Sunday, May 31, 2009

Two serious and one not-so thing tonight,

the second two hopefully taking some of the bad taste out of your mouth.

First, Ann Althouse sort-of defends some of Sotomayor's comments:
Well, of course, she would have restated it if she'd thought, when she said it, that it would be used by opponents of her Supreme Court nomination the way it's being used today. But that's why the original quotation is so interesting and deserving of analysis.

Yet it was not an unguarded spontaneous outburst. It was a carefully written speech delivered to a particular audience. Sotomayor was saying the things that would be well-received by her audience. Indeed, I have trouble getting roused by her statement — "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life" — because I've been immersed for a quarter century in the kind of law school environment that she addressed. Here, we sympathetically smile and nod at such things. We nurture racial analysis. We create a school of thought and hire people to write about Critical Race Theory. What Sotomayor said was actually a weak, feel-good version of the kind of racial talk that is widespread in the legal academy
Want to know why so much in the legal world, and our government, is so effed up? That gives you a good look at why. Read the whole thing. Personally, I think this bit is very important:
It was for publication in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, in a symposium called "Raising the Bar: Latino and Latina Presence in the Judiciary and the Struggle for Representation." She had to address the topic. She did so in a notably non-radical fashion.
And she did 'address the topic'. And it's how she did, and her statements of how she does things as a judge, that is causing the upset. As it damn well should. And it's only in a environment that 'smiles and nods' at such crap that it could be described as 'non-radical'.

Second, one of the first Brits- and the first Brit paratroop- to land in France on D-Day was back in Normandy for the approaching anniversary.
Richard said: "As soon as we were on the ground our dropping zone was covered with enemy fire. You didn't hang around. Luckily I dropped right by a track that led straight to our rendezvous."

A quick glance skywards before diving for the cover of trees told him how fortunate he'd been to survive this long.

Todd recalled: "Being first out of the first plane wasn't my idea I assure you. But immediately I could see I was lucky. My plane had benefited from the element of surprise. We'd come under a lot of enemy fire but nothing compared to the flak the other planes behind were getting.

"Looking up I saw whole planes full of paratroopers being brought down. We lost a lot of men that way.
In 1944 the crucial mission for Todd's 7th battalion of the Parachute Regiment was to hold the bridges over the River Orne and the Caen Canal three miles inland, stopping the German forces from getting reinforcements to the beaches. That allowed the Allies in the seaborne landing to advance inland. A glider force-led by Major John Howard, of the Ox and Bucks Light Infantry-had seized the bridges in minutes, just half an hour ahead of the main airborne invasion.

Todd's landing site was just half a mile from the bridge and after taking cover in the woods he linked up with his commanding officer, Lieutenant- Colonel Geoffrey Pine-Coffin, and his team. They trekked across farmland to the target
A hell of a lot of troops never made it out of the planes that night, or were killed while still in the air. We cannot allow them to be forgotten.

And last, the enviroweenies want to introduce(or re-introduce) beavers back into Scotland, and Mr. Clarkson isn't wild about the idea:
As we know, the economy is stagnant, we are up to our shoulders in debt and things are likely to get worse. So imagine my surprise to find the government has decided to spend £275,000 on 11 Norwegian beavers that will be freed to roam wild in Scotland.

As this works out at £25,000 each, I’m wondering if the money could have been better spent. Because I’ve done some checking and it turns out that for the same kind of cash they could have bought an extremely rare white lion cub, half a dozen house-trained chimpanzees and a brace of albino pythons.

A striped Bengal cat, which looks very much like a small monochrome tiger and is created by mating an Asian leopard cat with a domestic tom, can be bought, according to a Forbes magazine survey, for as little as £500. Extremely good value for money considering that I should imagine many of the couplings end with the domestic tom inside the female’s stomach.
I’m not suggesting that the beavers will eat people who go to see them, although if they are ramblers that would be no bad thing. But who’s to say the trees they chew don’t contain some unknown bacterium that stops sheep becoming man-eaters? Who’s to say the floods their dams create won’t swamp Glasgow? Who’s to say the Loch Ness Monster isn’t an ancient beaver experiment that got out of hand?

Of course, the beaver enthusiasts will dismiss all this as nonsense and point to the red kites that were successfully reintroduced in the Chilterns a few years ago. Absolutely. I love to see these majestic birds soaring over the cut on the M40 as I drive to London. They lift my spirits.

But did anyone notice the RSPB findings last week? The sudden and dramatic decline in the number of lapwings, wood warblers and fieldfares? Could this have anything to do with the sudden re-emergence of the airborne raptor?

What was it Tam said, that what the world needs is a airborne predator with a 15-foot wingspan? I'm sure it's on somebody's schedule.


Fire said...

Beavers in Scotland? Well, who would have thunk it? Why don't they just save the money and stop shaving?

Windy Wilson said...

Well, in California crows are semi-protected animals, and in Southern California they vastly outnumber the songbirds, the mourning doves AND the mockingbirds, which, 30 years ago were the problem bird.
You can't shoot or trap them, so we're praying for another outbreak of West Nile virus amongst the birds.