Daily Archives: May 21, 2010

See, admire, eat

You wan some hippo with that rat?

Chinese zoo displays animals and serves them up too. In a sign, perhaps, that times might be changing in the Ancient Kingdom, it’s not just occidentals who are objecting.

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Rand Paul and the Commerce Clause

Paul’s in a no-win situation here: the use of the Commerce clause to impose a national minimum wage and, later, the Equal Accommodations Act was of dubious constitutionality, but in law school, the issue was (fiercely) debated only after we students had spent hours reading case law and legal treatises. In today’s television culture, you have five seconds to state your case and it comes out as “he’s against civil rights”.

I posted on this subject a couple of weeks ago but here’s a more articulate discussion from the Wall Street Journal.

Read the whole thing (search Google news if you aren’t a WSJ subscriber and you’ll get around the paywall) but here’s an excerpt:

In tea-party circles, Mr. Paul’s views are not unusual. They fit into a “Constitutionalist” view under which the federal government has no right to dictate the behavior of private enterprises. On the stump, especially among tea-party supporters, Mr. Paul says “big government” didn’t start with President Obama, Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society of the 1960s or the advance of central governance sparked by World War II and the economic boom that followed.

He traces it to 1937, when the Supreme Court, under heated pressure from President Franklin Roosevelt, upheld a state minimum-wage law on a 5-4 vote, ushering in the legal justification for government intervention in private markets.

Until the case, West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, the Supreme Court had sharply limited government action that impinged on the private sector, infuriating Mr. Roosevelt so much that he threatened to expand the court and stack it with his own appointees.

“It didn’t start last year. I think it started back in 1936 or 1937, and I point really to a couple of key constitutional cases… that all had to do with the commerce clause,” Mr. Paul said in an interview before Tuesday’s election, in which he defeated a Republican establishment candidate, hand-picked by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, Ky.).

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Funniest headline of the day

In victory for Obama, court bars detainees’ challenges

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that three men who have been detained by the United States military for years without trial in Afghanistan have no right to challenge their imprisonment in American courts. The ruling was a broad victory for the Obama administration in its efforts to hold terrorism suspects overseas for indefinite periods without judicial oversight.

Readers with a long memory will recall that a previous president, one George W. Bush, was likened to Hitler for his treatment of terrorists. This new policy, of course, is much more enlightened and thus subject to no criticism.

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Katie catches venomous bullet ants

Kat Fountain and new friends

She would never do it, but I say, ship them to Pakistan!

When I was too young to know any better, I used to wander around my mother’s garden [what am I, chopped liver? Ed] and collect bees in jars. This was my source of entertainment for several summers in a row. I always let them go, of course, and can’t recall ever being stung. Of course… I once invited to my friend to join me on one of my trapping excursions and she was immediately stung by a struggling honey bee. It wasn’t her fault, she was an amateur. So when my friend Frank asked me to collect some bullet ants from the forest so he could study the venom it brought me skipping down memory lane. Lucky for him, we share the same insect permit so taking them to Lima will not be a problem.

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Paki Major, rich caterer arrested in Times square bombing plot

No surprise that a Pakistani army officer was involved in plotting to kill us, but check out the American – educated caterer – can we please stop claiming that it’s poverty and despair that drives these killers? They hate us, and want to destroy us, period. Let us reciprocate.

Mr. Khan graduated from the University of Houston in 2000, having majored in computer science, and then returned to Pakistan to work in the family’s catering business, his father said. Since graduating, he had not returned to the United States and he was married three years ago, his father said.

Rana Ashraf Khan described his son as religious, but “definitely not an extremist.” Asked if his son had negative feelings toward the United States, he said: “To be honest, yes. But that is common.”

“I am shocked,” he said of the accusation that his son was connected to the Times Square bombing, saying that his son had organized 900 catering events in the last six months, some for as many as 2,000 guests. The father said his son and his son’s wife lived with him in the family home in a comfortable section of Islamabad.

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Not much of a getaway vehicle

Shoplifter flees police in wheelchair, apprehended two stores down.

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Demmerkrats crown Blumenthal

Harvard Swim team Captain (oops! Not!) Dick Blumenthal runs for Senate

A contemptuous act. The Dick’s only opponent, Merrick Albert, was forbidden to address the convention and withdrew from the contest. They may call themselves Democrats, but they aren’t interested in democracy.

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