Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A silver chain…

The following are some notes from, and links to, some articles I'd like to read and possibly return to in greater detail.

Top 10 dumbest things said about the Arizona immigration law
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
05/01/10 7:46 AM EDT

In the nation’s elite media outlets, its most respected commentators are portraying the law as an act of police-state repression. Many, if not all, of the specific criticisms can be refuted simply by reading the law itself, but others are more generalized criticisms of immigration enforcement.

A carefully crafted immigration law in Arizona
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
April 26, 2010

Critics have focused on the term "reasonable suspicion" to suggest that the law would give police the power to pick anyone out of a crowd for any reason and force them to prove they are in the U.S. legally. Some foresee mass civil rights violations targeting Hispanics.

What fewer people have noticed is the phrase "lawful contact," which defines what must be going on before police even think about checking immigration status. "That means the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he's violated some other law," says Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri Kansas City Law School professor who helped draft the measure. "The most likely context where this law would come into play is a traffic stop."

As far as "reasonable suspicion" is concerned, there is a great deal of case law dealing with the idea, but in immigration matters, it means a combination of circumstances that, taken together, cause the officer to suspect lawbreaking. It's not race -- Arizona's new law specifically says race and ethnicity cannot be the sole factors in determining a reasonable suspicion.

May 2nd, 2010 8:08 am
Thoughts on Gorism

From the Sanctimonious to the Ridiculous

I think sometime this year elite radical environmentalism died. …

At one point, Al Gore defended his indefensible hypocrisy by snapping that at least he was putting his money where his mouth was by investing in green technologies — sort of like a Mafioso defending his vast drug empire by confessing to an occasional snort or two, or Louis XIV defending Versailles by claiming at least he did not build such a palatial compound in Great Britain.

Who Can Mock This Church?
Published: May 1, 2010

Maybe the Catholic Church should be turned upside down.

Jesus wasn’t known for pontificating from palaces, covering up scandals, or issuing Paleolithic edicts on social issues. Does anyone think he would have protected clergymen who raped children?

Yet if the top of the church has strayed from its roots, much of its base is still deeply inspiring. I came here to impoverished southern Sudan to write about Sudanese problems, not the Catholic Church’s. Yet once again, I am awed that so many of the selfless people serving the world’s neediest are lowly nuns and priests — notable not for the grandeur of their vestments but for the grandness of their compassion.

As I’ve noted before, there seem to be two Catholic Churches, the old boys’ club of the Vatican and the grass-roots network of humble priests, nuns and laity in places like Sudan. The Vatican certainly supports many charitable efforts, and some bishops and cardinals are exemplary, but overwhelmingly it’s at the grass roots that I find the great soul of the Catholic Church.

A Supreme Court without Protestants?
By Dan Gilgoff, CNN
May 3, 2010 -- Updated 0920 GMT (1720 HKT)

For most of American history, a Supreme Court with no Protestant Christian judges would have been unthinkable. Nearly three quarters of all justices who've ever served on the nation's high court have been Protestant. And roughly half of all Americans identify themselves as Protestant today.

But since John Paul Stevens announced his retirement last month, legal and religious scholars have begun entertaining the unprecedented prospect of a Supreme Court without a single Protestant justice.

Besides Stevens, who is Protestant, the current Supreme Court counts six Catholics and two Jews.

"It's an amazing irony given how central Protestantism has been to American culture," said Stephen Prothero, a religion scholar at Boston University. "For most of the 19th century, Protestants were trying to turn America into their own heaven on Earth, which included keeping Jews and Catholics from virtually all positions of power."

Many religion scholars attribute the decline of Protestants on the high court to the breakdown of a mainline Protestant identity and to the absence of a strong tradition of lawyering among evangelical Protestants. …

One explanation of Catholics' and Jews' high court hegemony is that members of both traditions have long pursued legal degrees as a way to assimilate into a majority Protestant country.

"Most American Catholic law schools were not formed to be elite institutions of lofty legal scholarship, but as way to respond to the fact that other law schools were excluding Catholics," said Richard Garnett, a professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School. "It was a vehicle to get Catholics into the middle class."

"Early on, those schools admitted a lot of Jewish students who were being discriminated against," Garnett said. …

In the last couple of decades, however, more evangelicals have begun pursuing legal degrees, including at elite colleges. "There are now vibrant Christian fellowships at Harvard and Yale," said Lindsay. "Ten years from now, it will be entirely possible to see an evangelical Protestant on the Supreme Court."

Remember–– Religion Is Dead and Reason Reigns! (Hey, wait… Is this thing on?)

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