July 01, 2015

Bad news for your uncool niece


It's been a little while. I apologize, I've been traveling. While I was not-newslettering, Jim Carey decided to do some anti-vaxxer tweeting and call Jerry Brown a "corporate fascist."

Vaccines are good

It is apparently impossible to change people's minds about this stuff with science and I don't think we need to belabor the smug self-satisfaction angle. But for the record, kids should be vaccinated.

This is my favorite Hillary email

Apparently the government, just like everything else, is basically high school.

The lamest Supreme Court dissents

I know the Supreme Court is so last week, but is there anything lamer than the dissenters in any given case complaining about "unelected judges" doing this or that awful thing? One can certainly imagine making the case that judges should be elected rather than appointed (which is the case with most state judges) or making the case that judges shouldn't be allowed to invalidate laws on constitutional grounds (which is how the UK has worked for most of its history) but given that the US system does in fact have appointed judges and strong judicial review, this can't be an objection to any particular ruling.

What's more, it's a huge analytic mistake to assume that striking down some law is an anti-majoritarian action. The way the United States government works is that change is very hard. Given the current state of gridlock in Washington, it's pretty clear that neither a gay marriage legalization bill nor a gay marriage illegalization bill could pass. On marriage equality, like on virtually every other issue, the status quo is simply likely to prevail. Into the breach steps the Supreme Court -- in this case, on the side of the majority according to polls.

All in all, I think the American system of checks-and-balances has a lot of flaws. But unelected judges invalidating unjust laws that a majority of the public wants invalidated is basically the system working at its best.

#Content (all Greece)

The banality of email

The main thing the Hillary Clinton email releases remind me of is the fundamental banality of email. Here is HRC, one of the most interesting people in the world, serving as Foreign Minister of the mightiest empire the world has ever known and her emails are ... mostly boring. Because email is boring.

Song of the Day

The Dead Kennedys were onto Jerry Brown long before Jim Carrey. California Uber Alles.