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, May 21, 2005

REVIEW OF THE FACTUALLY INCORRECT POLITICALLY INCORRECT.... The latest issue of The Claremont Review of Books includes an article by John B. Kienker--reviewing a much-advertised book called The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Turns out that aside from a few worthile points, the book peddles pro-Confederacy nonsense.

Says Kienker:

At its core, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History is just more wheezy propaganda from the Old Confederacy (the book's cover features a scowling Dixie general). "Thomas E. Woods, Ph.D.,"...rehearses all the familiar fictions: the "States had the right to secede," the so-called Civil War was really a "War of Northern Aggression," Abraham Lincoln was probably a racist and only "fought to 'save the Union'… and consolidate its power."

Kienker also points out the author's support of nullification--contra James Madison. I don't know about anyone else, but whenever Madison said something concerning the dynamics of state power vis a vis federal power, I listen.

The Pro-Confederacy claptrap is enough to keep me from purchasing the book. It's a shame that such a great title should be wasted on a publication containing that kind of content.

Something to keep in mind: politcal incorrectness finds value in truthfulness--in factual correctness. By contrast, political correctness silences or ignores facts and reality when they do not support the sentiment of the contemporary moral elites or the currently preferred victim-group sentiment. In the end, the whole "War of Northern Aggression" stuff doesn't amount to political correctness because of its factual incorrectness.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)

Friday, May 20, 2005

CASTLE & DeGETTE DON'T GET IT ON CLONING; BUT COHEN DOES. New Atlantis editor Eric Cohen has an excellent article in the upcoming Weekly Standard, "Go Forth and Replicate." Cohen discusses recent legislation proposed by Delaware Republican Mike Castle and Colorado Democrat Diana DeGette that would authorize Congress to fund research involving the destruction of embryos left over in fertility clinics. In an act of moral courage, the President has pledge to veto such a bill, should it ever pass the House of Representatives next week. Read the article.

A key paragraph from Cohen's article gives a good assessment of things:

One does not need to believe that human embryos are human persons to have one's conscience stirred by our current predicament--where the drive to advance stem cell research has apparently made us tolerant of human cloning. One simply needs to believe that we should not bulldoze ahead with ethically hazardous research in an environment with no limits on the brave new world; and that we should try every other avenue of scientific possibility before trampling the values of many fellow citizens to make embryo destruction a national project. This is what the Castle-DeGette bill really does, under the false guise of moderation.

Cohen does, howeveroffer a troubling picture of our nation as utterly devoid of ethicial limitations upon scientific experimentation using human life:

In America, there are currently no prohibitions and no limits on human cloning...

I'm sure there are some bioethicists and rogue researchers who might hope this would be the case. But This might also be taking things a little too far, for there are some hopeful signs and some brave states that have taken a stance against human cloning. As Wesley J. Smith noted earlier this week (at his blog, Secondhand Smoke), Indiana recently joined six other states to ban human cloning. One hope more states will soon join that list.

I've said it once before and I'll say it again: it is WRONG to grow human life simply for the sake of destroying it and harvesting it as raw materials.

(North Seattle--Green Lake, WA)
FEC NEEDS COMMENTS ON POTENTIAL BLOGOSPHERE REGULATIONS! Hat tip to Ramesh Ponnuru at NRO's The Corner, for spotlighting a RedState post about the drawing deadline for comments to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) concering its draft rule for regulating the political speech of bloggers.

Go to RedState for the relevant links and info. If you think that the First Amendment's free speech clause includes protections for political speech, then I urge you to submit comments. However, if you like bureaucrats telling you what you can and cannot say about the persons who will be drafting adopting and enforcing the laws and policies that affect your life, then you needn't bother. As for this blogger, I will be looking over the rules this weekend and will be submitting comments to the FEC, advocating whatever position best insures a continued marketplace of ideas and a public square that allows public debate.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)
SAGA OF STUPID STATEMENTS FROM PEPSICO COO NOOYI. The blogosphere has been all over the recent remarks by PepsiCo's COO Indra Nooyi--whose use of the middle finger as an analogy for the United States formed the basis for her recent commencencement speech to the Columbia Business School. Worse, Nooyi followed up the statements with a NON-apology, claiming her remarks were "misconstrued." What nerve, Nooyi. Worse still, Nooyi later posted ANOTHER statement amounting to a semi-apology--saying she was sorry but downplaying her objectionable remarks by comparing them to off-hand comments.

Note to Nooyi: this doesn't cut it. You won't get off the hook this easy. You could have come right out and made a full apology and this story would have been over. Americans love to forgive anyone who says they're sorry. But you followed up your stupid speech with a non-apology that was insulting to read. This seriously undermined your credibility and renders far less weighty the semi-apology that you've subsequently issued.

So what next? I predict that the blosophere will stay on this one, with bloggers discussing Nooyi's comments and wondering where the heck Legacy Media/Old Media/MSM is at on this. The latter have been nowhere to be seen on this.

One might also expect to hear from bloggers who intend to avoid PepsiCo's products in the future. I'm just a young man with a much-neglected personal blog in Seattle, and so I certainly wouldn't call for a boycott of PepsiCo's products. But Nooyi's speech and follow-up statements have made an impression on me.

For the time being, when going to the store or out to eat someplace, I will choose the products of PepsiCo's competitors. I'll continue to follow the blogosphere on this one (along with the AWOL Legacy Media folks) and see if PepsiCo and Nooyi decide to take their audiences and consumers seriously.

For some good coverage of this--including the relevant links--see Hugh Hewitt, Powerline and Huffington's Toast.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

REVENGE OF THE SETH. In preparation for the release of Star Wars: Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith, I spent the last couple evenings reviewing the prior two Star Wars prequel movies, along with Vol. 1 of the Clone Wars cartoon. Now that I’ve spent the last few days keeping my neighbors up with the loud volume, I feel sufficiently nerded up for the 6:30pm showing of the new movie.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

SENATE DEMS' STALLING & SLANDERING OF JUDICIAL NOMINEES CONTINUES. With the debate over nominations to the federal judiciary heating up and then heating up further, NRO's "Bench Memos" makes for a good reading resource throughout the day. Speaking of NRO, U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has a fine article spotlighting fillibustered Justice Janice Rogers Brown: "The Dems’ Post-Nuclear Nightmare."

There is a myriad of articles, op-eds and blog posts available discussing the nuclear option/constitutional option/Byrd option aka dastardly majority rule in the legislative branch of government. There are also plenty of posts and articles--such as Kirsanow's--that show the utter incomprehensibility of the slanders made against President Bush's judicial nominees. Equally incomprehensible are the slanderers themselves. Democratic leaders who compare these distinguished nominees to terrorists are either dishonest in the extreme or deluded in the extreme.

A notable instance of this off-the-deep-end mentality exhibited by the Senate Democrats holding the minority in their chamber is the investigations into the financial backgrounds of several currently-serving appellate judges and other potential nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court. Robert Novak wrote a big, big BIG column about this yesterday. (Hat tip, Drudge.)

We the people have spoken in the last two congressional elections. The people want the judicial nominees to have an up-or-down vote in the Senate. If Sen. Bill Frist and the majority in the Senate calls for a rule change to end the fillibustering, I fully support them.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Monday, May 16, 2005

ALIVE & BLOGGING. A busy work schedule that included some trips out-of-state forced me into a temporary blogging hiatus. Fortunately, that is now ended.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)