Generally, a combination of ladylike reticence and consideration for the insecurities of my fellow bloggers prevents me from mentioning the great state which I call home. Extraordinary circumstances, however, have at last overcome my scruples. In the light of todayâ€™s Supreme Court ruling forbidding states, cities and municipalities from forbidding handgun ownership, and before Scalia and company begin ostentatiously flinging sidearms to a cheering populace, I feel it is my duty to point out the leadership role of the land of my birth. In the fight to uphold the blessed Second Amendment of the Constitution of these here United States, Texas has always been a shining beacon of hope to the teeming masses who struggle for their God-given right to own unlicensed semi-automatics and carry a Colt .45 in any diaper bag.
Twenty years ago, on June 23, a scientist relatively unknown outside his field went before the Senate to give testimony about the greenhouse effect. Dr. James Hansen, of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Sciences (GISS) and Columbia University, went before Congress this week to tell the government and the country again what they didn’t want to hear – that human civilization was responsible for heating up the Earth’s climate and that we had only so much time before our activities shoved the climate, and possibly our own civilization, irreversibly over a metaphorical cliff. Continue reading
Expect the average net worth of a member of Congress â€” now about $1.5 million â€” to take another leap upward. That’s because five members of the Supreme Court decided that wealth, as speech, cannot be regulated. In doing so, the Roberts court continued to dismantle the “fairness” logic of past congressional attempts at campaign finance reform by labeling such reforms as censorship.
In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to allow candidates facing self-financing, wealthy opponents to accept larger-than-normal contributions. This decision will decrease the number of financially viable congressional candidates.
Most Democrats in the two houses of Congress balk at initiating impeachment proceedings against President Bush. We assume it’s because, like a woman living with a rageaholic husband, they prefer to let their Republican colleagues lie as if they were sleeping dogs.
Is there something else that Democratic senators and members of the House of Representatives are afraid of? Perhaps they fear that impeaching the president might stir up buried shame on the part of many who voted for Bush. Americans already brought down their wrath on the administration in the 2006 election, as well as in polls. Rub any shame on their part about being “low-information voters” in their face and they just might kill the messengers. Continue reading
by Douglas J. Belcher
In the absence of a grand technological theory that can explain the Universe, such as a Unified Field Theory (nerds can hope), or resolution of the questions raised by more dialectical interpretations of history, many scholars opt for media theory because the items such theory discusses are more accessible in our day-to-day lives. The science-fictional proliferation of portable gizmos and the ubiquity of the silicon chip can give the ordinary citizen pause, and books about media theory are frequently written to answer the somewhat vexing questions that arise.
Media professor and popular blogger Siva Vaidhyanathan investigates with 2004′s The Anarchist in the Library. Mr. Vaidhyanathan, hereafter referred to as V, notes in the inlet of the book that â€œbattle lines are being drawn,â€ between Freedom and Control, and that the real world has begun to resemble the virtual world. (Or is it, the other way around?) On the one side, he writes, are corporations, judges, the military etc, and on the other are â€œliberatorsâ€, hackers, libertarians, artists and dissidents.