Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm so egalitarian, I'm an elite

  • A good idea from the Freakonomics Blog to help restrict corporate corruption of our democracy in the face of the Supreme Court's blatant activism.
  • In a related story, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas defends their ruling by arguing with some well-reasoned zingers like:

    "I found it fascinating that the people who were editorializing against it were The New York Times Company and The Washington Post Company," Justice Thomas said. "These are corporations."


    "If 10 of you got together and decided to speak, just as a group, you'd say you have First Amendment rights to speak and the First Amendment right of association," he said. "If you all then formed a partnership to speak, you'd say we still have that First Amendment right to speak and of association."
    "But what if you put yourself in a corporate form?" Justice Thomas asked, suggesting that the answer must be the same.

    This is just overly simplistic rhetoric that should convince no one who thinks for more than a split second (along the same lines of "you can yell `fire' in your home playing at war, but what if you put yourself in a crowded theater?"). Not impressive that Thomas is stooping so low, but of course I don't expect much better from him.
  • Another failed test of our missile defense.
  • With these tax-prep programs, it feels a bit like a game. You click on "Review Deductions" and scroll through hoping to come up with more to decrease the "Federal Tax Owed" number in the corner.
  • What physics book did Glenn Beck read?
  • Elite status conflicts with my pervading egalitarian attitude, but it sure is addicting, what with getting your bags off-loaded first, special, shorter lines, etc. But recently I'm sitting in the "Quiet Zone" of an airline club and am bothered by two different people having loud cell-phone conversations. One of whom is doing so right next to a "cell phone free zone" sign. Clearly, low-class low-lifes.