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Another Round on Self-Evident Truths

At Power Line, friend (and nemesis!) Steve Hayward replies to my suggestion that he reads rather too much into President Obama's second inaugural by using rather too little of it. Steve originally used just a few words from this line of that speech—
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth.  —to suggest that Obama's belief system is (ahem) less than fully American. "May be self-evident" suggests residual disbelief in the proposition. I suggest the fuller passage indicates the president's unmitigated…

Getting Inside Obama's Head: Steven Hayward Edition.

I think most pundits do their worst work when they play armchair psychologist; instead of assessing what (say) a president is doing on its own terms, they try to guess at the man's motivations and hidden beliefs—often in venal terms, if they disagree with that president's acts.
My friend and occasional nemesis Steven Hayward, I think, gets caught in this trap in his latest column for Forbes, in which he speculates about why the president isn't showing up for this week's anniversary commemorations of the Battle of Gettysburg, decides that the president just doesn't believe in America the way the rest of us do.
One reason may be that Obama has to carefully avoid associating himself fully with Lincoln’s view about the centrality of what Lincoln called, at Gettysburg, “the proposition” that “all men are created equal.” Obama omitted this famous line from the Declaration of Independence in his famous Philadelphia speech about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy in 20…

John Yoo: Still wrong on the Constitution

Please oh please oh please world, remember this is how John Yoo* views constitutional questions: With the Constitution being secondary to whatever warmaking policy imperative Yoo is in favor of this week.


The Constitution vests power in Congress to authorize war, the executive to, uh, execute it—and, it's generally understood, that power allows the executive to act with dispatch when an attack has been made upon the United States and its forces. Such is not the case here.

Tom Woods (who is almost certainly more conservative than I am) writes: "In conformity with this understanding, George Washington’s operations on his own authority against the Indians were confined to defensive measures, conscious as he was that the approval of Congress would be necessary for anything further. 'The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress,' he said, 'therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subj…

Being poor makes you more poor (An ongoing series)

Financial stress may hit your brain and wallet: "Being short on cash may make you a bit slower in the brain, a new study suggests. People worrying about having enough money to pay their bills tend to lose temporarily the equivalent of 13 IQ points, scientists found when they gave intelligence tests to shoppers at a New Jersey mall and farmers in India. The idea is that financial stress monopolizes thinking, making other calculations slower and more difficult, sort of like the effects of going without sleep for a night."Not much to add to this, except that I've seen other studies that suggest the stresses of being poor do hurt one's decision-making capabilities. Expecting people to "bootstrap up" out of their circumstances thus isn't always realistic.

Pennsylvania governor: gay couples barred from marriage 'like 12-year-olds' | World news | theguardian.com

Pennsylvania governor: gay couples barred from marriage 'like 12-year-olds' | World news | theguardian.com: "Marriage licenses given to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania are invalid because they were barred from marrying in the same way as 12-year-olds, attorneys for the Republican governor said on Wednesday.

Tom Corbett's administration has filed a lawsuit seeking to block same-sex marriage licenses in suburban Philadelphia, where Montgomery County register of wills D Bruce Hanes has issued more than 150 to gay and lesbian couples since July 24.

State attorneys said in a court filing on Wednesday the gay marriage licenses have no "value or legitimacy" and can't be defended in court. They compared gay and lesbian couples to children, who can't marry because a 1996 law says marriage is between a man and a woman.

"Had the clerk issued marriage licenses to 12-year-olds in violation of state law, would anyone seriously contend that each 12-year-old ……

Stop-and-Frisk: A Response to Ben

This week, Ben and I debated the New York stop-and-frisk ruling for Scripps Howard News Service. Usually, we each get our 300-odd-words in, and leave it at that.
This week, though, I find a lot to object to in Ben’s take—and find that my own half of the column doesn’t really address those objections. (We write separately, so I don’t often see Ben’s take until it’s going to the publisher.) So this week, I offer a rare fisking of my colleague.
Standard disclaimer: Ben and I agree on little, but he’s my friend—a good and loyal friend—so please understand that though my objections here may be vigorous, they are by no means personal. This is the relationship we have.
Ben starts:
Contrary to critics’ claims, stop-and-frisk is indeed an effective crime deterrent. If Judge Scheindlin’s decision holds up, New Yorkers will soon discover just how effective it was.
Okay, then, let’s examine Ben’s case.
Understand exactly what Scheindlin ruled in the class-action lawsuit against the New York Police Depa…

What I Ate and How I Exercised Monday

Today's Log Breakfast: 333 Egg, Scrambled, Large 2 Each 204 Turkey Sausage 1 Serving 90 Coffee, Brewed 10 Fluid ounces 3 Milk, 2%, w/ Vitamin A & D 2 Tablespoons 15 Peppers, Bell, Yellow, Sweet, Large, 3.7in 1/4 Each 13

How I ate and exercised today

Really like the difference that a half-hour of decent exercise can make in my day.

Daily Report for June 23, 2013Daily LogBreakfast583Banana, Medium, 7" - 7 7/8" Long1 Each105Egg, Scrambled, Large3 Each306Sausage, Patty, Original, Vgtrn, Morningstar Farms2 Each160Milk, Whole, 3.25%1 Tablespoon9Coffee, Brewed10 Fluid ounces3Lunch233Flax Roll-up, Damascus Bakeries1 Slice110Mediterranean Hummus, Trader Joe's3 Tablespoons105Tomatoes, Fresh, Med½ Each11Cucumber, Sliced6 Slices5Sprouts, Alfalfa, Fresh4 Tablespoons2Dinner754Chicken Stir-fry W/ Brown And Wild Rice, Assorted Veggies2 Servings754Snacks708Banana mango Smoothie1 Serving217Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches, So Deliciously1 Each90Sausage, Patty, Original, Vgtrn, Morningstar Farms2 Each160Flax Roll-up, Damascus Bakeries½ Slice55Popcorn, Air Popped6 Cups186Exercise522Elliptical30 min391Walking30 min130
NutrientsFat73g28%Carbohydrates282g47%Protein149g25%
SummaryFood Calories2,278Exercise Calories522Net Calories1,756+/- Calories-8…

How I ate and exercised

Suddenly remembering that I got in the best shape of my life without changing my eating at all: Just by exercising a day. Makes a huge difference. This time: Trying both.

Daily Summary Thursday Jun 20, 2013 Daily Summary for Jun 20, 2013 Export to spreadsheet Daily Calories