small d, Big J

What Steven desJardins is interested in.
Friday, June 27, 2003
A scary post on the coming economic collapse. Possible collapse, that is--the Federal Reserve is running out of room to cut interest rates, and that could be Trouble with a capital T, which rhymes with B, which stands for, well, let's not get into that. I don't know enough about economics to vouch for the analysis, but I am worried.
I've never understood why Antonin Scalia has a reputation for being very smart. I've read his opinions, and seen him lecture, and I've never gotten the impression that he was more than middling intelligent. He does seem convinced of his own brilliance, though. I get the impression that he reasons something like this:

1. Those people are really dumb.
2. I'm much, much smarter than them.
3. Therefore I must be really extraordinarily brilliant.

If you can see the flaw in that reasoning, you just might be smarter than Antonin Scalia.

His latest opinion, defending the atrocity that is Bowers v. Hardwick, contains some statements that have gotten notice for being remarkably dumb. For example, he accuses the majority of the Supreme Court of having "largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda". Now, the word "so-called" seems to be calling into question the actual existence of this "homosexual agenda", but if it doesn't exist, how can they have signed onto it? His language is at war with itself, and this phrase is a friendly-fire casualty.

A commenter at Eschaton notes that the press is making Scalia look more reasonable than he is. The AP wrote "The court has taken sides in the culture war," Scalia said, adding that he has "nothing against homosexuals." What Scalia actually wrote was

"Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means."

If you read the rest of the opinion it's clear that he does have something against homosexuals. In fact he has no problem with people who practice homosexuality being arrested, thrown in jail, and presumably stripped of their right to vote, which would seem to hamper their ability to "promot[e] their agenda through normal democratic means". This may seem inconsistent, but you'll recall from the Bush v. Gore decision a couple years back that the right to vote isn't part of the normal democratic process, at least not on Scalia-World. I'm sure glad I don't live in Scalia-World.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

In Texas, Esshassah Fouad, a student from Morocco, was detained after his former wife accused him of plotting terrorism. She was sentenced to a year in prison for making a false charge. But Mr. Fouad was hit anyway with immigration charges, despite his pleas that he had missed school, violating his visa, because he was in jail.

America used to be a much fairer nation. (Although, admittedly, the INS has been a cesspit under Democrats and Republicans alike.)


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