Patterico's Pontifications



Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:24 pm

GOOD EDITORIAL FROM THE GREAT WHITE NORTH: The Toronto Star editorializes against the starvation of Terri Schindler-Schiavo here:

Whatever one’s view of euthanasia, Terri’s plight is a dreadful advertisement for Florida’s current law.

Absent an explicit directive, whose wishes should prevail in such cases?

The wishes of family who are willing to assume the burdens and costs of preserving life, not ending it.

The law must protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Amen. (Via Tonecluster.)


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:07 pm

FROM THE INAPPROPRIATE HEADLINE DEPARTMENT: Today’s New York Times editorial has the unfortunate title New Look at Silicone Breast Implants.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:17 pm

TERRI SCHIAVO AND THE SCRIPPS FACILITY: Kathryn Jean Lopez at the Corner reports that a Florida legislative staffer is not optimistic about Terri’s Bill (an emergency measure described by Xrlq here), which appears to be Terri Schiavo’s last hope to live. (Read more about her situation here.) The reason for pessimism, according to the staffer:

The session has been called for “the purpose of introducing a package of business incentives to get the Scripps research facility along the I-4 corridor” . . . “Any legislation outside that purpose would require a 2/3 vote for introduction in either chamber and, while that might possibly happen here, such bills would go over to the Senate to die.”

It sounds like Terri Schiavo might be able to live if someone can successfully argue that preserving her life is somehow relevant to the far more important issue of business incentives for the Scripps research facility. Makes sense, right?

Patterico readers are a clever and resourceful lot. If anyone has an argument as to how preventing the murder of this woman could help attract the Scripps research facility, e-mail me at the link to the left.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:49 am

TO KILL THE MESSAGE OF “MOCKINGBIRD”: The Indianapolis Star editorializes here in support of the decision of an Indianapolis High School to cancel a production of a stage version of To Kill a Mockingbird. (Via Volokh.) Why the cancellation? I think you can guess. Yup, black parents and the NAACP protested due to the use of the “N” word.

Eugene Volokh has the best comment I have seen on this:

Say, doesn’t the “C” in NAACP stand for “colored”? Outrageous! Everyone knows that “colored” is a pejorative term nowadays; people would be very offended if you called them “colored.” High schools should stop using texts that contain the organization’s name.


(By the way, if this organization is going to be renamed to conform to the terms used nowadays, I suppose the new name would have to be the “National Association for the Advancement of African-American People,” or “NAAAAP.” Hmmm. Maybe that’s why they’re sticking with “Colored.”)

Prof. Volokh also says: “When an NAACP chapter objects to To Kill a Mockingbird, and a high school agrees, we’ve come to a strange, strange place, folks.” I agree with this, but I would add that we’ve always been in that strange place.

For example, for as long as I can remember, there have been black activists somewhere trying to ban Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — certainly among the top anti-slavery books ever written in this country. As explained in this essay, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been banned and challenged ever since it was first published in 1885. The initial objections came from the literary establishment, which saw the book as too lowbrow. But beginning in the 1950s and lasting to the present day, the objections to the book have come from black activist groups — apparently composed of people who had never read it.

I’m afraid that, as long as there are people who don’t bother to read the great books, there will be people who will be offended by what (they think) is in them. The To Kill a Mockingbird controversy is, alas, nothing new, and you can expect this sort of nonsense to crop up again.

Accepting the inevitability of such controversies, I still agree with Prof. Volokh: it’s bad enough that the parents are doing this; even worse that the NAAAAP folks are participating; worse still that the school is caving to the pressure; but worst of all is the fact that the local newspaper supports the school’s decision. But here again I am less surprised than Prof. Volokh. The political leanings of newspaper editors (even in the relatively smaller urban areas, as this shows) often cause them to embrace absurd “pro-minority” policies and viewpoints — even when they know that these policies and viewpoints are wrong and/or harmful. This is another regrettable aspect of American society that I don’t see changing anytime soon.


Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:20 am

THE SCOOP ON WILLIE BROWN: Mickey Kaus thinks that Willie Brown has abandoned his previously expressed intention of running for the state Senate seat currently held by John Burton (who gets termed out next year) (and good riddance). Kaus explains that Arnold is “wildly unpopular” in the district, so Brown’s joining Arnold’s transition sends a signal that Brown will not be running for elective office there. Plus, apparently Brown’s unfavorability rating there is a high 40 percent.

No John Burton, no Willie Brown. My, my. Retaliacrats™ will have to come up with some other clueless buffoon to run the Senate for them.

I have confidence in their ability to do it.

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