Daily Archives: May 16, 2009

Conservatives Map Strategies on Court Fight

bush_supreme_court_nomineeIf President Obama nominates Judge Diane P. Wood to the Supreme Court, conservatives plan to attack her as an “outspoken” supporter of “abortion, including partial-birth abortion.”

If he nominates Judge Sonia Sotomayor, they plan to accuse her of trying to “expand constitutional rights beyond the text of the Constitution.”

And if he nominates Kathleen M. Sullivan, a law professor at Stanford, they plan to decry her as a “prominent supporter of homosexual marriage.”

Preparing to oppose the confirmation of Mr. Obama’s eventual choice to succeed Justice David H. Souter, who is retiring, conservative groups are working together to stockpile ammunition. Ten memorandums summarizing their research, obtained by The New York Times, provide a window onto how they hope to frame the coming debate.

The memorandums dissect possible nominees’ records, noting statements they find objectionable on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, the separation of church and state and the propriety of citing foreign law in interpreting the Constitution.

While conservatives say they know they have little chance of defeating Mr. Obama’s choice because Democrats control the Senate, they say they hope to mount a fight that could help refill depleted coffers and galvanize a movement demoralized by Republican electoral defeats.

The movement is much diminished from four years ago under President George W. Bush, when Supreme Court vacancies last arose and conservatives marshaled their forces to champion his nominee. (Judge Richard Posner, a prominent Reagan appointee, wrote recently that the conservative movement suffers from “intellectual deterioration.”) Republicans have lost control of the White House and Congress, have no clear party leader and have received low approval ratings.

So they will fight, they will hope to raise lots of money no matter what!  Aren’t we impressed!?  Do they have any ideas or plans yet?  Are they still just The Party of No?

fnord

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Filed under Republicans, U. S. Supreme Court

Empathy, the cooperative side of humanity

orangatangScientists think they’ve found the origins of human empathy in studying orang-utans.  They found that laughter is contagious and important for animals that live in groups. “Empathy helps one communicate with social partners … It helps form social bonds and it’s supportive in terms of cooperation.”

Another study examines our potential for violence and finds, “Contrary to popular belief, we are born violent. Until the age of three, our impulses run riot. There is no stopping the urges which come from the emotional centre in our brains.

But as we grow up, we start to develop the part of the brain that allows us to control our aggression – the pre-frontal cortex.

What causes some people to not control their tendency to be violent?  What allows others to remain passive, calm and peaceful?  What part does our culture and our experiences play?  We know laughter is contagious.  Is violence also?

When you read stories like those telling of the people gathering to protest at The University of Notre Dame tomorrow, you can’t ignore the mass hysteria, how much greater the threats of violence are because too often violence creates violence.  Does being a part of a group who are furious give permission to behave in ways we might find unacceptable as an individual?

fnord

14 Comments

Filed under Crimes, Evolution, hate groups, Obama, Uncategorized

Saturday, 05/16/09 Public Square

welcome

Come on in, pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable.  What’s on your mind?  This is the thread to discuss your choice of topics.

fnord

44 Comments

Filed under The Public Square