Saturday, June 30, 2012
Kolbert describes an anthropologist’s encounter with 6-year-old Yanira, part of a remote Peruvian tribe. On a leaf-gathering expedition with another family, Yanira constantly makes herself useful—she sweeps the sleeping mats twice a day; she fishes for crustaceans, cooks them up and serves them to the others. “Calm and self-possessed, Yanira ‘asked for nothing,’ ” Kolbert writes of the anthropologist’s impressions.
The same anthropologist was part of a family study in Los Angeles as well, with very different results. In those families, “no child routinely performed household chores without being instructed to. Often, the kids had to be begged to attempt the simplest tasks; often, they still refused. …In [one] representative encounter, an eight-year-old girl sat down at the dining table. Finding that no silverware had been laid out for her, she demanded, ‘How am I supposed to eat?’ Although the girl clearly knew where the silverware was kept, her father got up to get it for her.”
Friday, June 29, 2012
I often watch men and notice that some of them seem to do well and thrive in a society that caters to women. I watched that show Princess a while back about women who are living off their parent’s money and who have a sharp sense of entitlement and it got me thinking about women and the society who think they are princesses in general.
Is this really that big a problem? I'm just asking; I don't really know. LWJ and I have four boys three of whom we sent to an all boy's HS, so I don't really know. I would not describe my wife as a spoiled princess in the least. My female students do not strike me as princess-like; law school is not the best place for princesses, though I guess I knew of a few at YLS, but they stood out for that. So what's the deal? Is there an epidemic of princessitude? --TS
So there are reasons for hope. That having been said, the Supreme Court and Chief Justice John Roberts caved, and if the Republicans do not take the Senate and the Presidency we are cooked. FDR casts a long shadow. The Supreme Court will not defend the Constitution against a determined Democratic Party. This coming election is arguably the most important such contest in one hundred years.
Now that the Court has voted 5-4 to uphold the ACA, I want to suggest a different historical analogy, also focusing on 1936. What if the Court’s ACA decision, like the Court’s controversial 1936 ruling invalidating a state minimum wage law, turns out to the last gasp of a dying constitutional regime?
Erik M. Jensen (Case Western), Does the Taxing Clause Give Congress Unlimited Power?, 135 Tax Notes 1515 (June 18, 2012):
The idea has gained currency that the Taxing Clause in the Constitution gives Congress the power to do anything, or almost anything, that would be funded by taxation.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Rarely do I call something a must read, but Sean Trende's latest is one. I think it's pretty darn persuasive. The wins for limited government under something like our Constitution in the ACA case strike me as bigger than the losses. Add to this (I'm not sure yet; I have to actually read the thing) Roberts may be correct on the merits. The Obomination may be legal as a tax and precedent may require reading it that way.
If I were Kennedy, I think I would feel like (as Justice O'Connor might put it) the bronc had the bit in its teeth and someone had to go out and lasoo it, with respect to the powers of the federal government, I mean. I expect more libertarian noises from him in the future.Trende is right that a lot of important decisions are coming up and the Court now seems freer to act without crippling accusations of political bias.
The spending clause part of the decision is enormously important, isn't it? I don't have my arms around it either, but it would seem to put very substantive limits on the power of federal government over the states, compared to where things were yesterday. And by 7-2 as well. This also means Texas can opt out of Obamacare and if that happens, doesn't it just fall apart as a budgetary matter? If Obama is reelected, that could lead to a very peculiar standoff.
And it does tee the whole mess up for a national election. Let the people decide, etc., etc. If we all vote for this, we probably deserve what we get. Well, maybe not readers of this blog, but most people.
Maybe Trende is being too clever by half. Maybe Roberts is being too clever by half. So I will just say I would not be surprized if lovers of liberty look back on this decision as a turning point, of that rare good kind. In any event, intelligent folk should stop moaning and wait to see how this shakes out.
All that said, I would still like to know if Roberts really was pressured somehow.