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Good Point


From a reader:


Regarding your post:
“After all, we pay for our own “No Trespassers” and “No Solicitations” signs.”

Yes, we do. But let’s not forget that those signs would not be of much use without local no trespassing and no solicitating ordinances. That is exactly what the “do not call” law is. We must post our telephone number and, in effect, we are posting our own no solicitating sign for telemarketers.

Why Not Hang Up?


Several readers are asking why I think hanging up isn’t a solution. The short answer is twofold. One: Most people hang-up already and the telemarketers still find it worthwhile to call millions for a tiny response rate. In short, we’re held hostage to the handful of stupid, gullible or legitimately interested consumers who reward telemarketers for their efforts. Waiting until this demographic learns to hang up means waiting a very, very long time. That leads to the second problem, it’s politically impractical to propose a national policy of hanging up on telemarketers. That may be the preferable approach but, again, I’m looking for a politically workable solution.


Wanted: Dog and Doggie Vest


Web Briefing: August 21, 2014

Re: Silly Law, Sloppy Reporting


Ramesh – This isn’t a really big deal but I don’t understand how Sullivan can say the Griswold reference simply sailed over his head. You see when the decision came down, I posted the relevant passage from Thomas’ opinion and I included the quotation marks and citation to the Griswold case. And it was that post which Sullivan initially linked to so I have to assume he read it. Anyway, things move fast in the blogosphere maybe he missed it or maybe I’m missing something.




A reader informs me that if you simply type “Goldberg” into
Google , I’m the second thing on the list after a website for Rube Goldberg. This means — in an entirely meaningless and clearly non-remunerative sense — I outrank the wrestler and Whoopi.

Update: And now I learn from another readers that I’m the
#1 Jonah. Equally cool, equally worthless!

Silly Law, Sloppy Reporting


Andrew Sullivan notes that a lot of commentators missed Justice Thomas’s point in choosing the words “uncommonly silly” to describe the Texas sodomy law. Thomas was quoting Justice Stewart on Connecticut’s anti-contraception law in Griswold, and drawing a parallel between the two cases. Sullivan writes, “[T]hat reference appeared to fly well over the heads of most of the media, me included.” Pundits cannot be expected to wade through the entirety of every Supreme Court decision on which they comment. For them to do their job right, people earlier in the media food chain have to do theirs. Justice Thomas’s reference to Stewart was explicit. Would it have been so hard for the news reports to have noted it rather than to have quoted Thomas without that context?

No Trespassing On My Phone


I wrote in support of the Do Not Call list on NRO last year here.

Michael Moore Hates America


That’s the title of a documentary that’s in the works, and it’s really about what’s right with America as much as it’s about what’s wrong with Moore. The project looks very professional, in contrast to some previous attempts to take on Moore. Check out the site. If you have some spare cash, by all means give it to National Review. But if you have some left over after that, think about helping these guys.

Re: Phone Registry


I am much more concerned about the avalanche of junk e-mail than I am about a few phone calls a week! I left NR at 4:30 Friday and by 8:30 this morning I has 290 e-mails, four of which were for me, the other 286 being junk, and an awful lot of that pornographic.

Phone Registry


I have to admit I am ideologically torn about the phone registry but pragmatically delighted by it. I would be even more delighted to see a really good libertarian argument on the subject. But I don’t want to hear how it’s a bad idea. I want to know how the free market would solve this problem without demanding citizens jump through endless hoops. I understand that sometimes — often — it would be better for citizens to jump through hoops rather than ask the government to solve their problems. But in terms of practical poilitics it’s very difficult to ask them to if the alternative is government provided convenience. So, spare me the “in a perfect world” arguments and give me a practical solution that would have prevented government involvement. Oh, and for the first amendment absolutists out there, I hope you realize this registry is a form of government censorship too.



In a piece on Dennis Miller on NRO on Friday, Hannity and Colmes was mentioned, but not Tony Snow’s terrific Fox News Sunday. You will be seeing Dennis Miller on both, so tune in.

Assorted Links


Here’s the Jacob Levy post Ramesh referred to and here is the Safire op-ed piece Stanley mentioned.

Fallout From June Diary


1. Yes, the Ridgid Tool company used to spell itself without the “d.”

2. Out of my own poor addled head–this is not from a reader–I have
recalled a Muggeridge quote that I think may be original with him. (If not,
I’d like to know.) Of David Frost, Mugg said: “When he first appeared, I
expected that he would soon sink without trace. Instead, he has risen
without trace.” That is very good.

3. Solution to brainteaser : A.D.

4. Rain story: “The Long Rain.” in the book (and also the movie) The
Illustrated Man

5. The Dean Martin / Kim Novak movie was Billy Wilder’s Kiss Me, Stupid

Nyt Translation Troubles


Last week’s New Yorker tale of unrest at the
New York Times, “Tumult in the Newsroom,”
mentions that the paper entrusted the translation of
an Arabic phrase to “a clerk who happened to be
Muslim.” The clerk’s translation: “There is no god
but Allah.” Correct translation: “National Bank of

Phone Registry


All politics is local. You can’t get more local than your own curb, or can you? Sure can — there’s nothing more local than actually INSIDE your house or apartment — via the kitchen phone, which has that remarkable tendency to ring while you’re trying to put the baby asleep, or in the shower, or having dinner, and it’s Helga, selling aluminum siding, even at 8PM on a Sunday night. Nothing illegal with Helga doing that — but then there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be rid, wholesale, of this kind of marketing. I support this law, and as a conservative, I think it meshes well with that “leave us alone” strain in the movement. And as government and politics goes, this is no doubt the kind of issue that will resonante in the population at a much higher level than taxes, Medicare reform, and just about any other issue you can think of this side of Iraq.

Safire On Marriage


William Safire has an important Op-Ed today on same-sex marriage. Safire’s position on the issue is difficult to divine. On the one hand, he seems to call the drive for gay marriage, “at least premature.” On the other hand, later in the piece, in a mode partially resigned to gay marriage, Safire expresses the hope that gay unions will somehow revive heterosexual marriage. (No way.) But it’s Safire’s political assessments that rivet. Safire sees that the gay marriage issue is now in play, with every candidate for political office likely to be asked about it. And despite (or maybe because of) his personally libertarian leanings, Safire argues against dismissing religious opponents of gay marriage as mindless bigots. Most important, Safire predicts that “even if the next three appointees are Scalia clones,” the Supreme Court will force all the states to recognize gay marriages performed in Massachusetts–this despite 35 states and the federal government having passed laws against such recognition. So it’s clear that, on Safire’s assessment, if you oppose gay marriage, the Federal Marriage Amendment is your only alternative. The likelihood of nationalized gay marriage is real, and the Federal Marriage Amendment is the only way to stop it. (I’ll have more on the legalities of all this after Massachusetts.) That’s why Majority Leader Frist’s announcement of support for FMA is so important. Looks like the battle has already begun. After Massachusetts, it explodes.

Married in The Constitution


Bill Frist supports a federal marriage amendment.

Interesting Post


. . . on the political effects of the sodomy decision by Jacob Levy. If I have one quarrel with his analysis, it’s that he’s not looking at the possible effects of the decision on the gay-marriage debate. But it’s a very smart post, well worth a read whatever one’s views on the moral, policy, or jurisprudential issues.

Bush and The Base


Decent Adam Nagourney piece on the strong support for Bush on the Right. I was interested to hear from him that “on one potentially pivotal matter — filling a Supreme Court vacancy, should one occur — conservative leaders say the president enjoys a level of trust that would allow him to nominate a candidate without unambiguously conservative credentials, avoiding an ideological battle that could harm his re-election efforts.” The only support provided in the article for that assertion is a quote from Christian Coalition president Roberta Combs: “”The president has made great selections on the Circuit Court, and I trust his judgment on the Supreme Court.” Now that could mean only that Combs expects, based on Bush’s record, that he would nominate a justice with unambiguously conservative credentials. Anyway, the speculation about Supreme Court vacancies has centered on Alberto Gonzales, who is not merely lacking in “unambiguously conservative credentials.”

Not a Parody


Click on “Staffer of the Week” over at , to read about John Doty Legislative Director to Jerrold Nadler. Here, for example, is his answer to the question, “What was your first political experience:

“I remember marching through the streets of lower Manhattan protesting Ronald Reagan for fueling the nuclear arms race. In fact, the day Reagan was sworn into office everyone in my classroom hid under the desks, because we thought he was going to start a nuclear war (and, just like duct tape will save you from a chemical attack, everyone knows that hiding under desks is really the best way to survive a nuclear attack). Anyway, thank goodness for Gorbachev, since he was the leader most responsible for ending the Cold War.”

UPDATE They have a new staffer profile up this morning but you can still find Mr. Doty’s profile in the archives. It’s definitely worth reading.


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