Armies on the march are no match for a terrible idea whose time has come, and in California the terrible idea is an army on the march--an army of disgruntled voters exercising their ridiculous right to utter a collective "Oops!"California's constitution is riddled with early-20th-century Progressivism, the persuasion of the sort of people an English wit once called Dawnists--people who believe that there will be a dawn of perpetual happiness if the people are just allowed to work their will.
Before America became as enlightened as it is now, Asian-Americans were denied, among much else, the equal protection of the law. In various jurisdictions they were forbidden to testify in courts against whites, practice law, be employed by corporations, attend public schools, marry Caucasians (a California law prohibiting marriage between a white and a "Negro, mulatto, Mongolian or member of the Malay race" was signed in 1945 by Gov.
The late Justice William Brennan reportedly said that the most important word in the Supreme Court is not "justice" or "equality" or "law" but "five." Soon the Supreme Court, and perhaps Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as the decisive fifth vote, will decide whether racial preferences will be part of American higher education forever, or whether America will continue its long, meandering march to a colorblind society.The result may turn on how she construes fidelity to her departed friend Justice...
Secretaries of labor, if they are republicans, generally come and go quickly. Organized labor and its many congressional allies are so relentlessly hostile to Republicans, the secretaries grow weary of constant guerrilla warfare, and depart: their average tenure since 1960 is just 24 months--less than half the 47-month average for Democratic secretaries.But the current secretary, Elaine Chao--as slender as a stiletto, and as steely--is not going away.
Many members of the House and Senate say they ran for office out of love--of justice, equality, peace, the American way, etc. James Inhofe says he ran for Congress in 1986 for "vengeance." In a city full of people who pretend to believe that politics should be kinder and gentler, Inhofe is refreshing.
If being dumb were a crime, Gary Ewing and Leandro Andrade would be Al Capone and Don Corleone. And if "possibly misguided" or "arguably unfair" were synonyms for "unconstitutional," perhaps the Supreme Court should have struck down the sentences imposed on Ewing and Andrade under California's "three strikes" law.But they are not synonyms.
At 10 a.m. eastern time Wednesday, as Colin Powell arrived at the United Nations to tutor some slow learners about the obvious regarding Iraq, North Korea--it was midnight there--announced it was reactivating the Yongbyon nuclear facilities, but only to produce electricity "at the present stage." This announcement came five days after U.S. satellites had seen fuel rods being moved around the facility, which has an insignificant capacity for generating electricity but can produce fissile...
The President's economic policy announced last Tuesday in Chicago refutes the notion that today's disputes between the two parties express merely "the narcissism of small differences." The president spoke the day the 108th Congress convened, and what he said means that the 108th will bear some resemblance to the 97th.
George Orwell's axiom about intellectuals--that some ideas are so silly that only intellectuals will embrace them--needs a corollary that covers U.S. senators: No international agreement is so grandiose in its ambitions and so unclear about the obligations it imposes that it cannot receive the support of many U.S. senators.
Last week was replete with reminders that there was something to be said for the Ninth Circuit Court's ruling that there is something wrong with the Pledge of Allegiance's assertion that this is "one nation under God." But that court, famously imaginative and frequently reversed, got wrong what is wrong.
Last Monday Nancy and Henry Kissinger arrived at a Manhattan restaurant at 8:10 p.m. and excitedly recounted what they had just listened to in their car: a Yankee rookie in his first major league at-bat had hit a home run off a fearsome pitcher--the Diamondbacks' Randy Johnson, who is 6 feet 10 and looks like a giant praying mantis with an attitude.Before the Kissingers had time to examine their menus, some baseball commentators were reporting that this was the first time since 1986 that a...
On this 30th anniversary of the enactment of Title IX, the law prohibiting sexual discrimination in education, consider this: has even more nonsense been written about Title IX than has been committed in its name?Title IX, as adumbrated by ideology-besotted Education Department regulation writers, has produced this lunacy:Colleges have killed more than 400 men's athletic teams in order to produce precise proportionality between men's and women's enrollments and men's and women's rates of...
Last week The Washington Post reported "the belief held by many Israelis that the recent suicide bombings are an example of anti-Jewish violence." Those who hold this "belief" reject alternative explanations of the violence, such as: The terrorists are targeting Brazilians but are confused about which hemisphere they are in.Intellectual confusion and moral miasma, expressed in Orwellian language, now permeate U.S. policy and media coverage concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, pioneering new frontiers of fatuity, says some parts of the Shays-Meehan campaign-finance bill please his boss and others do not. "But ultimately the process is moving forward, and the president is pleased." Ultimately, in Washington, the celebration of "process" signals the abandonment of principle.
Rep. Richard Gephardt set a winter indoor record for audacious arguing when he wrung this lesson from the Enron debacle: "The real scandal here may not be what the administration did to help Enron, but what it avoided doing because it was concerned that the campaign contributions created the appearance of conflict." Political people are adroit at arguing that anything and everything that happens, or does not happen, demonstrates the wisdom of whatever they want.