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Open Thread:
What's on your mind? Comment away.
Allen Asch (mail) (www):
Did anyone see that student Ninth Circuit free speech case out of Alaska on Friday? The CNN story is here:

Court backs student's "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner

The Ninth Circuit opinion itself is in PDF format here:

http://tinyurl.com/mko6w

The heart of the decision is this Q&A:

the question comes down to whether a school may, in the absence of concern about disruption of educational activities, punish and censor non-disruptive, off-campus speech by students during school-authorized activities
because the speech promotes a social message contrary to the one favored by the school. The answer under controlling, long-existing precedent is plainly "No."

Actually, the outcome was really determined further back, in the first few sentences of the analysis, where the court noted:

The district court reasoned that Bethel School District No. 403 v. Fraser, as opposed to Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, governed Frederick's speech. We disagree.

I was just disappointed the case wasn't decided on religious liberty grounds...

Allen Asch
3.12.2006 11:36am
Brandonks (mail) (www):
More good news on the shift of Sunnis away from Al-Qaeda and Zarqawi, forming coalitions to go after them.

Sunni Outrage Against Al-Qaeda Grows
3.12.2006 11:42am
Beerslurpy (mail) (www):
Stressing over law school preparation. Selling the house, reading caselaw, etc.
3.12.2006 11:43am
Kate1999 (mail):
Bush's trusted chief domestic policy adviser, twice nominated to the court of appeals, a very religious man who preached abstinence and had a reputation as being "holier than thou," was in fact repeatedly stealing retail items from Target at night using a simple "refund" fraud scheme.

Kinda makes you wonder, eh?
3.12.2006 11:51am
JLR (mail) (www):
Important News:

UW Board of Regents Approves New RA "Activities" Policy

Per Saturday's (3/11/06) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=407511

"The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on Friday unanimously approved a policy that allows resident assistants throughout the system to host Bible study in their dorms."

There are several news releases from the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents that discuss the new policy as affirmed by the UW Board of Regents Education Committee on Thursday, and approved by the full UW Board of Regents on Friday.

(1) http://www.wisconsin.edu/news/2006/r060309b.htm , which indicates (down the page under "Education Committee") that the UW Board of Regents Education Committee approved the new RA "activities" policy on Thursday 3/9/06.
(see http://www.wisconsin.edu/news/2006/r060301.htm for a press release dated March 1 from the UW Board of Regents describing the new policy).

(2) http://www.wisconsin.edu/news/2006/r060310.htm , dated Friday 3/10/06, which indicates that "Resident assistants in the UW System have the same rights to lead or participate in activities on campus as other students, under a policy affirmed Friday by the full Board of Regents." (It is the second story from the top of the page.)

The actions taken by the UW Board of Regents this week appear to mark the conclusion of the UW-Eau Claire RA Bible Study controversy that has been discussed thoroughly in the MSM and the blogosphere. It is thanks to elected Wisconsin state and local officials, as well as independent organizations such as FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education -- link to its discussion of the UW-Eau Claire Bible Study case here), that this issue was resolved in an appropriate and serious fashion.

3.12.2006 12:11pm
Matt Barr (mail) (www):
The Sopranos are on my mind. And now the relationship between absitence and retail theft is, too. Thanks a lot.

I hope they don't play up Phil Leotardo's continued desire for revenge. Made guys assault one another with alarming frequency on the show already -- it's supposably taboo -- and if Johnny Sack promised Tony he'd make Leotardo stand down, he ought to stand down. From the odd preview I've seen it looks like he might not, though.
3.12.2006 12:22pm
Kurt (www):
I've recently started a Law Student Bloggers Directory that I'm hoping to get some eyes on. Since the only way to have a complete directory is to get law students jabbing at it, I was hoping you could point your law student readers towards it.

The directory currently lists 172 law student blogs, but I have no doubt there's hundreds hiding from me. Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
3.12.2006 12:38pm
Dave:
According to Glenn Greenwald,, Dewine's legislation for retroactively legalizing NSA wiretapping on U.S. persons also allows the government to jail journalists for 15 years if they write about wiretapping. Shockingly, "The language does not specify that the information has to be harmful to national security or classified."

Dave
3.12.2006 1:04pm
Rue Des Quatre Vents (mail):
At dinner a Marxist political philosopher told me people in the U.S. "fetishize" the U.S. Constitution. Thoughts?
3.12.2006 1:12pm
Adam K:

Bush's trusted chief domestic policy adviser, twice nominated to the court of appeals, a very religious man who preached abstinence and had a reputation as being "holier than thou," was in fact repeatedly stealing retail items from Target at night using a simple "refund" fraud scheme.


Claude Allen was the keynote speaker at our GMUSoL commencement last year. In his opening sentence he expressly contradicted our prior speaker (former Conspirator and all-around cool person, Prof. Michelle Boardman), who had said that we were now the equals of her and all the other professors. He got up and immediately said that we weren't equals yet, that we still had at least one more obstacle to overcome (the bar). That was, in the parlance of our times, a real "d*ck move." Then, to really wear out his welcome, he went into a party line administration policy presentation about stem cells and judicial activism and blah blah blah. Mason is notoriously conservative, so maybe he thought he could pull that crap, but it was very poorly received.

So I see all of this as karma.

Of course, he went to Duke, so we should've seen it coming.
3.12.2006 1:24pm
Average Joe (mail):
Rue Des Quatre Vents: I suspect that the takings clause in the Fifth Amendment is quite the bummer for a Marixist political philosopher.
3.12.2006 1:34pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Rue Des Quatre Vents:

You should point out that philosophers fetishize Marx.
3.12.2006 1:53pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Also, I think baseball should stop at nothing to keep Barry Bonds from breaking Hank Aaron's home run record.
3.12.2006 1:54pm
twwren:
Baseball should go even further. It should resore Roger Maris' record to its rightful place.
3.12.2006 2:03pm
JLR (mail) (www):
I would respond to this "Marxist political philosopher" by reminding him of the great words of Chief Justice Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland: "We must never forget that it is a Constitution we are expounding."

The following sentence is tautological, but nevertheless needs to be adduced: The United States Constitution is a Constitution.

The Constitution is not a set of living principles through which we read our preferred policy preferences, and it is certainly not a "fetish."

Also, I suppose the "Marxist political philosopher" wouldn't have liked the way the UW-Eau Claire Bible study issue was resolved this past week. See my above comment for details on the UW System Board of Regents' new RA "Activities" Policy.

------

And I agree with Mr. Kovarsky on Barry Bonds. Poor Roger Maris got saddled with an asterisk: 61*. Barry Bonds will truly deserve an asterisk, and in my opinion currently deserves to have all his statistics wiped clean, as if he had never played baseball at all.

Thanks again.
3.12.2006 2:06pm
Cornellian (mail):
Bush's trusted chief domestic policy adviser (Claude Allen), twice nominated to the court of appeals, a very religious man who preached abstinence and had a reputation as being "holier than thou," was in fact repeatedly stealing retail items from Target at night using a simple "refund" fraud scheme.

According to news reports, he would buy stuff, then go out to the parking lot to put the stuff in his car, then go back into the store with the receipt, pick all the same stuff off the shelves again, then turn in this second set of stuff for a refund, then drive home with the first set of stuff. I suppose given that scheme he can't really use the "I forgot I put it in my pocket defense."

As a general rule, the more holier-than-thou and self-righteous the speaker, the bigger the skeleton in the closet. Just look at Bill Bennett and his gambling problem.

And to think the White House nominated Claude Allen for the 4th Circuit. Thank God the Dems managed to block the nomination. Wonder how many Republicans will be calling for an "up or down vote" on him now?
3.12.2006 2:08pm
Ross Levatter (mail):
Although I don't find myself usually agreeing with a Marxist, philosopher or otherwise, the following seems clear:

Most Americans have no understanding of the Constitution;

Most Americans can be easily lulled into giving up liberties their forefathers fought and died for (or immigrated to this country to obtain), as long as they are assured by their government and news commentators that "the Constitution" allows it.

As RB has demonstrated in his writings, the Constitution is a paper figleaf that has been shreaded to something unrecognizable to 19th century Americans, though it still serves to tell a deluded public that "all is well".

If this is what Marxists mean by "fetish" then the professor is right.
3.12.2006 2:20pm
SLS 1L:
As far as I can tell, "fetishize" as used by Theory-with-a-capital-T types means "place undue emphasis on." It's not particularly surprising that a Marxist philosopher would think we place undue emphasis on the Constitution.
3.12.2006 2:34pm
Adam K:

It's not particularly surprising that a Marxist philosopher would think we place undue emphasis on the Constitution.


I fail to see how that's "not particularly surprising." Having read Marx's "Kapital" (the simple word "communism" isn't the sum total of "Marxist political philosophy") and having had discussions with a decent number of self-avowed "Marxist philosophers," I don't there's anything inherently anti-Constitutional about either the "philosophers" or the underlying philosophy.
3.12.2006 2:44pm
quaker (mail):
Rue Des Quatre Vents: "At dinner a Marxist political philosopher told me people in the U.S. "fetishize" the U.S. Constitution. Thoughts?"

I'm thinking someone else paid for the dinner...
3.12.2006 2:48pm
twwren:
Not only Barry Bonds, the records of Sammy ("Corkie") Sosa and Mark ("I'm not here to talk about the past") McGuire should also be wiped clean. And, please, before they begin, spare me the "innocent until proved guilty" arguments; they do not apply. Playing baseball is a privilege, not a right.
3.12.2006 2:55pm
Dave Hardy (mail) (www):
Rain here, thank the lord. It's been months without, and even the cacti were beginning to die off.

Working on creating a second amendment documentary film, to really fetishize the constitution.

This week attended a funeral for another attorney's ex-wife, who died in her sleep of a heart attack, age 41. Sent him email saying it would be a strange time -- I lost my ex in 2003, and feelings get strange. (Got a memorial website at www.franceshardy.com).

Think I have a solution to the legal problems surrounding the indefinite detentions at Gitmo. Take the ones we want held, and file war crimes charges at the Hague. If it took them five years to try Milosevik (and only get partway thru the trial), this should be a legal basis to detain the defendants for, oh, 400 years or so.
3.12.2006 3:01pm
Hermione:
Beerslurpy- Good luck with everything. I hope all works out!
3.12.2006 3:12pm
Cornellian (mail):
Most Americans have no understanding of the Constitution;

Most Americans can be easily lulled into giving up liberties their forefathers fought and died for (or immigrated to this country to obtain), as long as they are assured by their government and news commentators that "the Constitution" allows it.


Has it ever been any different? Was the man in the street a Constitutional scholar 50 years ago? 100 years ago?
3.12.2006 3:20pm
Kovarsky (mail):
I don't think there's any serious argument to be made that Marx would have serious problems with the definition of property rights and mechanisms for alienating them protected in the constitution.

But if he was talking about fetishizing the constitution in the sense that people don't actually know that much about it, fair enough. "We must never forget that it is a Constitution we are fetishizing."
3.12.2006 3:37pm
Hattio (mail):
I'm curious as to whether most of the commentaters here are working on the weekend, and taking a break, or on-line from home???
3.12.2006 3:38pm
dk35 (mail):
Senator Russ Feingold announces intention to introduce Censure resolution against Bush for illegal wiretapping.

Transcript of his appearance on This Week to announce the resolution can be found here.
3.12.2006 3:39pm
Kovarsky (mail):
The saddest thing about Bonds is that he was a better player before this stuff. So what if he didn't hit 70? He was arguably in a class with only Mays as a 5 tooler.

But agreed - the record books are not law, they are a privilege. Ordinary rules of evidentiary presumption don't apply.

By the way, maybe somebody can clarify this for me. Apparently he decided to start juicing during '98 chase. Also, he supposedly remarked that "they would never let a latin american have the crown." It's not clear to me whether he was saying that he was going to juice because Sosa was being disadvantaged b/c BigMac was white, or whether he was saying something vaguely racist himself.
3.12.2006 3:43pm
activism (mail) (www):
If South Dakota legislators and the governor take oaths to uphold the federal constitution (as many state officers do), does that make the recent law "legislative activism"? In other words, what are the ethical dimensions of creating a law that intentionally and directly conflicts with a 30-year-old, repeatedly upheld constitutional interpretation?

It seems to me that the ethical way to challenge Roe is to (1) amend the Constitution or (2) write laws at the blurry edges of Roe and hope that the Court's decision is broader than the question.

Thoughts?
3.12.2006 3:48pm
Frank Drackmann (mail):
Baseball should go all the way and outlaw all performance enhancing activities that don't involve actual baseball. No weightlifting especially. Aaron, Mantle, Ruth, Cobb didn't lift no stinkin weights.
3.12.2006 4:04pm
Aebie:
I wondering why it's so hard to find a decent set of headphones with an in-line volume adjustment. I need another pair and I've looked at many headphones in many stores and haven't found any with the in-line adjustment.
3.12.2006 4:07pm
Nermous:
I am still appalled that Yale law school lets in a former Taliban official as a student but refuses entry to a military recruiter. Maybe some reasonable minded alumni will take over these schools like they have at Dartmouth.
3.12.2006 4:21pm
ThirdCircuitLawyer (mail):
Nermous,

The Taliban dude is an undergrad, not a law student.
3.12.2006 4:22pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Activism,

The bizarre thing about the South Dakota law is that if they had the intention of challenging Roe, they wrote just about the worst conceivable law to do so, given on how many other grounds it may be struck down as unconstitutional without reaching Roe's core holding.
3.12.2006 4:22pm
Kovarsky (mail):
ThirdCircuitLawyer,

He's not even an undergraduate student. He's not enrolled in Yale college. He is what they call a "special student," which is a status afforded to individuals that are allowed to take classes, but they are not part of any school at the university. I believe he is currently applying to be part of the undergraduate school now.
3.12.2006 4:24pm
JLR (mail) (www):
I agree with you Mr. Kovarsky re the South Dakota abortion law.

If Governor Rounds vetoed the bill, he would have had someone run to the right of him the next time he comes up for reelection. So he did some public hand-wringing and then signed the law.

The worst part of this, in my opinion, is the symbolism of the law. Generally the argument against Roe is that in our federal system, it is the states, through the use of their police powers (health, safety, welfare and morals), that should oversee abortion regulations. But when a state like South Dakota enacts a law like this with Roe still on the books, it gives pro-Roe groups some ammunition for their claim that state governments can't be trusted with reproductive rights.
3.12.2006 4:39pm
dk35 (mail):
I'm appalled that anyone would criticize Yale's decision to admit the Taliban dude at all, given that the Bush administration considered him worthy of a student visa. Criticizing our commander-in-chief in wartime is anti-American, you know.
3.12.2006 4:40pm
Humble Law Student:
SPRING BREAK. WOHOOOO!!

And what am I doing with my time, trolling a law blog - how pathetic.
3.12.2006 4:45pm
Humble Law Student:
dk35,

Hey, I'm with you on that. If that guy could get a visa, then seriously, wtf is the point of the system.
3.12.2006 4:47pm
Defending the Indefensible:
Civilian Inmate Labor Program. Arbeit Macht Frei? Any comments?
3.12.2006 4:50pm
byomtov (mail):
According to Glenn Greenwald,, Dewine's legislation for retroactively legalizing NSA wiretapping on U.S. persons also allows the government to jail journalists for 15 years if they write about wiretapping. Shockingly, "The language does not specify that the information has to be harmful to national security or classified."

But how does it affect gun rights? C'mon. Let's talk about the important stuff.
3.12.2006 4:51pm
18 USC 1030 (mail):
The recent death of Milosevic I think is quite disturbing. The fact that he was at the Hague for 5 years and the trial has yet to be completed is disturbing for many reasons. Of course, I understand part of the reason for the delays was the poor-health of Milosevic. This, however, I believe is more reason for which the trial ought to have been expedited-- not slowed to the point that he would never be convicted.

Of course, for him as the individual it "doesn't matter;" he died without being a free man, so to some degree at least he suffered for the atrocities he ordered. However, he was never convicted-- was never told what he did was wrong, and though it came at the cost of his life, he may be remembered for his actions-- but not as a criminal.

The harm done society by the failure to convict him; however, it was great. The major reason why the IMT and IMTFE are remembered favorably is that it set a precedent for the future that such actions were wrong, and the international community could punish these behaviors. Sure the punishment caused the individuals was important, just as specific deterrence is important in domestic CJ systems. However, the most important asspect was the general deterrence. The trial against Milosevic could have had a similar effect in strengthening the argument for such trials. This could have, depending on the next few weeks or months, been important in bringing charges against those responsible for Darfur.

It is possible that a genocide will finaly be declared and that individuals may face tribunals for the crime of genocide. Had Milosevic been convicted, the precedent would have aided in such convictions. His death has, if anything mitigated the respect for such tribunals. What is the point of charging someone with a crime if they will die prior to a conviction? Seems a bit counter-productive.
3.12.2006 4:58pm
Rue Des Quatre Vents (mail):
So someone did pay for the Marxist philosopher's dinner and it was me. He left early. Anyhow, I told him at the time that I thought the fetish bit was a gross exaggeration of the respect most, though by no means all, americans grant the constitution as a legitimate source of moral and political authority. Incidentally, this conversation took place at Oxford, the person in question was Scottish and most everyone else at the table was Dutch or French.

As far Bonds goes, George Will makes an interesting argument today against expunging Bond's records: Bonds numbers are the correlatives of some other poor sap's records, for instance, all the home runs opposing pitchers gave up to him. So if you expunge his records, do you change theirs as well? The whole fiasco tarnishes the game...layer upon layer of mendacity.
3.12.2006 5:03pm
J..:
The idea that people in the US fetishize the constitution is not something unique to Marxist theory. The idea that we are ruled by the hand of those dead almost 250 years ago is, to say the least, not abundently clear as the best solution. There is nothing that says a constitution cannot -- or indeed should not -- be changed every couple of generations.

Anyway, I also yawn every time people talk about Bonds and ignore greenies, eye surgery, or TJ surgery... so, take what I write with a grain of salt.
3.12.2006 5:41pm
joe (mail):
Kovarsky, the amazing thing about this whole Bonds saga has been how empirically obvious it is at what point he started taking steroids. Go buy his baseball card, flip it over and look at his stats. From his rookie season in '86 to 1999, Bonds never hit more than 46 home runs and only hit more than 40 three times. Also, he only slugged over .650 once. From 2000 - 2004 he never hit fewer than 45 home runs and never once had a slugging % below .675. This coming in his 15th - 19th seasons. Oh yeah, and his head and neck doubled in size too, that sort of gave it away as well...
3.12.2006 5:51pm
Wonderduck (mail) (www):
Speaking about Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, et al., don't forget that steroids ARE against the rules in baseball... and have been since 1991. Just because MLB didn't test for them doesn't change that simple fact.

More importantly (for now, at least), a pretty good race out of Bahrain today. Fernando Alonso winning, Kimi Raikkonen coming from last on the grid to third (AGAIN?), and Ferrari showing that they may just be back, with Slappy Schumacher taking 2nd. And next week, Malaysia!
3.12.2006 5:55pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Joe,

I think the book presents a lot of corroborating evidence now that he started in '98.

By the way, it seems to me that if pitchers were juicing too (they were - the little known fact is that 'roids help pitchers as much if not more than hitters), whether that would increase or diminsh the argument that the batting records should get an asterisk.

Ahh, the greenies. Brings me back to the '86 mets, the team I detest more than any other. Scott would've blanked them in game seven.
3.12.2006 6:01pm
Overworked/Underpaid:
Like Kate1999 and Adam K., I'm pondering the criminal charges against Claude Allen. Like Adam K., I was one of the GMUSL grads present to hear him speak in May 2005. Agreed: The man's speech fell flat with the graduates. One described him as "a well educated moron who used his speaking opportunity to sell Bush foreign policy."

However, he has only been arrested and charged; he has not been convicted, and our criminal justice system demands that he be considered not guilty unless/until he has been convicted.

The accusations seem absurd, preposterous. Suppose Allen simply did not understand that Gaithersburg, MD, and Target stores are not the same as the White House? Suppose he had forgotten how to make sure that he didn't act like an "uppity n*gg*r"? Is it possible that his "attitude" just ticked off some minimum-wage clerk at Target who didn't like the mannerisms of a Black man who had grown accustomed to State dinners and the White House?

Come on! The man's entitled to a defense of some sort, and it's only fair not to assume that he is guilty from the start.

His speech at GMUSL was a bore, but it wasn't so bad as to assume he is guilty of the charges of retail theft.
3.12.2006 6:05pm
twwren:
George Will's column is interesting, not persuasive. If Bonds, Corky and others using steroids are denied entry into the Hall, would it send the right message to other players considering breaking the rules?
3.12.2006 6:21pm
Visitor Again:
I became an avid fan of the Montreal Canadiens ice hockey team shortly after I landed in Montreal aboard the Empres of Australia in 1953, and so today I'm in mourning for Canadiens kegend of the Fifties and Sixties Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, who died yesterday. The Boom was a superstar right winger who popularized the slap shot, and he had a wonderful personality to go along with his heavily French-accented English. Some of you may remember his Miller Lite commercials in the Seventies, after he helped bring hockey to Atlanta. He died on the morning of the day the Canadiens honored him with retirement of his No. 5 jersey, on the 10th anniversary of the closing of the fabled Montreal Forum and on the 69th anniversary of the Forum funeral of Bernie's father-in-law, hockey's first superstar, Howie Morenz, who died of complications after suffering a broken leg while playing for the Canadiens.

I shed a few tears for lost youth, lost glories and a lost boyhood idol. Of the seven players I would call legends on the Canadiens of the Fifties, four are now gone--Geoffrion joining Maurice "Rocket" Richard, Doug Harvey and Jacques Plante. Only Dickie Moore, Henri Richard and Jean Beliveau are left. The team's other players were no slouches, either. That's why we won a record five Stanley Cups in a row from 1955-56 to 1959-60.

By the way, one of the main reasons I chose Harvard Law over other law schools was so I could watch my Canadiens at least seven times a season for three years--only seven because the Boston Bruins didn't often make the playoffs in those years. I saw Bobby Orr's first NHL goal but I didn't cheer it becaue it came for the Bruins against my Canadiens. In my second year, the Boom came out of retirement to play for the New York Rangers, and so I had to go watch the Rangers play the Bruins, too. He gave me his autograph after one game at the old Boston Garden; he was such a friendly guy.
3.12.2006 6:24pm
Ross Levatter (mail):
SLS 1L: I appreciate your research on the meaning of "fetish". Dictionary.com lists 5 meansings. The first is: " 1. An object that is believed to have magical or spiritual powers, especially such an object associated with animistic or shamanistic religious practices."

This is the sense in which Americans, one could argue, fetishize the Constitution. "It seems like locking me away without a trial and torturing me would violate my rights as an American, but I must be wrong, because I have the Constitution to protect me." See?
3.12.2006 6:50pm
Pendulum (mail):
Good thing I care about a fig and a half about baseball. Otherwise I'd really be upset about the whole steroid thing.

Hockey, NFL football, and tennis are my choice poisons. Baseball's a distant 27th.

Visitor,

Growing up in Canada in the late 80s/early 90s, you'll be happy to know that I was raised on stories of hockey legends that I had never seen play - many of whom were Montreal Canadiens. Rocket Richard, Boom Boom Geoffrion, Jean Beliveau, Rejean Houle etc., were all part of my vocabulary. Along with Stan Mikita, Phil Esposito, and the rest.

I chose the Vancouver Canucks as my favorite team when I was 6. Nowadays, I still cheer for the Canucks, but something about the uniform change makes them seem very distant - like it's not the same team I grew up watching. I feel much more at home watching Calgary or Edmonton, followed by the Leafs, Habs, etc.

My nightly viewing is now the Columbus Bluejackets, and I've developed great affection for them. Next year, they are going to surprise some people big time - there's tremendous talent on this team. Flashy forwards and solid goaltending. I like Columbus, and I think it would be special for our city to have a pro sports team make a playoff run. Pro sports were denied to this city for too long.
3.12.2006 6:54pm
Kovarsky (mail):
In keeping with the baseball metaphor, I'm calling my shot on the Sopranos -

End of the season, Meadow takes over the family.
3.12.2006 7:26pm
Humble Law Student:
18 USC 1030,

Death by infinite time in court is the preferred European method of torture. Surely, that is cruel and unusual.
3.12.2006 7:37pm
Humble Law Student:
I honestly don't understand why so many baseball players are juicing. Football players get huge and doesn't the NFL have a stricter drug enforcement regime?

Those players are paid to train and workout. That is their freaking life. It honestly isn't that hard to put on a lot of muscle if you eat, train properly, and have half decent genetics. Oh well...
3.12.2006 7:43pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Humble Law Student,

The MLB Players Union is 40 times the strength of the NFL one....
3.12.2006 7:51pm
Ross Levatter (mail):
Please explain to a non-baseball fan:

When I go to see a ballgame, I like to see players at their best. I like to see home runs hit. I never once think, "Great park-clearing smash hit, but my joy in seeing it is diminished by the possibility the ball player may have only accomplished that through the use of steroids, or the use of high-tech gym equipment, or the surgical advances of arthroscopic ligament/meniscal repair not available to Babe Ruth. It doesn't bother me that Americans today are healthier, taller, stronger, and live longer on average than Americans 100 years ago. I don't see that as unfair on our parts when we compete against their records. In terms of enjoying the game, why shouldn't the rule be: use whatever game-enhancing drugs you choose, at your own risk? Does anyone not enjoy Lance Armstrong's victories despite the fact drugs (chemotherapy in his case) made it possible? What reason beyond America's love affair with puritanism accounts for the view one can take drugs to "bring you back to normal" but not to "improve you over normal". It's not as if any of these guys, relative to us, were normal to begin with.

Again, these are serious questions from a guy not that much into baseball. Why do fans who love the game more than I care HOW a stunning physical achievement occurred rather than focus on the fact it DID occur?
3.12.2006 8:01pm
Cornellian (mail):
I am still appalled that Yale law school lets in a former Taliban official as a student but refuses entry to a military recruiter. Maybe some reasonable minded alumni will take over these schools like they have at Dartmouth.

Actually military recruiters are free to become students at Yale so the analogy doesn't hold up.
3.12.2006 8:01pm
Joe Henchman (mail):
Should I take Computer Crimes at GW in spring 2007?
3.12.2006 8:41pm
SenatorX (mail):
What about cybernetic enhancements for players? Nanotech? Is there any line? If the rules are set up beforehand, and all players know them, then they should be held accountable for violating those rules with the established punishments. I would think this would not extend to players that "violated" rules before the rules were stated.
3.12.2006 9:22pm
Kate1999 (mail):
Overworked/underpaid writes:

The accusations seem absurd, preposterous. Suppose Allen simply did not understand that Gaithersburg, MD, and Target stores are not the same as the White House? Suppose he had forgotten how to make sure that he didn't act like an "uppity n*gg*r"? Is it possible that his "attitude" just ticked off some minimum-wage clerk at Target who didn't like the mannerisms of a Black man who had grown accustomed to State dinners and the White House?

Come on! The man's entitled to a defense of some sort, and it's only fair not to assume that he is guilty from the start.


Why is that unfair? It's rather hard to imagine how he could be innocent, based on the evidence reported in the Washington Post. The police have his credit card records, and the records show him getting dozens of charges back on his card; they matched it up with video tape at the stores showing him buying items, coming back into the store with an empty back, filling the bag, and then going to the counter to get a refund. Presumably they also established that he owns copies of the stuff he used for the "returns." Given that, I don't know how the cops could screw up a case like this. Plus, Gaithersburg MD doesn't strike me as the kind of town that would be trying to "put a black man down" when that man is an extremely powerful White House advisor. Any thing is possible, but it doesn't seem too likely.
3.12.2006 9:39pm
therut:
I know theology is a bad subject to discuss but I just have to make a comment as I was confounded by a Rabi Lerner I saw on C-span last weekend. I know liberal theology is odd to someone like me who happens to read the Constitution in a way that the words must mean something and they are tied together into a sentence to mean something instead of whatever feels good for me today and who happens to have reading comprehension skills that run along the same coarse. I mean if I read something that says " The apple is red" it can not mean white. Rabi Lerner was asked how he responded to those who state that scripture considers homosexual acts to be a sin. He said well speaking of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament it is only mentioned one time. And it says a man should not lay with another man as with a woman. So he just thinks that man should lay with another man in a different way than a woman and that is O:K even to a literalist. This is just too silly to even think about. I know liberal theologians see nuance and grey in their thinking but do they actually think at all?
3.12.2006 9:40pm
Vincent, Paul (mail):
Certain photos of professional child models trouble me as I would think they are pornographic and as such are illegal: http://wvw.budding-beauties.com/series/019.jpg
Am I correct, or are such photos of a minor child legal?
3.12.2006 9:41pm
Ross Levatter (mail):
Dear Senator X,

Your point is well taken, but tangential to mine. Granted, people who play a game for money should abide by the rules of the game. But the question is why THESE rules? Wouldn't the rule: "Take whatever drugs you want, at your own risk" make for a more enjoyable game?
3.12.2006 9:42pm
Crazyfinger (mail) (www):
A Powerblogs question, actually two.

1) Are you still happy with it? I am thinking of moving from free Wordpress to Powerblogs, but I am concerned about the downtime. The free Wordpress, the paid Typepad, all these have horrible downtimes. Your site seems to be up all the time.

2) Are there any other Powerblogs bloggers that you can point me to, so I can be assured these Powerblog guys are not just a one-trick pony (i.e., only Volokh Conspiracy).

Regards,
Crazyfinger
3.12.2006 9:57pm
SenatorX (mail):
Hi Ross, fair enough. I do see your point btw. I guess I would agree with you that if baseball(for example) is about fans(they choose to spend the money on it) then what the fans want is most important. I think then that the sport would probably benefit from a better thought out stance by the "organization" than they have so far. If they delineate the rules of comparison and leave the fans to do the rest I think it would alleviate much of the problem. If they said "everything goes" people would deal with that. If they say before X time so and so is valid and now we apply new standards, then people would classify the atheletes themselves accordingly. The worst thing they can do is leave the debate open to arbitrary decisions on kind of a per athelete basis. Worse to follow with an attempt of some sort of revision of history based on new rules.
3.12.2006 10:33pm
Cornellian (mail):
Rabi Lerner was asked how he responded to those who state that scripture considers homosexual acts to be a sin.

Those who place their reliance on that passage from Leviticus need to explain why they don't endorse slavery, or the death penalty for women who are not virgins on their wedding night, or the death penalty for those who work on the Sabbath or the prohibiting of that other "abomination", the eating of shrimp and other shellfish, to cite just a few of the great many Biblical admonitions blithely ignored by those who claim to be "just following the Bible."
3.12.2006 11:06pm
Kovarsky (mail):
Ross,

There's a couple of things about the steroids phenomena

First of all, I don't know whether you play chess, but imagine how much less fun it would be if every piece were a queen. That's baseball on steroids. Yes, people hit the ball out of the park more, but as many baseball "purists" lament, that aspect of the game has diminshed so many other, more strategic parts of the game. Instead of drag bunting for a hit, swiping second on a hit and run, and pinch hitting for the pitcher to drive in the winning run, these muscled-beasts just slam it over the fence every time. I guess the Armstrong analogy sort of fails because the sport is undeniably more enjoyable the faster the riders go, wheras in baseball, the incrased success of hitters comes at the expense of other qualities the game has. Baseball has a million nuances, and steroids eliminate many of them.

Also, steroids are you classic prisoner's dilemma. Baseball is basically on a curve. You're success is defined by your success against others. Therefore, it's in every individual player's interest to juice, even though by the time everybody is done making that individual decision, nobody is relatively better off because everybody around them has artifically elevated their play as well.

Also, theres a real puritan strain about baseball that I don't think you can fairly analogize to cycling. Not to sound cheesy, but baseball always seems to have been held to a higher standard than other sports. It is treated as a "reflection" of America more so than any other sport. Therefore, when we uncover racism or steroids there, we confront our own moral abyss just a little bit more than with other sports....

I don't know. Every march since I can remember I get geared up to cheer for my same mid-market team that has never won the world series. I pay too damn much for my seats and my beers, I sit and watch my center fielder almost run into a flagpole every time he fields a fly ball, and by the end of it all I'm just drunk enough to forget where I parked. But at least I feel like I'm rooting for the good guys, and that sort of self-righteousness that is part of being a fan of any sports team evaporates when you suspect your guys are juicing, even if the other guys are too.
3.12.2006 11:08pm
Cornellian (mail):
The BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4800162.stm) is reporting that a proposed change to French labor law is causing riots in France. And what might this heinous oppression of the working class be? It's an attempt to reduce youth unemployment by providing, essentially, that employing someone under the age of 26 will, for the first two years, be employment-at-will.

This makes me wonder what the law is like now. Could it really be that an employer in France who hires an 18 year old with no track record runs the risk that it won't be able to fire the employee if he doesn't work out? If that's the case no wonder they have a youth unemployment problem.
3.12.2006 11:13pm
therut:
Cornellian-----I understand what you are saying but his answer was just silly. This after he made most his talk about of coarse the Bible means we must redistribute wealth. After all that is a command from God Almighty that socialism is bibically mandated and to do othewise would be well a sin.
3.12.2006 11:45pm
Lev:
I wonder when the United States is going to get a department to represent the United States and United States policies to foreign countries.

Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, March 13, 2006; Page A01



...In the past week, the State Department created an Iran desk. Last year, only two people in the department worked full time on Iran; now there will be 10....
3.13.2006 12:06am
Visitor Again:
On steroids:

The latest Bonds book says Bonds we very proud of his abilities, that he fumed as McGuire, whom he regarded as an inferior batter, set the new homer record, and that that convinced him to juice up.

I rmember the sprinter Evelyn Ashford's face on closeup on TV before and during the Seoul Olympics. I could see she was fuming as juiced up Flo-Jo set records and won the sprints. Flo-Jo's appearance, and her times, had changed radically within the year before the Olympics. I followed her entire career and the changes defied belief that they could be the result of anything but steroids. Ashford, displaced as the world's fastest woman because she was clean as a whistle, couldn't say anything; the media, which collectively suspended its critical faculties for the sake of wrapping itself in that we're number one patriotism, would have eaten Ashford alive and spit her out. Flo-Jo's records still stand, and will for decades if not forever.

The media suspended its critical faculties again as it cheered on Mark McGuire to a new season homer record. His appearance had changed radically, too.

I understand why Bonds joined the steroids crowd. Too bad he did not have Ashford's integrity, but where did it get her in terms of glory (although it did get her a longer life than Flo-Jo). I don't understand why Bonds seems to be taking all or most of the heat even if he is in line to break some records. The media ought to take a good look at its own role in all this.
3.13.2006 12:07am
Lev:
Kovarsky

Same for keeping the steroided creep from passing Babe Ruth.
3.13.2006 12:09am
Wonderduck (mail) (www):
You mean nobody cares about F1 other than me? How distressing...
3.13.2006 12:49am
Visitor Again:
You mean nobody cares about F1 other than me? How distressing...

In last Sunday's open comment, I posted about the upcoming World Cup in soccer, the world's most popular sport, and got not a single bite.

My sports are soccer, ice hockey and track and field, none of them mainline in the U.S.A. So thanks, Pendulum, for responding to my ice hockey post. I no longer feel so alone and rejected, just peculiar.
3.13.2006 1:15am
Pendulum (mail):
Wonderduck and Visitor,

We have almost enough people to form a Crew. Represent.

I too, like F1, though I never get to see it. Is it even broadcast on US cable?

I was an F1 fan during the (late) years of Senna, Prost, Piquet, and Mansell. I later became a Gerhard Berger fan (RIP). I began fading out when Schumacher became dominant. Isn't it pretty boring now? Or am I wrong?
3.13.2006 2:28am
Pendulum (mail):
Oh wow, he's still alive! I double checked, and what a nice surprise. Hooray!
3.13.2006 2:30am
Cornellian (mail):
Cornellian-----I understand what you are saying but his answer was just silly. This after he made most his talk about of coarse the Bible means we must redistribute wealth. After all that is a command from God Almighty that socialism is bibically mandated and to do othewise would be well a sin.

Yeah it was a silly answer, and there are much better answers available to that question, though to give him credit where it's due, the idea that the Bible mandates redistribution of wealth has far greater support in the text than what the religious right currently claims the Bible says about homosexuality or abortion. But you'll never hear Dobson, Falwell et al say that. They all like to pretend that Jesus was some kind of Chicago school free market conservative.
3.13.2006 7:31am
JDB (mail) (www):

I too, like F1, though I never get to see it. Is it even broadcast on US cable?


Speed Channel shows F1 (a few end up on CBS, too), if you can sift through the endless NASCAR-related programming. They show qualifying on Saturdays in addition to the races on Sunday. With an American on the grid this year, Speed looks to be stepping up their effors.


I later became a Gerhard Berger fan (RIP).


Then good news! Berger is alive and well. He is now part owner of the Red Bull junior team (Squadra Torro Rosso) that is running Scott Speed (the aforementioned American).
3.13.2006 10:57am
SenatorX (mail):
Cornellian said,
"The BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4800162.stm) is reporting that a proposed change to French labor law is causing riots in France. And what might this heinous oppression of the working class be? It's an attempt to reduce youth unemployment by providing, essentially, that employing someone under the age of 26 will, for the first two years, be employment-at-will.

This makes me wonder what the law is like now. Could it really be that an employer in France who hires an 18 year old with no track record runs the risk that it won't be able to fire the employee if he doesn't work out? If that's the case no wonder they have a youth unemployment problem."

I haven't looked into that at all but I thought the exact same thing when i read that. Could they really be trying to institute something to help the employer/worker relationship that the masses of affected just cannot see because of thier socialist tendencies? Reap what you sow and all that... Just a thousand foot drive by view though. I really don't know whats going on over there.
3.13.2006 1:18pm
Cornellian (mail):
You mean nobody cares about F1 other than me? How distressing...

You mean that key you hit to bring up the help screen? Kinda nice to have I suppose, but "care" about it might be overstating things.

OK, clearly you're referring to something else with the term "F1" but I have no idea what that something else is.
3.13.2006 1:52pm
Mark F. (mail):
How does another man lie with a man "like" he lies with a woman? Sort of hard when a guy does not have a vagina, right?

Some have suggested the passage just prohibits anal sex.
3.13.2006 4:54pm
Wonderduck (mail) (www):
Cornelian said
You mean nobody cares about F1 other than me? How distressing...

You mean that key you hit to bring up the help screen? Kinda nice to have I suppose, but "care" about it might be overstating things.



You, sir, owe me a keyboard.
3.13.2006 6:52pm
Aaron:
If we decide that Bonds's records are tainted, then we have to throw out everyone's records who played before 1947. Segregation was an offense against the integrity of the game as least as detrimental as steroid use. Would Ruth have 714 homeruns if he had to face Satchel Paige in his prime? Would he have played second fiddle to Josh Gibson (Ruth as Sosa, to Gibson's McGwire)? Hell, would Big Mac have been Chasing Gibson's 75, instead of Maris's 61?

Furthermore, I love how the "Bonds is dirty" crowd are composed of many of the same people who give Bush/Libby/Rove/Cheney the benefit of the doubt on their shenanigans. To all of the practising lawyers; how many of you would LOVE to get the some of the "sources" who provided info against Bonds on a witness stand--I would kill them on cross (I mean really, ex-mistress? unindicted (and indicted) BALCO co-conspirators? a veritable feast of impeachment material). Yes, baseball is a privilege, not a right, but these are still just allegations--if someone wrote a book tomorrow claiming Mike Schmidt was on the juice, would you clamor for his expulsion from the Hall?

I also love the pseudo-scientific nature of the "proof" against Bonds; a professional athlete, who has access to the most advanced training methods, supplements, diet specialists and trainers re-makes his body; leaving aside the the change in body type that occurs naturally with age (look at photos of Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson at 20, 30, and 40), is it so implausible that someone with these resources could transform their body (see Roger Clemens)?

Finally, anyone who thinks that baseball of yesteryear was any cleaner is living in a fantasy world. Greenies, corked bats, sign-stealing, Gaylord Freakin' Perry (that he is in the Hall of Fame is a greater travesty than the fact that Pete Rose isn't). The fact is that athletes will always look for the edge. In "Ball Four", Jim Bouton postulated that if you created a pill that would guarantee a pitcher 15 wins a season, but would take 10 years off of his lifespan, that there wasn't a player in the league who wouldn't take it.
3.13.2006 7:07pm
SenatorX (mail):
"How does another man lie with a man "like" he lies with a woman? Sort of hard when a guy does not have a vagina, right?

Some have suggested the passage just prohibits anal sex."

Maybe it's meant to be a prohibition against "pillow talk" ;)
3.13.2006 10:13pm
Vincent, Paul (mail):
If MLB can accept Cal Ripken's breaking of Lou Gehrig's consecutive game record, I'm sure that it will accept Bond's hr stats. By the way, does anyone think that even if Bonds would juice it that he'd ever pitch well enough as a major leaguer to compile H of F stats as a pitcher too (as Ruth did)?
3.14.2006 2:24pm