Friday, April 29, 2005

Popularist Constitutionalism. What a crock.

Let me begin with a few notions, as I define them. Just so we’re all on the same page:

Naturalism: In regards to law, Naturalist theorist believe that law springs from, or ought spring from, naturally endowed human rights that are factual in content along with the ontological contention that right and wrong exist.

Positivism: In regards to law, Positivist theorists believe that law ought spring from social constructs as moral values are deontological in nature (do not exist out of the context of human determination) and, hence, non-cognitive, non-factual.

Popular Constitutionalism: Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution ought be the burden of the populist whereby voting is the means by which constitutional rights are determined. This squares with the positivist contention that rights are no more than social constructs, hence a democratic approach to determining those rights ought prevail.

Judicial Constitutionalism: Interpretation of the U.S. Constitution ought be the burden of the judiciary. This can, and has traditionally been seen, through a positivist lens as well, whereby judges are the best trained to “recognize” both constitutional and non-constitutional acts as defined through the coupling of their constitutional knowledge and their grasp of the current socio-political environment.

SURPRISE! I know, I know, you thought that Supreme Court judges, in particular, are supposed to hold true to the constitution, employing as little interpretation as necessary to make judgments that jive with the constitution as written and intended by our founding father. Bwahahahaha. NOT!

And that part isn’t so problematic for me. Because, and I know you’ll hate this about me once you know, I am a naturalist. I am a cognitivist in regards to morals. Ontologically, I believe that good and bad exist, regardless of our take on it. I believe that moral statements are either true or false even when we are mistaken about their truth value , so there. I said it. And I’m better for coming out of the closet.

Now to the crockness. Because I believe that moral statements have a truth value, like scientific statements (i.e., either it’s true or false that the sky as blue = either it’s true or false that that act was good), I also believe that we should leave it to the professionals to determine that which most closely approximates the truth. Just as I wouldn’t so much want to leave it to a vote of the populous to determine whether x cancer treatment is most beneficial, I would not wish to leave it to the populous to determine whether x act was right or constitutional. Duh!

Good lord, I barely have the time to decide what to make for dinner (Bubber has green beans, cheese and chicken every night, poor kid). What kind of madness would it be for me to determine whether it’s constitutional (and right) for Schivo to let his wife die? I clearly have an opinion on it, but I certainly don’t think I’m smart enough to vote on it! And, more honestly, I don’t want those freaks that were outside wanting to give her a sip of water to be able to vote on it.

So this is why it’s such a huge deal, confirming judges. Because we must trust them to root out the truth regarding rightness and wrongness and constitutionality and do all that in the context of an ever-evolving epistemic world. Like science, we learn things every day that mold and change our ideas about reality and what we know, the same is the case with morality and law. We get closer to the truth when we learn how to better treat each other, value each other and empower each other through acknowledging our individual natural rights. Lets leave it to the professionals. But only after they prove they're right for the job.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Oh and About The Faith Card

I was going to post this as a comment to this post, which I found via this blog, which I love, but his comment section seems to be on the fritz. So here goes:

There seems to be all of this chitter-chat about playing The “faith card” as if the use of the definite article indicated that there is only one faith. So there’s the rub, yes? One faith, Christianity, claiming moral ownership of our country through righteous infiltration of our childrens’ schools, paternalistic usurping of our very will in our homes and doctors’ offices (not to mention pharmacies), constantly and unforgivingly threatening our representatives, strong-arming our courts and shaming our diversity in faithS, belief in rights over religion in the context of governance and denying the ability to BE moral in a secular context.

I feel the urge here to be the “good non-threatening liberal” and say that I don’t mean ALL CHRISTIANS and I think MOST CHRISTIANS are great folks who, like Muslims have recently been demonized but wholly crap! if I were a Christian, I’d think it my duty to straighten out the jack asses that are behaving in a seemingly non-Christian way by, well, being jack asses, and I would do this by making as much noise about their evil, and I do mean evil, righteousness and moralistic superiority as I would at my kids' soccer games or in the church choir.

Sweet Home Alabama? I THINK NOT!

You know, I’ve been racking my brain lately, trying to find something to write about. While I have an opinion on most everything, I have a hard time thinking that my opinion, while clearly right, is interesting enough to share. I’ve come to the conclusion, in my old age, that I am far from unique and certainly not alone in my stances. I mean, why even comment on this? You all know how crazy it is. Or this. So stupid. All I can think is, thank goodness I don’t live there. But the thing is that the kids living in Alabama will someday be senators from Alabama deciding how to govern my country, teachers willing to disregard science and CEOs more than happy to discriminate. Not cool.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Two Most Irrational Reasons for Anything Ever Pronounced

1. Because we've always done it that way.
2. Because if we do it for you, we'll have to do it for everyone.

I can't abide by them. I can not.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Just as I Suspected

Poppy will be happy to note:


American Cities That Best Fit You:

65% Washington, DC

60% New York City

55% Boston

55% Philadelphia

55% San Francisco

Friday, April 22, 2005

Art as Commentary

I've always liked Fernando Botero, but now I love him.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Bubber Brushes

Bubber Brushes

And to think, some thought we wouldn't be good 'rents. This is unequivocal proof that we are. In yo'face playa-haters!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The New Pope ala South Park, What Could be Better?

South Park Pope

I made him myself out of sugar and spice and everything nice!

Thanks Sarcasmo and South Park Studio.


More of the same.

I'll Live To Be 89!

Okay, this* may not be super accurate, but it helps you think about how what you do may impact your longevity. How long will you live?

*Provided to me by TGWMSU, thanks bubs.

Friday, April 15, 2005

In Honor of Time's Idiot 100 Most Influential List:

25 People, Institutions, Organizations and Miscellaneous Items that Most Infuriate/Annoy Me
(in no particular order)

25 Hollywood Award Shows
23 Nel Noddings
21 The “No Child Left Behind” Act
20 The WTO
19 The Philadelphia Parking Authority
18 Michael Douglas
17 Ann Coulter
16 John Stewart Mill
15 Dr Phil
14 The FCC
13 Mainstream Media
12 Saturday Night Live
11 The Democratic Party
10 The Simpson’s
8 Condi Rice
7 “British Humor”
6 Don Rumsfeld
5 The NRA
4 Religious Fundamentalists
3 Fiscal Conservatives
2 Karl Rove
1 Evil Bush

25 People, Institutions, Organizations and Miscellaneous Items that Most Soothe/Please Me
(in no particular order)

25 Planned Parenthood
24 Philadelphia Art Museum
23 Emily’s List
22 Susan Sarandon
21 Human Rights Campaign
20 Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers
19 The Week
18 The Democratic Party
17 PBS: Frontline, and others
16 Bobby DiNero
15 NPR
14 Habitat for Humanity – Jimmy Carter
13 Philabundance
11 The Clintons
10 WHO
19 Kate Winslet
18 Barack Obama
17 Bill Richardson
15 The Rolex Awards for Enterprise
14 The Nobel Organization
13 Jon Stewart
12 Pad Thai
10 bell hooks
9 Kant
8 The Amazing Race
7 memepool
6 Access to the Internet
4 Aristotle
3 Norwood the Jalopy
2 Home
1 Friends and Family


What’s this you say? A republican not only failing to demonize a democrat, but actually speaking of one in respectful terms???

Holy cats, pigs must be flying!

Wait a minute...all is not lost...

Frist saves the day along with his buddy DeLay !

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Awwwwww....Just look at this little sweetie....

Baby Octopus

KDS and I have concluded that she is so cute, she makes us a little giggly.

Here's her story.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Bubber’s First Steps!

Mark this date. Apparently, Bubber took his first unaided steps today AT DAYCARE. Two and one half steps to be exact. Thankfully, his father was there to witness. I, alas, was not. It is at once heart-wrenching that I missed it, and incredibly exciting that he’s making such amazing strides. In regards to the former, I find comfort in assuring myself that I will see this child walk, someday. And that is something amazing, all by itself. In regards to the latter, Bubber Boo is truly astounding. He is quickly becoming a force to reckoned with. He has opinions about what he wishes to eat, when he wishes to eat, whether he wishes to eat with a fork or a spoon, or not. Not to mention his positions on naps, changing, and global politics. This kid is, like other kids, really freaking cool.

Monday, April 11, 2005


If you're not a square, you'll be getting yourself one of these. I'll be sporting this one soon. If only they made them for little people, BB would be donning this. Baby as billboard. Cool!

Here's some info if you're one of those do-gooders that needs to be sure they're doing good and aren't being tricked by the dark side.

Of course, if you do find yourself on the dark side, you could always cleanse your spirit by confessing.

I am very, very sad.

Andrea Dworkin dies.

And very, very sorry.


Smoking and talking
Running and cursing
Lifting and lounging

It’s all mine.

My right
My space
My world

Never kept from me
Never restrained
Never bound
Never watched
Never used

The weight of her death
The loss of her brilliance
Her fury, her perfect madness
The mind that forced forward, never back
Fuck you.

I loved her. I loved her as my mother. As my protector.
Me, as an embarrassed child.

I’m sorry, Andrea. I’m sorry.

--For my friends that haven't met her words.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The First Nose Pick

I noticed Bubber Boo with his left pointer finger in his left nostril and was astonished. First, he truly is a leftie (so cool!) and second, babies don't pick their noses, toddlers do. And then, get this, his finger slowly dragged down toward his mouth and viola! right in the mouth. To sum up, the kid picked his nose and then put it in his mouth.

And then it occurred to me to ask him where he learned such a thing. "You must have learned that from the bad kids, the ones from the broken homes." I know it was the wrong thing to say, and SK was horrified, but I figured I'd tackle the heavy social issues before Abe turns three in hopes that he exhausts all of the hard questions and we can deal with the easy stuff like how many sodas a child may injest in a 24 hour period thereafter.

The (d)evolution of Dating

Last night I had the pleasure of going out on a date with my two men. Things have changed a bit since SK and I used to go out on dates alone. First we’d go to a fine restaurant, full of candlelight and the quiet murmuring of diners sharing secrets. Then, we’d stroll down the city streets and chat about maybe seeing a film at the Ritz but would conclude we’d rather keep chatting and would end up walking miles by the time we got home.

Now we dine at places like Lone Star, where the vast majority of clientele yell across the table at one another never waiting for a response from the other before barking something else, where crayons get lobbed at brothers’ and sisters’ heads and the light is bright enough to gather toys that have escaped the punishment of their owners, finding safe havens under the tables. Then, rather than strolling down the tree lined streets of Philadelphia, we walk across the parking lot to
Lowes where we ponder the shear magnitude of the impact on our lives that a screen door would bring, and select the most perfect of all water heaters to be installed Saturday.

You, know, after reading this, I’d feel sorry for myself if I hadn’t had such a good time.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Cheap Laptops

We talk a lot in this country about the importance of math and science education. We’re so behind! And that is so BAD! The thing is, there is very little talk about why math and science are so important. Don’t get me wrong, I suspect it is important but, to be honest, I just don’t know why.

And I have the same thought about this. I suspect it’s a good thing. But I also wonder whether anyone has really considered how the exposure to computers may impact families, communities and cultures that are not currently exposed. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that there may be negative impacts.

The thing is, when we focus on one thing, we are, by definition, purposefully not focusing on others. In the case of math and science, I suspect that the importance of philosophy and cultural studies has been discounted. In the case of laptops, who knows? Loss of cultures, traditions and collective identity? I dunno, but I get all weirdy when value becomes a presupposition; Math/Science = Valuable, Laptops = Good. Maybe yes, maybe no, but it’s worth a discussion.

Friday, April 01, 2005

My Friend, TV

I have concluded that the CBS series CSI is quite possibly the worst show every telecast. If the gist of the series doesn’t turn you off, investigating gruesome murders, the horrible fact that each episode begins with the “main character”…the person who the episode revolves around, already dead. It’s heinous and awful and disgusting. If you watch this show, please check your humanity because, sweet Jesus, I find you suspect.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Cold Case, where the main character is also dead at the beginning. Crazily enough though, this show is so hyper humane that I can’t watch it either. Inevitably, the poor soul that was murdered was so because of some horrible societal injustice; a teenage throw-away, a prostitute with a big heart and a lot of abuse, a mentally disabled child whose mother is dying of cancer, murdered because the mother knows he’ll have no caretakers after her death…ugh! Forgeddaboudit!

So I’m going to stick with Survivor and the Amazing Race. Both awesome this week. So happy with the outcomes! Weeeeeee. TV rocks!