SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Friday, February 20, 2004

WAY TO BE, MR. PRESIDENT! Thanks to an e-mail I just received from The Federalist Society, I've just discovered that President Bush has used his recess appointment power to place Alabama Attorney General William Pryor on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. I posted about Attorney General Pryor the other day, and needless to say, I am quite pleased the the President's willingness to stick up for a good man and do what is right.

Interestingly, this is the second recess appointment to the Circuit Courts of Appeals by President Bush, who invoked this same power to seat Judge Charles Pickering a short time ago. Attorney General Pryor should be an excellent addition to the federal bench, and I have every expectation that his recess appointment will be confirmed before it expires at Congressional adjournment in 2005.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

BRILLIANT OBSERVATION: I have decided that AC/DC Live is the best album to listen to while working out or while on the trip to the gym. I don't know if it’s the loud and catchy guitar riffs, the sandpaper voice, or the only four discernable themes I can detect in the lyrics to their songs: guns, dirty women, thunder & electricity, and b*lls. Seldom, if ever, do I listen to that band when I'm not lifting weights, as their generally sounds just crude and lousy outside of a workout context. Personally, the more vulgar and inappropriate songs aren't my favorites anyway. I don’t own any other AC/DC album, nor do I plan on acquiring any.

If I'm not mistaken, AC/DC’s first singer had the distinction of joining an elite group of singers who have died in a pool of their own vomit. That is certainly tragic and definitely not the way I want to go. But then, I've never had the problem of being a rock star in the first place.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

JUNIOR ROID RAGE? I just purchased some creatine monohydrate the other day and I'm now using it in earnest in conjunction with my weightliftng. Its been a few years now sice I've used it, so we'll just have to see if I get ripped and go crazy! If I do, you'll know the reason why...
RAMBO GRANNY: A fine thank you to my colleague, Pennock, showing his true Texanness by referring me to the following story of vigilante justice!

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

PRYOR IS THE MAN: A nice op-ed by Harvard Law student and Harvard Law Record editor Adam J. White can be found on National Review Online. This article, entitled "Pryor Convictions," is not to be confused with World Magazine Reporter Bob Jones's article, "Pryor Commitment," from September 13, 2003.

White's words really speak to me. Everything I've come to learn about Alabama Attorney General William Pryor shows him to be sharp, responsible and fair-minded man with a temperment and intellect entirely fitting for a federal court of appeals judge. This is exactly why Senators Patrick Leahy, Charles Schumer et. al., continue to fillibuster his nomination to the Eleventh Circuit--Pryor would bring too much credit to "conservative" jurisprudence. The left-wing political groups that advise the fillibustering Senators will have none of that.

Then there's this whole business with ex-Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court and that GIANT granite monument to the 10 Commandments and the American Founding. White's article--and particularly Jones's--show how those on the right have unfairly attacked and demonized a man committed to the rule of law.

Its really nothing short of a travesty to see a bright young man have his career of public service side-tracked and potentially undermined by ideologues. The antics from those on the far-left and even some of those on the far-right have only served to further undermine the notion of an independent judiciary that can fairly and impartially interpret the law.
ENGAGING THE ANTI-ENTREPREURIAL ESTABLISHMENT: Jeanette Peterson of Washington State's new Institute for Justice (IJ) Chapter, has an op-ed in today's Seattle P-I about our state's abysmal small business environment.

I'm glad to see IJ on the march on this one! This garbage collector's case and those that follow will be very interesting to watch! Our state's regulatory establishment will never surrender--it has to be defeated, whether it be through the legislature or the courts. Monopolists have no incentive to give up their monopolies and we cannot rely on the beneficence of unelected bureaucrats.

Jeanette's article, it seems to me, has a simple message to the regulators and anti-small business folks: be afraid.

Monday, February 16, 2004

SCIENCE STOPPERS NOT BEING STOPPED: The Wall Street Journal has an editorial today on the issue of vaccinations containing thimerosal and purported links to vaccination. I really know nothing about this issue, but what is interesting is the pattern that I've begun to see during my work at Disco: personal and institutional threats, intimidation, harrassment, conspiracy theories and Nazi analogies are the frequent stuff of scientific disputes nowadays, rather than empirical evidence.

For speaking out on the thimerosal issue, the WSJ has itself experienced this phenomenon:

To our surprise, we had wandered into a hornet's nest of moral intimidation. In letters
and e-mails we've since been accused of "fraud," a "terrorist act," and of having an
"industry profit promoting agenda." We've been told we belong to a vast conspiracy--
including researchers, pediatricians, corporations, health officials and politicians--
devoted to poisoning their children. A few have harassed our secretaries and threatened an editorial writer.


Potent stuff, indeed. Yet, all too familiar to one who has only begun to become acquanited with some of the screeds coming from certain anti-ID rhetoriticians.

In any case, I happen to be particularly appreciative that WSJ isn't backing down:

As writers for an independent newspaper, we aren't about to shut up. But what worries us is that these activists are using the same tactics in an attempt to silence others with crucial roles in public health and scientific research. The campaign to silence or discredit them has already had damaging consequences.

Another instance of this sort of this evidence-ignoring and science-stopping madness is the subject of a recent article in National Review Online by one of my senior colleagues at Disco. Apparently, many of our misguided, misantrhopic animal liberation activists have had tremendous successes in putting the kibosh on medical testing on animals that could have enormous medical and health benefits to mankind. To allow for such reserch would, in the radicals' view, be nothing less than an abhorrent act of speciesism.

Author Michael Crichton's 2003 "Aliiens Cause Global Warming" lecture at CalTech receives my recommendation in this regard. Crichton higlights "an emerging crisis in the whole enterprise of science-namely the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy."
COOP NERDLY ADMISSION ITEM #2 -- I'm hopelessly addicted to the "Lord of the Rings: Risk" board game! This comes on the heels of my utter defeat by Johnny D earlier in the evening. There has been four or five contests so far between him, myself and my brother-in-law. My chosen color out of the four available choices is red. Commie red. Love red. Whatever. Despite the fact that I have YET to win a single time (and can only serve to underwhelm people by discussing this whole topic), my obsession grows.

Checking through Toys 'R Us, I've come to realize that I own the early or "Fellowship" edition of the game, whereas there is a more recent "Trilogy Edition." I'll simply have to urge one of my two evil adversaries to purchase this newer version, thereby giving us the chance to compare it with the version I own.

As you may well know, a good game of Risk can take several hours. And as the hours pass you realize that you become more and more taken with it. Since it's based on LOTR, you can always throw in some good lines from the trilogy as you're playing, as the situation calls for it. D'oh! This one really sets me up as a sci-fi/fantasy geek.

Just in defense of myself from excessive charges of nerdliness, I'd simply point out that I was doing reps on 255 lbs on the bench press at the gym this morning.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

AN IDEAL LIFE: Just thought I'd share with all of you the fact that its late, I'm tired, my mind has turned to mush, and I'm sitting in front of my computer, drinking a beer. Happy Valentine's Day!
CLASSIC STAR WARS TRILOGY ON DVD! Reuters UK has a blurb on the forthcoming release of the classic Star Wars trilogy on DVD. It sure better have all the bells and whistles on it. I demand a good commentary and deleted scenes, to say the least! The DVDs will come out on September 21st. Honestly, I'm far more looking forward to the DVD re-release of the classic trilogy than to the theatrical release of Star Wars: Episode III, which comes out sometime in May, 2005.