Thursday, September 28, 2006

First pharmacists, now taxi drivers

We had a spirited discussion on the blog a couple of months ago on the issue of whether pharmacists should be allowed to indulge their personal prejudices and refuse to dispense the morning after pill.

Now taxi-drivers in Minneapolis are getting in on the act, and refusing to accept passengers who are carrying alcohol with them.

Where will this end? We're becoming an increasingly self-indulgent and intolerant society where we think the strength of our personal beliefs entitles us to impose the costs of our observance of those beliefs on others.

Death of taxpayer financing of Presidential elections

Great article on taxpayer financing of elections by George Will. I wish I had a dime for every time I've been told that the singular problem of American politics is the sordid money grubbing, at which the sinister Republicans are so much more adept than their intellectually superior but less-Machiavellian Democratic opponents. This inherent unclean-ness and ugliness of American politics could be made to vanish instantaneously by having government finance all campaigns, and disallowing the expenditure of "obscene" sums raised privately. Only then would American politics attain the heightened and rarified plane inhabited by continental European politics. Only then would we avoid the terrible embarassment of electing dummies like Bush, when we have much more intellectually nimble and sophisticated alternatives, like Nader.

I'm glad that taxpayers are overwhelmingly rejecting taxpayer financing of elections ...

First General Meeting Tuesday

Our first general membership meeting will be this Tuesday, October 3, at 12:30 in room 117. Lunch will be served, and 1L Executive Board members will be sought.

Come meet new members, learn more about the Federalist Society, and hear about our upcoming events. Look for an E-mail coming your way soon. As always, feel free to subscribe to our mailing list for news and updates, or contact us directly. We'll see you there!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Senator Inhofe Obliterates Global Warming Scare Mongers

Nothing in Senator James Inhofe's (R - OK) speech about global warming yesterday is new to anyone who is actually interested in the science of climatology, as opposed to the sensationalist nonsense that passes for it in the modern media, or has dug deeper than the front page of the New York Times. But here, Inhofe has concisely and expertly rebutted the last decade of eco-ridiculousness - with the cites to back it up. I recommend bookmarking it for the next time some hippy demands to know why ratifying the Kyoto Agreement isn't a "family value." Here are some highlights:

On the Media's ability to learn from history:

Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930’s the media peddled a coming ice age.

From the late 1920’s until the 1960’s they warned of global warming. From the 1950’s until the 1970’s they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate’s fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years.

On the graphs showing exponential temperature growth:
The “hockey stick” was completely and thoroughly broken once and for all in 2006. Several years ago, two Canadian researchers tore apart the statistical foundation for the hockey stick. In 2006, both the National Academy of Sciences and an independent researcher further refuted the foundation of the “hockey stick.” http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=257697
On the definition of "Doom":
It is very simplistic to feign horror and say the one degree Fahrenheit temperature increase during the 20th century means we are all doomed. First of all, the one degree Fahrenheit rise coincided with the greatest advancement of living standards, life expectancy, food production and human health in the history of our planet. So it is hard to argue that the global warming we experienced in the 20th century was somehow negative or part of a catastrophic trend.
On computer models as "truth":
Earlier this year, the director of the International Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks Alaska, testified to Congress that highly publicized climate models showing a disappearing Arctic were nothing more than “science fiction.” In fact, after years of hearing about the computer generated scary scenarios about the future of our planet, I now believe that the greatest climate threat we face may be coming from alarmist computer models.
On the veracity of Enviro-predictions:

The history of the modern environmental movement is chock full of predictions of doom that never came true. We have all heard the dire predictions about the threat of overpopulation, resource scarcity, mass starvation, and the projected death of our oceans. None of these predictions came true, yet it never stopped the doomsayers from continuing to predict a dire environmental future. The more the eco-doomsayers’ predictions fail, the more the eco-doomsayers predict.

On the Kyoto "Solution":

The alarmists freely concede that the Kyoto Protocol, even if fully ratified and complied with, would not have any meaningful impact on global temperatures. And keep in mind that Kyoto is not even close to being complied with by many of the nations that ratified it, including 13 of the EU-15 nations that are not going to meet their emission reduction promises.

Many of the nations that ratified Kyoto are now realizing what I have been saying all along: The Kyoto Protocol is a lot of economic pain for no climate gain.

On environmentalists' concern for the world's empoverished people:

The Kyoto Protocol’s post 2012 agenda which mandates that the developing world be subjected to restrictions on greenhouse gases could have the potential to severely restrict development in regions of the world like Africa, Asia and South America -- where some of the Earth’s most energy-deprived people currently reside.

Expanding basic necessities like running water and electricity in the developing world are seen by many in the green movement as a threat to the planet’s health that must be avoided. Energy poverty equals a life of back-breaking poverty and premature death.

If we allow scientifically unfounded fears of global warming to influence policy makers to restrict future energy production and the creation of basic infrastructure in the developing world -- billions of people will continue to suffer.

On the real agenda:

French President Jacques Chirac provided the key clue as to why so many in the international community still revere the Kyoto Protocol, who in 2000 said Kyoto represents “the first component of an authentic global governance.”

On Time Magazine's "Expertise":

“[Those] who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right… weathermen have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer.”

Before you think that this is just another example of the media promoting Vice President Gore’s movie, you need to know that the quote I just read you from Time Magazine was not a recent quote; it was from January 2, 1939.

Yes, in 1939. Nine years before Vice President Gore was born and over three decades before Time Magazine began hyping a coming ice age and almost five decades before they returned to hyping global warming.

On lies of omission:

On February 19th of this year, CBS News’s “60 Minutes” produced a segment on the North Pole. The segment was a completely one-sided report, alleging rapid and unprecedented melting at the polar cap. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/02/16/60minutes/main1323169.shtml

It even featured correspondent Scott Pelley claiming that the ice in Greenland was melting so fast, that he barely got off an ice-berg before it collapsed into the water.

“60 Minutes” failed to inform its viewers that a 2005 study by a scientist named Ola Johannessen and his colleagues showing that the interior of Greenland is gaining ice and mass and that according to scientists, the Arctic was warmer in the 1930’s than today.

On lies of omission (2):

The “60 Minutes” segment made no mention of [NASA scientist and alarmist James] Hansen’s partisan ties to former Democrat Vice President Al Gore or Hansen’s receiving of a grant of a quarter of a million dollars from the left-wing Heinz Foundation run by Teresa Heinz Kerry. There was also no mention of Hansen’s subsequent endorsement of her husband John Kerry for President in 2004. http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/dai_complete.pdf

Many in the media dwell on any industry support given to so-called climate skeptics, but the same media completely fail to note Hansen’s huge grant from the left-wing Heinz Foundation. http://www.heinzawards.net/speechDetail.asp?speechID=6

On Al Gore's Inconvenient Truths:

On June 27, the Associated Press ran an article by Seth Borenstein that boldly declared “Scientists give two thumbs up to Gore's movie.” The article quoted only five scientists praising Gore’s science, despite AP’s having contacted over 100 scientists. http://www.usatoday.com/weather/news/2006-06-27-inconvenient-truth-reviews_x.htm

The fact that over 80% of the scientists contacted by the AP had not even seen the movie or that many scientists have harshly criticized the science presented by Gore did not dissuade the news outlet one bit from its mission to promote Gore’s brand of climate alarmism. http://epw.senate.gov/pressitem.cfm?party=rep&id=257909

On the (disapointing) scientific objectivity of the Discovery Channel:

In July, the Discovery Channel presented a documentary on global warming narrated by former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. The program presented only those views of scientists promoting the idea that humans are destroying the Earth’s climate. http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=258659

You don’t have to take my word for the program’s overwhelming bias; a Bloomberg News TV review noted “You'll find more dissent at a North Korean political rally than in this program” because of its lack of scientific objectivity.

On who's spending the most propoganda dollars:

The fact remains that political campaign funding by environmental groups to promote climate and environmental alarmism dwarfs spending by the fossil fuel industry by a three-to-one ratio. Environmental special interests, through their 527s, spent over $19 million compared to the $7 million that Oil and Gas spent through PACs in the 2004 election cycle.

On "Scientific Consensus":

Continuing with our media analysis: On July 24, 2006 The Los Angeles Times featured an op-ed by Naomi Oreskes, a social scientist at the University of California San Diego and the author of a 2004 Science Magazine study. Oreskes insisted that a review of 928 scientific papers showed there was 100% consensus that global warming was not caused by natural climate variations. This study was also featured in former Vice President Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=259323

However, the analysis in Science Magazine excluded nearly 11,000 studies or more than 90 percent of the papers dealing with global warming, according to a critique by British social scientist Benny Peiser.

Peiser also pointed out that less than two percent of the climate studies in the survey actually endorsed the so-called “consensus view” that human activity is driving global warming and some of the studies actually opposed that view.

On dead polar bears:

Finally, a September 15, 2006 Reuters News article claimed that polar bears in the Arctic are threatened with extinction by global warming.***

What was missing from this Reuters news article was the fact that according to biologists who study the animals, polar bears are doing quite well. Biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor from the Arctic government of Nunavut, a territory of Canada, refuted these claims in May when he noted that, “Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.”

And finally, On the wisdom of Americans:

The media endlessly hypes studies that purportedly show that global warming could increase mosquito populations, malaria, West Nile Virus, heat waves and hurricanes, threaten the oceans, damage coral reefs, boost poison ivy growth, damage vineyards, and global food crops, to name just a few of the global warming linked calamities. Oddly, according to the media reports, warmer temperatures almost never seem to have any positive effects on plant or animal life or food production. Fortunately, the media’s addiction to so-called ‘climate porn’ has failed to seduce many Americans.

According to a July Pew Research Center Poll, the American public is split about evenly between those who say global warming is due to human activity versus those who believe it’s from natural factors or not happening at all.

In addition, an August Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll found that most Americans do not attribute the cause of recent severe weather events to global warming, and the portion of Americans who believe global warming is naturally occurring is on the rise.

Yes -- it appears that alarmism has led to skepticism.

The American people know when their intelligence is being insulted. They know when they are being used and when they are being duped by the hysterical left.

Read the whole thing. And like I said, I think I'll keep it bookmarked - it'll come in handy for the Great Ice Age Scare of 2014.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Daily Humor

I've added Chris Muir's "Day by Day" cartoon strip to the "Conservative/Libertarian Humor" section of the blog there in the right hand column. It's good stuff - and a good excuse to visit the blog, even on days when the oppression of actually having to pay attention in class may hinder the writing process...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Grammar, Character, and "October Surprises"

Gary Hart, former Colorado Senator and one of today's more ridiculous commentators on the left, published this unintentionally funny apocalyptic vision of October doom yesterday in the likewise unintentionally funny Huffington Post. Apparently, The New Hitler (weirdly, he's not referring to the actual New Hitler, Ahmadinejad) will invade Iran next month in order to maintain Republican control of the House and Senate.

Of course, the (thankfully) former Senator also predicted back in August that Bush would exit Iraq just before the elections. The title of that post was also "An October Surprise." Clearly, Gary is keeping is bases covered.

Beyond the preposterousness of the "substance" of his argument, a couple things really stood out in his piece. The first, of course, is that the "Monkey Business" Man has very, very, very little room to lecture anyone on hubris, honesty, or "character," national or otherwise.

But then there's this little piece of snark: "For a divinely guided president who imagines himself to be a latter day Winston Churchill (albeit lacking the ability to formulate intelligent sentences)..."

Interesting. Of course, earlier in the piece, he wrote this: "[Bush will say that]... sanctions [against Iran] will have no affect (and besides they are for sissies)." (emphasis mine)

Sigh. Sanctions do not "have no Affect," they "have no Effect." (Although, sanctions having no Effect but to strengthen dictators, kill innocents, and line UN officials' pockets with graft while making liberals feel enlightened, I tend to agree they are largely for sissies). If you're going to be snarky about a person's use of the language and use it as proof of intelligence, it's probably a good idea to proof read your material. It is for that reason, being an AWFUL speller myself, that I will not use Mr. Hart's grammatical slip to impugn his logic or ability to reason - I'll leave that to his own absurd arguments.

Mr. Hart has made two predictions in as many months - one, that Bush will withdrawal troops in time for the elections, and two, that we will invade Iran before the elections. Neither have or are likely to come true. (He also predicted in 1987, after daring news reporters to follow him around and look for an affair, that they wouldn't find anything and would be "bored." That makes him 0-3.)

Once again, we have Bush as simultaneously the Machiavellian Evil Genius pulling the puppet strings on the ignorant groundlings that make up the American electorate, and as the stubborn dunce unmoved by opinion polls by that same American electorate which he clearly should listen to. If Bush talks to other countries, he's "outsourcing our diplomacy." If not, he's "alienating our allies." They vote for national defense spending before voting against it. These logical absurdities would be hilarious if it weren't for the fact that the utterers of such inanity weren't spending millions of dollars attempting to regain power in our country - and far too close to achieving it.

But even worse than Hart being an ineffectual sage is the fact that he apparently sees Iran as nothing more than another potential innocent victim of Bush the Impaler. How would President Hart deal with a country well known to carry out terror attacks against American interests, one which subverts emerging democracies, supports attacks targeting Israeli civilians after promising to wipe them off the map, denies the Holocaust, brazenly lies to the UN about its weapons programs, and is otherwise one of the most dangerous nations in the history of the planet?

The answer is not a happy one, and once again demonstrates why the current Democratic Party cannot be trusted with national security - or apparently, October crystal balls.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Chief Justice and "Generous" Deference

Mark Moller over at Cato wrote up a little analysis(PDF) of the Rapanos v. U.S. decision(PDF), the newest battle in the fight over what wetlands can be properly regulated by the Feds because of their interstate nature. Roberts in his concurrence hints that if the EPA will just lay down some consistent rules about the scope of its authority, the Court will give them "generous" deference. So now we're letting agencies decide what they can do under the interstate commerce clause? Deference is for agency decisions about matters that fall within their jurisdiction, not for agency decisions about the scope of their jurisdiction. Otherwise we end up in a situation where the commerce clause is being interpreted not by the Court but by the EPA, with the Court just standing by to make sure they aren't too far off.

Every time we appoint a conservative justice, I offer up a little prayer to the gods of common sense that he or she will be a federalist of some persuasion. Alas, I am often disappointed.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Welcome 1Ls!

Welcome to the University of Washington School of Law, and to another year of challenging the liberal orthodoxy on our campus! We hope you enjoy our blog. Our members are free to post their own articles on this blog - make your voice heard!

If you think you're the only one who grits your teeth when a professor ridicules a conservative, our group is for you. If you secretly cheer on a Scalia opinion while your class wallows in outrage, join us! If you didn't wear black for the whole month of November 2004, and if you thought Alito and Roberts were just what this country needs, you are not alone.

Our first general membership meeting is tenatively scheduled for Tuesday, October 3 at 12:30. Check back here for updates.

To subscribe to our mailing list for information and updates on events, jobs, intern-/externship opportunities, and social gatherings, click on the first link on the right side of this page, or go to https://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/federalists

Visit our main webpage for news and a look at our events calendar at http://students.washington.edu/federal.

The address for this blog is www.uwfedsoc.blogspot.com.

There are a lot more conservative law students than you think, and the more intellectually diverse voices that can be heard, the better your legal education will be. Believe it or not, most of our professors even agree with that. Not only that, but it can be a lot of fun to challenge a professor in class, to stand up for your beliefs, and to engage in the debate.

We look forward to meeting you. To learn more about us, or about the national Federalist Society, click on the provided links, or feel free to contact us directly. Good luck in your first year!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Be Careful What You Ask For

Professor William Andersen of the UW School of Law is complaining about politicking in Washington judicial elections. Forgive me for thinking that his principled stand rings a bit hollow in light of the total politicization of the judicial branch embraced by liberals since the 1930s. You reap what you sow. You want judges as the cutting edge of your political agenda, you should expect their branch of government to become politicized. The same thing goes for democrats complaining about the strong executive, big brother, lobbying excesses and bloated government in general. You brought us these problems for your own profit - it seems a bit disingenuous to stand on principle when the beasts you created turn against you.

Selling Their Souls

So, the democrat party and its apparatus is fighting tooth and nail to block even the most rudimentary measures to prevent voter fraud. Funny that this is coming from the party still whining about the 2000 and 2004 (but not 1960) elections being stolen. Not surprisingly, it's from the party that is aiding, abetting and encouraging illegal immigration and felon-voting. Socialism by any means necessary I guess.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

GOP loss in 2006 -- a victory for conservatives?

The Washington Monthly has an interesting feature this month, in which six prominent conservatives make the case -- compellingly, cogently, and passionately -- that a GOP defeat this November is the outcome that would most favor conservative government. The National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru made a similar argument in the New York Times earlier this week. I do think that conservative government would be better served by divided government -- a divided government can accomplish less, and the less government does, the better ...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Unveiling the new UW FedSoc Webpage

I just posted the new UW Federalist Society webpage. It will be kept up to date at least until I graduate. The content is nothing new, but I think it will provide more appeal to incoming students. I also hope to add more content in the future. If anyone has suggestions of what to add, please comment here.

http://students.washington.edu/federal/

One week until elections

Preliminary elections for the Washington State Supreme Court, and many other judicial positions, are bing held a week from today. Be prepared and remember to vote so that our court system accurately reflects what the citizens want. In Washington, most of the winners are declared after the preliminaries. The only race that looks like it might make the November election is the Owens/Johnson battle.

Take a look at this site for a non-partisan review of the candidates. Also, for those of you that remember, an attorney from John Groen's law firm was kind enough to sit on our career panel last school year.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11

Of all the 9/11 reflections, Peggy Noonan's struck me the most deeply as getting gently, firmly, immediately, and most truthfully to the heart of that day.

This day reminds us. We are are an exceptional nation, the best of all nations. We are a nation at war with evil and brutality, with people who hate us and want to kill us for no other reason than that we exist. We must defeat them totally or they will kill all of us. Only America has the strength and the will to save the world for freedom. And because we are Americans, what else can we do but succeed? It is the nature of the American to prevail.

Five years later we bicker between political parties, we obsess about what planet Tom Cruise's baby was born on, we debate social security and tax cuts. We laugh at Snakes on a Plane. Our economy roars, in spite of all attempts by some to convince people it hardly meows. The conspiracy nuts concoct their laughable theories of US Fascism, post them under their own names, and then blilthy walk the streets, unmolested by the most free government in the world that is far too concerned about the real world to notice them. We grumble about gas prices, and then drive whenever and wherever we want anyway. The worst our enemies have been able to do to us here at home since 9/11 are a lone gunman in Seattle and a lone sidewalk-driving rampage in San Francisco. All of these things are signs of our massive strength and resilience. All of them make me proud.

Five years ago, we swore as a nation that we would never forget these things, that America is at war, and that American exceptionalism will ensure that freedom prevails. Some forgot anyway, an ironic consequence of our strength and success.

But most of us remember that vigilance is the price of freedom. We know that this day must remind us that freedom isn't free, and that our enemies still want to slaughter flight attendants with box cutters. We know that we are safer but not safe, that we don't deserve to be attacked, that peace is achieved through strength, not weakness, and that we need feel no guilt in killing our enemies. And it is because we know these things that I am proud to be an American on this day.