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)

Saturday, April 02, 2005

JOHN PAUL II, R.I.P.


(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Friday, April 01, 2005

VATICAN VIGIL. The attention of the world has been grabbed by the physical decline of the Pope. Though a non-Catholic, I have great respect for Karol Wojtyla--Pope John Paul II, and for his service in the cause of humanity. The world is a decidedly safer and better place because of the work he has done.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)
POSNER ON BANKRUPTCY BILL. 7th Circuit Chief Judge Richard Posner discusses his views on the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 at the Becker-Posner Blog.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

THOSE BIG MEDIA (FAKE) MEMOS. Powerline has been ALL OVER the intriguing story of the supposed GOP talking points memo about Terri Schiavo. Hindrocket has a solid article on this latest Old Media/Legacy media flop over at Daily Standard. Its cleverly entitled "Fake but Accurage Again?" He then follows it up with a stellar post at Powerline, plus an update post with a minor correction which shows the spirit and candor that the best bloggers have to offer.

It's hard to believe that ABC (and to a lesser extent, WaPo) would push a story about a document whose authenticity is so much in question. Just HOW MUCH in question? Here's Hindrocket:

So: An anonymous Democratic Senator tells us that an anonymous Republican Senator gave the document to an anonymous Democratic Congressman, who passed it on to anonymous Democratic aides, who gave it to reporters. That certainly clears up any doubts about the memo! And, oh, by the way, where did the Repuublican Senator supposedly get the memo? From a Democratic staffer? A reporter? A lobbyist? Who knows?

I'm glad ABC & WaPo have backed away from the memo (er, at least they sorta have). But would they have done so had Powerline and the rest not stayed on this story like glue? I doubt it...

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)
READ THIS BOOK! Yesterday I began reading Natan Sharansky's new book The Case for Democracy. I have NOT been able to put the book down! I am one quarter of the way through. Already can I pronounce it a book that people should read--especially those who are serious about world affairs, international relations, and the future of freedom. To be sure, I will have more to say about this book once I have finished it and had time to think further on Sharansky's insights.

In the meantime, there is an excellent review of the book that is still online at Daily Standard, entitled "Democracy Defended." This review first brought the book to my attention some months ago. (Honestly, I was surprised that I had not already blogged about the review itself, since it had so impressed me when I read it.)

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

CORNYN & THE CONSTITUTION. Texas Senator John Cornyn continues his admirable defense of the U.S. Constitution from those are seeking to outsource constitutional duties to international tribunals. At NRO yesterday, his short article "Domestic, Not Foreign," discusses the recent phenomenon of federal judges issuing constitutional rulings whose reasoning includes selective appeals supposed international sentiment or foreign court decisions supposedly displaying an "evolving standards of decency" or supposed ocietal consensus.

As Sen. Cornyn notes, he recently filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Medellin v. Dretke. Oral arguments were just made before the Supreme Court. I skimmed his brief over the other morning and appreciate the arguments he puts forth. A decision in the case isn't expected for some time.

The Senator has also introduced a Senate resolution concerning constitutional interpretation by the judiciary and the use of international law by the courts. I find the resolution--which essentially states that the federal courts should not look to foreign court decisions in interpreting the constitution unless those decisions somehow reflect upon the original understanding of the constitution's text--to be entirely defensible.

The resolution is not binding upon the judiciary--as each branch must interpret the constitution for itself. But if the judiciary can tell the political branches where they go wrong in expounding the constitution through musings in judicial opinions, then surely the political branches can return the favor.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)
FUND ON ELIAN & TERRI. In "Selective Restraint"--John Fund's latest, an interesting comparison (and contrast) is made between the Terri Schiavo case and the Elian Gonzalez case.

Generally speaking, the left sided with Communist Cuba and removing a woman's food and water, respectively. The right sided with Elian's Florida family and with efforts to keep a woman from dying of starvation, respectively. In the case of Elian, the left sought to employ the strong arm of the federal government, whereas in the case of Terri the right sought the intervention of the federal government.

Whereas Scrappleface had previously made a link between the two stories, Fund goes into some depth in discussing the similarities and differences between the use of federal power in these respective cases. He notes that there are key distinctions between Elian's case and Terri's case, but that:

...clearly many of the people who approved of dramatic federal intervention to return Elian to Cuba took a completely different tack when it came to the argument over saving Terri Schiavo. Rep. Frank makes a compelling argument that Congress took an extraordinary step when it met in special session to create a procedure whereby the federal courts could decide whether Ms. Schiavo's rights were being violated. He may have a point when he accuses Republicans of "trying to command judicial activism and dictate outcomes when they don't like" rulings. But where were Mr. Frank and other liberals when the Clinton administration decided to sidestep a federal appeals court and order an armed raid against Elian Gonzalez? While Mr. Frank allowed that the use of assault rifles in the Elian raid was "excessive" and "frightening," he also defended the Justice Department's view that "of course [agents] had to use force."


By the way, Fund's article contains that picture that speaks a thousand words: Janet Reno's shocktroops prying a young boy away from relatives at gunpoint, shipping him off to a backwards, communist dictatorship.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

HAPPY EASTER.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)