I’ve been around that trashy behaviour all my life.

For anyone looking for a qiuck check fact sheet on Samuel A. Alito, Jr. a history of his rulings, there’s one here. This decision is pretty damning in and of itself.

Alito’s dissenting opinion is often cited by opponents of abortion. In it, he concluded that “Pennsylvania has a legitimate interest in furthering the husband’s interest in the fate of the fetus,’ under the state’s abortion notification law. The U.S. Supreme Court subsequently ruled in the case, and disagreed with Alito.

Result of that case?

Majority finds Pa.’s abortion notification law for husband’s unconstitional.

We’re in the 21st Century and Bush wants a judge on the court that has 19th Century ideas about a woman’s place. I have both politcal opinions about this and a personal opinion. The political side of me agrees with the result of that case agreeing that the government has no right to compel a woman, or a man for that matter to act like the property of her/his spouse. On the personal side, married couples are going to have an approach to their bond that others may approve of or not, its a shame that these personal things become political. It speaks to the need to both know yourself and your potential mate very well before the till death you parts are said.
Glenn Greenwald, who the moderate side of political blogville has unofficially made our point guard on the current crop of challenges to the US Constitution and the rule of law writes in “Nobody is above the law”

That is a real crisis in our Government. And the critical point to make is that if you searched the federal judiciary high and low, you will not find a federal judge who has displayed greater deference to Executive power than Sam Alito has. From the time he was in the Reagan Justice Department through his 15 years on the federal bench, he has time and again demonstrated a fealty to Executive power at the expense of the other two branches — exactly what would be most dangerous for our country today in light of the truly unlimited power expressly claimed by the Bush Administration.

Winning and losing. Maybe because of our national obsession with sports most people think they know for absolute certainty what winning and losing are, or to look at any contest or conflict in those simplistic terms. How do you define winning in Iraq. I can’t in good conscience support Bush’s policies, but I can support the successful completion of our troops daily missions. Despite what the right-wingers say, Bush’s policies and the daily tasks of the troops are not the same. Larry C. Johnson, a former CIA agent and expert on terrorism that writes the blog – No Quarter, posted this, The Elusive Iraqi Tipping Point

Had dinner last night with an old CIA buddy who has just returned from Iraq with some discouraging news. Although our troops and intelligence operatives are killing scores of insurgents (my friend estimated the kill rate at 160 enemy per each friendly) the insurgents keep coming. As Sy Hersh predicted in last month’s New Yorker, the military commanders decided to shift from ground confrontations to high altitude airstrikes. According to press reports on Wednesday, for example, the United States carried out 53 strikes inside Iraq. One of these, the mistaken bombing of a civilian home north of Baghdad, was condemend by Iraqi officials.

Lets say that Larry’s friend is in the ballpark as far as kill ratios. If you judge winning solely in terms of body counts, yes sir we’re winning, but as his friend also said the insurgents keep coming….. British Colonialism and Repression in Iraq

Britain set up a colonial regime in Iraq after a long military campaign during World War I. In response to Iraqi resistance, including a country-wide uprising in 1920, British forces battled for over a decade to pacify the country, using airplanes, armored cars, firebombs and mustard gas. Air attacks were used to shock and awe, to teach obedience and to force the collection of taxes. Winston Churchill, as responsible cabinet minister in the early years, saw Iraq as an experiment in high-technology colonial control. Though officials in London sometimes had qualms about the violence, colonial administrators on the ground like Gertrude Bell expressed enthusiasm for the power of the imperial military enterprise.

The weapons have changed, but not the attitudes. The only major thing the various factions in Iraq have in common is the desire to foreigners out. Is there really something in Iraq thats connected to 9-11 and non-state terrorism so important that we’re willing to spend inumerable american lives and untold hundreds of billions of dollars to stay there until they have a democracy that closely resembles Atlanta. Total abandonment isn’t an option, but giving assistance from the sidelines is. Someone once said something to the effect that war is not a game of winning or losing, its the breakdown of humanity. I’m not especially a peacenik or Quaker, though I respect their points of view; sometimes a country has to take names and kick ass when crazies won’t listen to reason. It looks like we’ve kicked ass and taken names in Iraq, now its time for a different game plan.

Thugs Kill Political Scandal Reporter

David E. Rosenbaum spent his long newspaper career unraveling the lies and scandals of Washington, from Watergate to Iran-Contra to Samuel Alito’s defense of illegally spying on Americans.

The veteran reporter was attacked Friday night by two men on the street near his home in a wealthy Northwest D.C. neighborhood where crime is unknown.

The men escaped in a black sedan after smashing Rosenbaum’s skull. He died at Howard University Hospital on Sunday.

Which is art, books or movies? Yeah, but the Book Is Better

Those who maintain that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery have obviously never been imitated; any ego boost is offset by the nervous laughter from having all those tics, gestures and intonations exaggerated to the point of caricature. The same is true with a film adaptation. Giving art a second life sometimes creates more of a mutant than a clone. This explains the natural impulse to preserve the story in its original form. Any adaptation results in something new, and thereby false when compared with the original.

Yet, the film version may offer its own virtues. Indeed, many films have outshone the books that inspired them. “The Godfather” and “Gone With the Wind” come to mind. The fact is, novels and films are entirely different storytelling experiences. When it comes to making a movie based on a book — or ultimately watching that movie — being too invested in the integrity of the novel is probably a bad idea.

Let me get this out of the way first, Gone with the Wind is a horrible, melodramatic, empty headed thinly veiled piece of racist garbage. That said, its a pretty good essay. Movies are not as good as novels and short stories at conveying ideas, but good movies do prod the viewer along with the entertainment. I’m not of the school of thought that all movies must be deep and serious, life is serious, so there’s nothing wrong with just sitting back and being entertained. Thane says in the essay, “many films have outshone the books that inspired them”, which is true, its usually the book was better, occasionally the movie is, but one movie for me that defies the rule is The Last Picture Show, I could never decide which was better, the movie or the book.

Sam the Lion: You boys get on out of here.

I don’t want to have no more
to do with you.

Scaring a poor, unfortunate
creature like Billy…

…just so you could
have a few laughs.

I’ve been around
that trashy behaviour all my life.

I’m getting tired
of putting up with it.

You can stay out of
this pool hall, my café…

…and my picture show too.

I don’t want no more of your business.

–The Last Picture Show script, Peter Bogdanovich co-wrote with novelist Larry McMurtry