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)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

A SINKING SHIP, BUT WITH SOME SIGNS OF LIFE... The Seattle Mariners lost yet another game today. It's hard not to give up on them, despite the fact that I still find myself drawn into their games when televised.

The bright spot from the other night, of course, was Edgar Martinez's record-breaking homer. Edgar is now the all-time leader for home runs as a DH. To top it off, he expanded upon his record by homering again in today's game. Muy bien, Edgar.

(Everett, WA)
SLY COOPER & THE THIEVIOUS RACOONUS. At risk of appearing to be totally in the dark and oblivious to the world around me, I point out a video game that I just moments ago discovered. I came across it while running another random Google search of my name.

Interesting. But I'm certainly glad that "Sly" isn't my name. Quite frankly, I'd probably prefer if I were named Thievious Racoonus!

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

DAVID LIMBAUGH AT THE HILLSDALE SEMINAR. Today I had the opportunity to hear three of the speakers from the program. (I’ll blog about them all in turn.)

David Limbaugh spoke in the morning about the left’s war against Christianity in the public square—and particularly in public education. He began by discussing the Christian influence that was foundational in the creation of the American Republic. Limbaugh emphasized the view of the founders that man was created in God’s image (thereby giving mankind dignity and inalienable rights), but that man was marred by the fall. Thus, the need was clearly seen for ordered liberty that restrained man, all the while recognizing that the government of men must likewise be restrained.

Limbaugh delved into the First Amendment and focused particularly upon religious liberty—our most important liberty. He noted that the Establishment Clause was designed to implicitly protect religious liberty (by prohibiting the Congress from passing laws respecting an establishment of religion), whereas the Free Exercise Clause explicitly protected religious liberty.

The Establishment Clause’s interpretation over the last half-century was described by Limbaugh as “twisted.” He was particularly critical of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1947 case of Everson—both for incorporating a strict separationist concept into the Establishment Clause and also for applying that concept to state and local government (i.e., beyond the Congress). Importantly, Limbaugh asserted that cases like Everson and Engle were not made in a judicial vacuum, but were instead were produced in a climate conducive to those decisions. He argued that this culture had only grown stronger in it’s anti-Christian sentiment, producing court decisions that reverberate back to the culture, with the anti-Christian elements of the culture and the court decisions then reinforcing one another.

Limbaugh was to the point. He openly spoke of “the war against Christianity.” Specifically, he spoke of some recent cases wherein religious liberty was completely denied by courts. In one such case, a Lutheran church was told by a judge that it could not exclude members from its own premises—even when there was a church judicial process made available to those members who wanted to continue attending the church.

In Limbaugh’s view, the forces fighting against Christianity are engaged in a clear effort to scrub away any Christian expression or symbols in the public square and also promote an insidious endorsement of anti-Judeo-Christian value systems. He directed much focus upon the public education system as a means to impose such an anti-Judeo-Christian worldview, through the propagation of “death education,” secular humanism, compulsive sex education, etc.

Earnestly did Limbaugh speak of the need for Christians to wake up and recognize that they are in a war—because the other side already knows it. He spoke of his disappointment with the lack of response from Christians in the face of militant opposition that is disrespectful to the rule of law and adopts an extreme ends-justifies-the-means approach. Here Limbaugh pointed to the recent actions of judges in San Francisco and Massachusetts on homosexual marriage.

Limbaugh did note that he did not choose the title of his book—Persecution—as that was a decision left to the publisher. Nonetheless, he declared that he stood that title because the kind of opposition that Christianity currently faces in the media, public education and elsewhere is acting in a way that proceeds to persecution. I thought this to be a very profound point.

Overall, Limbaugh was very impressive. Like his book, his speech pointed to a very important problem in America today. Aside from the content, he proved a passionate and engaging speaker. He is wholeheartedly committed to addressing this crucial issue, finishing his talk by imploring the crowd to be bold and stand up for Truth.

(Everett, WA)

Monday, May 24, 2004

GILDER VINDICATES CAPITALISM. This evening I had the pleasure of attending the Hillsdale Seminar in downtown Seattle for a dinner featuring George Gilder. The lecture was fascinating. My appreciation of Gilder's defense of capitalism as an innovative, creative and moral institution--of which America remains such a wonderful beneficiary--was assuredly enhanced by the fact that I have been spending some of my time as of late reading through Telecosm.

(Everett, WA)
CALI TRIP. A weekend of partying and celebrating prevented me from posting this past weekend. Alas, in neither of my two trips to California in these past two months have I been able to blog anything.

Regardless, the highlight remained my good friend's graduation from Loyola Marymount School of Law in Los Angeles. The ceremony was held yesterday afternoon at the beautiful Loyola Marymount University campus. Unsurprisingly, we all fried ourselves in the sun. All these months in Pacific Northwest rid me of anything even resembling a tan, and so I baked quite well. My face still hurts.

The ceremony featured a nice keynote address by Senior JUdge William M. Byrne, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

More important was the fact that I was able to be there to see a good, long-time friend receive his juris doctor, with his other friands and his family present. It was a wonderful moment and it was an honor to be in attendance.

(Everett, WA)