Around The Sphere June 30, 2007

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Our linkfest offering readers a Hometown Buffet of links to blogposts from websites of many different viewpoints. Linked posts do NOT necessarily refect the opinion of TMV or its writers.

Do Recent Supreme Court Rulings Mean Historical Rulings Are Danger?
The Hill’s Brent Budowsky warns that Brown V Board of Education and Roe V Wade are in “mortal peril.”

I hate to tell “I told you so” but to some friends: “I told you so.” In 2000 many Republicans clamored for a change in the direction of the Supreme Court. Their cards were on the table. Some Democrats supported Al Gore and feared this kind of change. But there were others who decided not to vote because the felt it didn’t make much difference. And I had friends who were Nader supporters who insisted there was not a bit of difference between the two parties so they’d vote for Nader.

I pointed to the power to appoint Supreme Court justices as key area where there could indeed be a difference. These folks said it didn’t matter. FYI: Elections MATTER, no matter where you come down on an issue. There ARE consequences and these were clear in 2000 — and it’s clear also for the outcome in 2008.

FOOTNOTE: Those who distrusted Bush’s Supreme Court nominees when they testified in Congress and sounded less ideological have been vindicated. And Bush has indeed delivered on a key campaign promise to conservatives … one that’ll be felt for years to come.

STOCK MARKET GOING DOWN MAKES PARIS HILTON FROWN could be a future headline at the Wall Street Journal soon. It looks like Rupert Murdoch is going to be the new owner after all. (What page of the paper will Bill O’Reilly’s column run on??). The controversy over the impending sale continues — which included a walk out by WSJ reporters.

Are Men Always The Aggressors? NOT necessarily. Dr. Helen has THIS MUST READ POST on women and domestic violence. Read the post (and the links to it). It’s fascinating. She concludes:

Our culture seems to be encouraging aggressive behavior in girls and women, who tend to display aggression in interpersonal relationships. It is no wonder that many young women feel that it is acceptable to kick, bite or punch a partner.

The timing of her post is interesting. I just watched Kill Bill II (which is NOT a movie about a Rush Limbaugh dream). And, yes, you could say the role model for young women in that film was a bit….different…to a more traditional submissive one. A question our society constantly must confront: Do things always have to be waaaaay on one end or waaaay on another? And also: YES, Hollywood imagery does indeed matter; it’s what young people are raised on and consciously or unconsciously emulate. (But what do I know about Hollywood? I just do this.)

MICHAEL MOORE’S SICKO MAKES SOME HAPPY AND OTHERS SICK:
The hugely successful and hugely controversial Moore’s new flick is getting passionately positive reviews from many reviewers. But others aren’t impressed and to his critics, Moore is a propagandist. A good sampling of the non-adoring view comes from Josh Trevino here:

“Sicko” is a predictable addition to Moore’s visual oeuvre, which (with the notable exception of “Fahrenheit 9/11”) always follows the same pattern: Moore targets an industry — here, the health insurance sector — highlights putative victims of that industry, stages some pranks, and then preaches about the need to have the government either take over or eliminate that industry. That the anecdotes he presents rarely stand up to scrutiny, or the solutions to analysis, is nearly irrelevant. Moore is a propagandist of the Leni Riefenstahl school, counting on the proven power of imagery to sway a viewing public in lieu of reason.

In the zealot’s hands, reason gives way to propaganda, discourse gives way to demagoguery, and the fellow American becomes the implacable enemy. This is the moral universe of Michael Moore, and this is the vernacular in which he communicates.

Read it all. (P.S. I haven’t seen Sicko yet and have enjoyed all of Moore’s films but since in the news biz I don’t take what I see on the screen to be the final or even totally accurate word. I tend to read a ton of stuff afterwards myself and reviews written about his movies on BOTH sides.)

Cindy Sheehan Is Gone So Now Who Is The New Head Of The Anti-War Movement?
It’s THIS GUY.

Did You Miss This Supreme Court Ruling?
The RICO act doesn’t apply to the government.

“Our Rotted Press Corps”: Glenn Greenwald contrasts questioning British and accepting American coverage of the bomb discovery in England. He finds the American press essentially takes government info and prints it without questioning it and the British press tends to investigate it and question it more.

Indeed, this isn’t the most noble era for the American press. It seems to have been browbeaten by the competition from the tabloids in the 70s and 80s, the fact that many young people don’t read papers and prefer to get their info from talk shows or Jon Stewart and now from these pesky things called weblogs that update all day and have people who are not paid and assigned by management types to write news. But he is CORRECT: the biggest shift has been in attitude.

In the Watergate and immediate post-Watergate scandal days, the press was like a young boxer coming out itching for the next round; now it’s like an old, battered fighter who may come out and do a good round, but it has seen better days. Question: will the NEW generation of reporters accept the status quo, or set higher standards, be more skeptical and more “enterprising” and do less reprinting of official press releases? We were taught at Medill Journalism School in in the early 70s to always be skeptical and questioning. Students still are taught that. Does the present press culture encourage that or pay lip service to that? Or is the press basically afraid to go beyond a certain point with this administration. (P.S.: Because you are skeptical doesn’t mean you don’t accept a well-reasoned, solid answer. But the QUESTIONS need to be asked.)

The TRUE Lesson Of The London Bomb Discovery? Was it that Big Brother does a lousy job? The Gun Toting Liberal in a provocative post looks at the context:

What do they have in London anyway; something like fourteen cameras for every city block was it? The actual number of cameras isn’t the point; the point is the installation of a full-fledged, Big Brother Nanny State in our own country will NOT save us from terrorism at all. What MIGHT help is just a tad bit of “dove-ishness” in our foreign policies (gasp! no!)… a little bit more of a “live and let live” mentality? I don’t subscribe to the wingnut theory that the “terr’ists” want to convert everybody in the West to Islam. Sorry, but I just DON’T.

However; at this moment, I’d like to take a moment to thank God the London terr’ists failed MISERABLY this time, and that not one of our brothers or sisters across the pond were harmed in any way, shape, or form. This could have been very, VERY bad news today coming out of Great Brittain but thanks to the first responders and vigilant citizens, the terr’ists lose yet again…


Fred Thompson Debuted In New Hampshire:
We know he did big B.O. (that’s Variety talk for “Box Office”). But was the show a hit or a flop? Or is it “on the bubble?” A national newspaper chain basically said that if Thompson wasn’t not ready for prime time, he wasn’t the hit show. The local newspaper had a different view. Ed Morrissey has the details and tries to make sense of it all.

Do You Think YOU Had A Tough Week? It was a tough week for Chinese imports.

The Supreme Court Has Agreed To Take Guantanamo Bay Cases
and Orrin Kerr of The Volokh Conspiracy (a required reading legal site) thinks this may not be good news for the Bush administration. Details HERE.