Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Wise Latina

A couple of comments on this issue. First, it is pretty clear that Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed--the Dems have an overwhelming majority in the Senate; the GOP doesn't seem to have the cajones to really stand up and oppose her; and I don't really think there is a lot to be concerned about other than the obvious ideological differences.

Except for that question about racism.

Sotomayor finds herself under intensifying scrutiny for saying in 2001 that a female Hispanic judge would often reach a better decision than a white male judge. This statement came out in a speech at Berkeley (aka, "Moscow-by-the-sea") in 2001. Certainly, on the face of it, such a statement at the very least borders on racism. Is there a contextual component to what she said? Of course, but I'm not sure it makes a big difference.

To quote her more fully:
"Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences ... our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging ... I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage."

I can't really disagree with that--we are human, and we all have different life experiences, which affect how we view the world around us. They can be useful to us, and they can also be a terrible hindrance to us.

She goes on to wonder
" . . . whether by ignoring our differences as women or men of color we do a disservice both to the law and society."

She then concludes with the controversial statement itself: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

That different people perceive these comments differently is perhaps evidence of Sotomayor's point. But it is one thing to make commonsensical observations about the difficulty of overcoming our personal prejudices; as a judge, however, I expect someone--man, woman, Latina, Asian--to not celebrate these differences, but to strive mightily to transcend them.

What exactly does "a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences" mean? Do all Latina women (isn't that a little redundant? are there any Latino women out there?) have the same rich experiences? Isn't this at the very least prejudicial?

As far as her "compelling" story goes, one commenter notes
The woman grew up in the capital of the world, went to two Ivy League schools, and was blessed by Providence with the precisely correct right race-gender two-fer for the moment. This is a story of privilege, dammit, not adversity. Show me a Montana girl of un-useful ethnicity who put herself through law school waiting tables, after being left with two young children when her Army husband was killed overseas, and I'll start oohing and aahing over her compelling story.

And it's not just angry white guys who have taken notice. Even Obama is concerned about Sotomayor's choice of words, stating to NBC news, "I'm sure she would have restated it."

Senator John Cornyn, who has criticized Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich for their recent comments on the controversy, had this to say:

“The American ideal is that justice should be colorblind. As we see people like Barack Obama achieve the highest office in the land and Judge Sotomayor’s own nomination to the highest court, I think it is harder and harder to see the justifications for race-conscious decisions across the board.”

Sounds pretty reasonable to me. And he didn't even have to think about his choice of words.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I ran across this over at small dead animals, a Canadian blog. It highlights the disturbing terminologies used by the MSM:

An Islamic thug screaming "death to Jews" in the streets of Sweden is a "youth" or an "activist". ('Cause some folks want us to be like Sweden.)

An Islamic thug screaming "death to Jews" from a podium at the United Nations is a "conservative". (I thought everyone loves us now.)

Sure--makes perfect sense to me.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Pelosi and 9/11

I saw this at Scrappleface:

(2009-05-15) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, under scrutiny for her changing accounts of when she knew about the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques, said today that she was not informed until late 2003 that Muslim terrorists had used passenger jets to kill thousands of people in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

“One of my aides mentioned in passing that she had been to a CIA briefing months earlier about these techniques,” said Rep. Pelosi. “At the time, I thought the discussion was theoretical…that this was something that could happen. It wasn’t until October 2003 that I learned that these methods had actually been use on American soil.”

Crashing hijacked planes into buildings full of non-combatant civilians is one of several “enhanced immolation techniques” forbidden under U.S. and international law.

Rep. Pelosi, clearly rattled by reporters’ questions on the subject, first said she knew nothing about the 9/11 attacks, but later acknowledged that she was “too busy helping Democrats win a majority in Congress to get involved in the details of a matter that was being handled through appropriate channels.”

Okay, all kidding aside--was it just me, or did Pelosi look a little rattled at her news conference? There seems to be a constant re-jiggering of the details and a complete deflection of responsibility and knowledge. Did she know about waterboarding in September 2002? Or not until February of 2003?

If we take the second scenario (to which even she has admitted, I believe), then she will have known about waterboarding, i. e., "torture," for almost five years, without voicing any concerns until most recently.

I'm sorry--her level of indignation is a little impossible to believe.

Much less her story on what she knew and when she knew it. Where are Woodward and Bernstein when you really need them? Oh, that's right--they're digging up the dirt on Miss California.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gay marriage opponent topless photos leaked.


Sorry--I couldn't resist.