The Right Coast

Editor: Thomas A. Smith
University of San Diego
School of Law

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Reforming California
Mike Rappaport

There seems to be wide (although certainly not universal) agreement that the public employee unions and their pensions are a big source of the problem in California (and in other areas).  Let's assume that the public agrees.  What are the best means of constraining these unions?  It is not obvious to me what they would be.  One, that has been discussed, would be to move from defined benefit plans to defined contribution pension plans.  And that would help.  But what else?

A somewhat radical change would be to not recognize their collective bargaining rights in some significant ways, but my sense that this would be too radical to gain acceptance and might even violate federal law.  So what else is there?  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.   

February 28, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sex in Connecticut
Tom Smith

What is it about university administrations and sex?  Does Yale really need 70 different perspectives on sex at Yale College?  Are there even 70 different perspectives on sex?  I guess maybe.  The best line I ever heard about sex came from my father.  He said, when I was of an age to appreciate his meaning "Tom, sex is a lot like fishing.  At first you don't know what the hell you're doing.  But you'll figure it out."  Does Yale really need to say a lot more than that?  (Though actually, I never did learn to fish worth a damn, and if the sex you engage in is as difficult to master as fly fishing, there's something wrong with you.) Would a parent want to send his or her or their son/daughter/son-daughter/daughter-son to the college that offers 70 different perspectives on sex? Why not, hey, sex, that's great. So, did you figure out that biochem assignment?  Do we really want Yale educating the leaders of tomorrow about sex as opposed to just letting them, for all the obvious risks, heartbreaks, embarrassments, false starts, unfortunate conclusions, and comico-tragic eruptions, figure it out on their own?  This is America.  Everybody is entitled to make themselves miserable in their own way.  Almost thirty years ago I sat through a sexual indoctrination session at Yale.  I hasten to add, I went to Cornell and merely the law school at Yale.  At Cornell, there was no sexual indoctrination that I remember.  Though maybe it was at the Ag School and I missed it; I don't know.  Anyway, it was dreadful.  A painfully earnest, utterly explicit movie featuring ugly people having sex, including sex I really did not want to see.  I was ready to avoid sex for some time after that I tell you.  And the web opens up a whole new space for elite university adumbration on the wonders of sex.  This is all at the college of course.  From what I could tell, there was precious little sex at the law school beyond the metaphorical and so little need of indoctrination.  That may have changed, but I doubt it.

February 26, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0)

Oh man this is just not fair
Tom Smith

Let's give the guy a break.  He had something in his nose.  Come'on.  Who hasn't done this and worse.  Most of us male types are always being told by our spousal units and offspring not to do something gross.  At least I am.  It just proves you're a man, IMHO.  That said.  Horribly, excruciatingly funny.  I mean dude.  You're the president.  On TV all over the universe.  You just gotta wait until the break. But we at the RC are above embedding the offending video. Oh OK, we're not. But I tried at least not to. It's hard to resist those impulses:

February 26, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (28) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I wanna be your dog
Tom Smith

Via instapundit:

And don't forget . . . this sick puppy

February 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Your friend the brown recluse spider
Tom Smith

I disturbed one of these guys taking out a box of refuse this morning.  It least it looked like one to me, though I suppose it could have been some other sort of largish, scary looking brown spider.  

I have recommended it before, but if you like to read about such critters, this is a great read.  And it looks like the author Gordon Grice has another book coming out too!  I wish he would write more and I will definitely get his new one.  He is such a relief, a fine, utterly unpretentious stylist who writes about creatures in a way that is neither, oh we humans are destroying Mother Earth, nor, the shark is really your friend.  He gets that, say, a fiendish little predator is in fact a fiendish little predator and if you are going to admire it, it should be for that.

February 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

More proof that Manhattan is a long way away
Tom Smith

I'm sorry but this is just stupid.  I mean, OK it's your body and your money so whatever.  And it's not like this is going to have any impact on me.  But seriously.  But then it's your tribe your rules I guess.  Good luck with that.

February 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Maybe Oxford could give him an honorary degree or something?
Tom Smith

Our young president really does seem to dislike the mother country.  Unclear why.  Did he never watch Masterpiece Theatre?  Life on Earth?  Monty Python?  I know there's Kenya, but it's not as if we never stepped on a third world country.  If Kenya is worse off now for the Brits having been there, I should be very much surprized. And Argentina?  For heaven's sake they don't even like us down there. They think we are imperialists and rubes.  They're as bad as the French in that regard.  I think Obama should maybe be president of another country, one with interests adverse to those of the US.  Not everybody has to like the USA.  But our president should.

February 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Health care the Chicago Way
Tom Smith

It's actually the Chicago Way in two ways.  You've got the frosting of the University of Chicago law school seminar on top, and busting metaphorical heads with political baseball bats underneath.  I'm at a loss to see what is going to happen.  It seems both that the reconciliation ploy can't work (opposition in the House, scared Senators in the center) and that it can't fail (is any kind of Democrat really going to bolt when the stakes are this high?  Politicians are notoriously high discount rate, short term-y animals; any kind of victory probably looks better than defeat to them).  This reform looks to me about as promising as a flying aircraft carrier built by the people doing the Big Dig in Boston -- viz., not likely to be a good idea.  But we'll see.

February 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy
Tom Smith

I refer of course to San Francisco in the second half of the 19th century. (hat tip JS.)  Now of course it is the center of the most elevated kind of enlightened thinking.

February 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A controversial nominee to the 9th Circuit
Tom Smith

A UC law professor nominated to the 9th Circuit is raising some hackles.  I am willing here to defend a possibility thesis:  It is possible that a law professor nominated by this WH to the 9th Circuit is pretty left-wing.  It is.  Really!

February 25, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)