage.

Those who support freedom of speech on campus can donate to FIRE here.

More tales of international heroism from the U.N.

Wow. You have to read this story.

... in early 2001, two Jordanians [U.N. workers] were evacuated home with injured penises after attempting sexual intercourse with goats.
But it's not all hilarious tales of animal husbandry:

Today the cry for justice from the child victims continues to go unheard.

With the UN battered by a series of allegations embroiling its Nobel Prize-winning peacekeepers in a web of global sexual misconduct, new details have emerged of widespread sexual abuse against the civilian population by the Jordanian soldiers in Oecussi.

The findings are contained in a secret report by the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, a copy of which has been obtained by Inquirer. It determines that Jordanian peacekeepers routinely sexually abused young East Timorese boys in return for money and food. Witnesses interviewed by UN investigators also claim Jordanian involvement in several alleged rapes of boys and women. The report contains witness testimony, much of it too graphic to repeat in this newspaper. And it concludes that, with the help of Indonesian soldiers, Jordanian blue berets routinely procured the services of prostitutes from across the border in West Timor.

Why, oh why, are we still funding these corrupt and incompetent child rapists?

HT: Ace of Spades.


War! What is it good for?

Liberating Iraqis and establishing a model for democracy in the middle East, of course!

The casualty count is way down.

Meanwhile, insurgents seek an exit strategy (HT: Instapundit).

Powerline has a heart-warming story.


China welcomes Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Posts on a Chinese web site about visiting Secretary of State Rice:

"How come the United States selects a female chimpanzee as Secretary of State?"

"This black woman thinks rather a lot of herself."

"She's so ugly she's losing face. Even a dog would be put off its dinner while she's being fed."

These people make Howard Dean seem polite by comparison.


If at first (Texas Air National Guard memos) you don't succeed, try, try again...

Powerline smells a rat regarding the alleged smoking gun memo showing Republicans wanting political gain from Terry Schiavo.

It's looking more and more likely that this is another bad forgery, another Democrat dirty trick.

McCain-Feingold vs. First Amendment

The Wall Street Journal weighs in on the stupidity and unconstitutionality of McCain-Feingold.

I recommend signing up for the free daily e-mail at OpinionJournal.com. It's always good stuff!


Half empty

Chrenkoff, a blogger from down under, notices this headline: "45 killed in insurgent attacks" on an Agence France-Presse story.

The thing is, 29 of those "killed in insurgent attacks" were insurgents!

Always look on the dark side of life!

I haven't met Chrenkoff, but like his work!


Punishment, Iranian style

Wow. That's execution.

HT: Hugh Hewitt, who uses the article to make a different point entirely.

Senator Reid proposes freedom of speech

Harry Reid has introduced a bill to allow free speech on the Internet.

Why is such a bill necessary? Asinine Federal Elections Commission laws, compounded by the fascist McCain-Feingold act.

Who would have thunk such common sense would come from the same guy who is currently threatening to shut down the Senate?

HT: Daily Kos.

The U.S. needs Senators like this

Australian Senator Ross Lightfoot is in a bit of trouble for running around Iraq with an AK-47 and smuggling cash to the Kurds.

Lightfoot represents Western Australia, which is the Australian equivalent of Texas, but it's still nice to see that the cowboy spirit is alive and well even in boring places like Canberra.

Can you picture Ted Kennedy running around Iraq with an AK-47? OK, maybe sitting at a bar in the Green Zone with an AK-47? Nah, still doesn't work.

UPDATE: Lorie Byrd reminds us that we do have a lethal weapon in the Senate.


Hitchens goes batty

The often provocative Christopher Hitchens joins the "investigate Ohio" crowd.

Read the whole thing. Whether it points to nefarious conduct in the 2004 election is questionable. But it certainly points to problems with the cockamamie, patchwork, local-yahoo-run voting system we have. Hitchens could have pointed to Washington State, where the governor's race was decided by dead voters, voting felons, voting non-citizens, voting non-residents, unverified stuff-the-ballot-box-and-run voters, voterless votes, and voteless voters.

HT: The excellent, left-wing, pro-Iraqi freedom normblog.

Oxy Morons

Freedom of speech on campus is under fire these days from politically correct faculty and administrators who try to define any speech they don't like as "hate speech" or "harassment."

Taking the lead in defense of free speech on campus is the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a group I've followed in the news and developed a great respect for.

The latest news is a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Occidental College for punishing a campus radio shock jock and shutting down the student government of which he was a leader.

If you read Oxy's side first, as I did, you get the impression that the kid is a juvenile delinquent guilty of death threats, vandalism, and other crimes against both students and the university.

Then, however, read FIRE's awesome, point-by-point response, and you'll see how dishonest and out of control the administration is. I often make the usual derogatory jokes about lawyers, but I sat in awe as I read the brilliant, 28-page letter that ripped Oxy's arguments to shreds.

The whole story here.

HT: Instapundit.

UPDATE: An Oxy alum writes, "What a cretin! I think Oxy handled this thing totally wrong, but for different reasons than you. In my opinion he should have been expelled early on."

I agree that Antebi is an obnoxious jerk, but the school incorrectly punished him saying that what he said was "sexual harassment," when it was nothing of the sort. The problem is that leftist groups (like MEChA and La Raza) always get away with saying whatever they want, which is often racist, vile, and threatening, while those with a conservative viewpoint get similar rants shut down as "hate speech" or, in this case, "sexual harassment."

What the alum is asking for is a return to the days of common decency and civil discourse. I can appreciate that wish, but what we have now is a case where codes of acceptable speech are enforced against one side and not the other.


L.A. City Council shelters violent illegal alien gang members, L.A. Times neglects to mention

L.A. Cowboy points out a huge story that the L.A. Times conveniently forgets to mention.

HT: Kaus.

You got your chocolate in my peanut butter!

P.J. O'Rourke is one of my favorite writers. He and Hunter S. Thompson were the two journalistic lights guiding my early political development. I met O'Rourke once in London, and got a couple of books autographed. I read all of his books published through the mid-90's, but have been remiss since then.

O'Rourke writing about John Kerry is like Reese's combination of peanut butter and chocolate: two great tastes that taste great together. O'Rourke mocks Kerry mercilessly, exposing him, as Herman Melville might say, as a "Miserable man! Oh! most contemptible and worthy of all scorn..."

I have to go out and get the most recent book!


What media bias?

An English friend of mine e-mailed me this morning with this subject line:

this is scary stuff...
He linked to this NY Times article (free login required). He's right: it is scary stuff. The government is using taxpayer dollars to manipulate the way people think.

I want to know why this is only an issue when President Bush does it, though. Where was the outrage when Clinton was doing the same thing? Where was the outrage when California was using cigarette tax money to fund propaganda depicting tobacco companies as evil and murderous, leading to a change in public opinion that led to higher cigarette taxes and more anti-smoking laws?

The New York Times, in this instance, goes so far as to bury any mention of anyone other than the Bush administration doing this in the 12th paragraph. And there, they limit it to a single phrase: "The practice, which also occurred in the Clinton administration..."

It's no wonder people overseas have such a distorted anti-Bush (and still extremely pro-Clinton) point of view. Their own newspapers and broadcast news reports get a good deal of their U.S. news and views from sources like the allegedly reputable New York Times.

New York Times, your partisanship is showing!


Peace, man

From the party of non-violence: a little road rage.

HT: Polipundit.

UPDATE: And his lovely photo here.

They put a fatwa on his a#$!

Spain's leading Muslim group is putting a fatwa on Osama bin Laden. I love fatwas. I put a fatwa on the bus driver who was a bit surly this morning. I put a fatwa on Barbara Boxer for her attempt to help greedy executives defeat honest accounting.

I can't help wonder, though, if this is a publicity ploy for Osama. As I've pointed out before here and here, he's increasingly crying out for attention.

HT: Drudge


We haven't lost her after all

One of the real tragedies of the November election, I thought, was that we wouldn't have Teresa Heinz-Kerry to amuse us any more. Fortunately, she's back!


Another European voice questions: was Bush right?

The Independent asks the same question that der Spiegel asked a couple weeks ago.

HT: Instapundit

Double take

Drudge points to this photo where Martha Stewart is not wearing her ankle monitor bracelet. But what's with the second Martha Stewart on the right?


You think you've seen it all, but...

This just in from our correspondent at Berkeley's Boalt Law School: a flyer distributed to students requesting "$100 or more" to help fund a four-day guilty hand-wringing series for Whitey. But it appears students are already paying for this nonsense, through their student fees. According to the Boalt Hall Student Association, "BHSA allocates funds to each of the student groups at Boalt Hall." The Boalt Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild is listed as one of these student groups.


Boalt Hall's National Lawyers Guild is organizing a four-part workshop series on "Dismantling Whiteness". We would like to ask the Youth and
Education Law Society to co-sponsor the workshops. We would also like to ask you to consider making a donation of $100 or more to the workshops. The following is a brief description of the goals and logistics of theworkshop. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact me via e-mail or at 410-599-9878.
Thank you.

Sincerely, Garrett Wright

Brief description: "In this training, we will improve our skills in talking about race and race privilege. We will explore how people are socialized to think, feel, and act in ways that create and maintain white privilege, and how to confront, resist, and change racism in ourselves and our communities. We will work on an action project that addresses an aspect of white privilege."

Goals: 1) To create a safe environment where a multi-racial group of law students critically explore white privilege. This exploration will look at society generally, ourselves personally, and the legal field. 2) To explore white privilege and to support each other in doing the work of fighting it. Relevant questions are: What is white privilege? How does race work? How do we, as law students, create and maintain white privilege and oppression? How do we dismantle white privilege and oppression in our personal lives and our work?

Logistics: We are asking students to commit to attending all four sessions.

Monday, March 14 Workshop 1: What is White Privilege and Institutionalized White Supremacy?

Monday, March 28 Workshop 2: White Privilege/Internalized Racism

Monday, April 11 Workshop 3: Being An Ally/Preparing for Action

Monday, April 25 Workshop 4: Action Projects

All workshops will be held from 6 pm – 7:30 pm.
For participants: Donation requested; no one turned away for lack of funds. Deadline for registration is Friday, March 11 by 5pm.

Trainers: Aryeh Shell is an anti-racism educator, popular theater artist and social justice organizer. She currently teaches a Confronting Racism Seminar through the Social Welfare Department at UC Berkeley and has taught numerous anti-racism workshops and trainings using popular education and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. She founded the Herstories Project, a multi-racial collective of women that explores issues of identity and alliance-building through ritual theater, oral history and ancestral exploration. She works with Mayfair Improvement Initiative, an immigrant rights organization and Teatro Vision, a Chicano-based theater company in San Jose, developing popular theater for social change. She is getting her Master's degree from SFSU in Education: Equity and Social Justice and has taken extensive course work with Challenging White Supremacy and Isoke Femi's Soul of Justice.

Jonathan Brack is a youth leader and an anti-racism educator. He has co-instructed the Confronting Racism Seminar through UC Berkeley's Social Welfare Department and theBerkeley YWCA's Racial Justice Programs for the last 3 years. Jonathan received his B.A. in History, with an emphasis on African American culture and education from UC Berkeley. As an undergraduate he worked on several student initiatives including the fight to repeal SP-1 and SP-2, the Black Recruitment and Retention Center (B.R.R.C.) as well as the African American Student Development Office. Currently he is the director of the Berkeley Scholars to Cal Program, a long-term academic mentoring program that seeks the admission of a cohort of forty Chicano/Latino and African American youth into UC Berkeley or another top-ranked university. Jonathan was just recently admitted to the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Education where he will pursue a PhD starting in the fall of 2005.

Dismantling Whiteness

In this training, we will improve our skills in talking about race and race privilege. We will explore how people are socialized to think, feel, and act in ways that create and maintain white privilege, and how to confront, resist, and change racism in ourselves and our communities. We will work on an action project that addresses an aspect of white privilege.

We ask students to commit to attending all four sessions.

Monday, March 14
Monday, March 28
Monday, April 11
Monday, April 25

6 pm – 7:30 pm

By donation; no one turned away for lack of funds.
Workshop Trainers
Aryeh Shell is an anti-racism educator, popular theater artist and social justice organizer. She currently teaches a Confronting Racism Seminar through the Social Welfare Department at UC Berkeley and has taught numerous anti-racism workshops and trainings using popular education and Theatre of the Oppressed techniques.

Jonathan Brack is a youth leader and an anti-racism educator. He has co-instructed the Confronting Racism Seminar through UC Berkeley's Social Welfare Department and the Berkeley YWCA's Racial Justice Programs for the last 3 years.

To register or for more information, contact Garrett Wright: gwright@berkeley.edu

Register by 5pm Friday, March 11.
Sponsored by National Lawyers Guild.


Cuddly Kim Jong Il

Powerline has a great piece on a stupid L.A. Times article about how nice the North Korean government is. Hasn't this gullible reporter seen Team America: World Police?

Reporter Barbara Demick's work can be found on such high-minded foreign affairs journals as SmirkingChimp.com, which is an even-handed analysis of how President Bush is like an evil chimpanzee.

Happy Super Tuesday!