The Constitution in Exile

I normally don’t read books by Fox News commentators, but I saw Judge Andrew Napolitano interviewed by Ralph Nader on CSPAN Book TV and was interested in his principled advocacy of strict constructionism.  So I read his book The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law . . . → Read More: The Constitution in Exile

The Right to Bear Arms

I think most Americans don’t understand the full context of the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment.  The typical Englishman did not have the right to bear arms.  This was reserved for knights, soldiers, and men-at-arms of the great lords or the king.  If a peasant was caught with armor, a sword, . . . → Read More: The Right to Bear Arms

Michael Steele is Right!

Some Republicans are in a lather because of chairman Michael Steele’s observations that the War in Afghanistan is not likely to be winnable and that it is Obama’s War.  While he failed to mention that Obama inherited the War, he is correct that it is now Obama’s War, since he has the power to . . . → Read More: Michael Steele is Right!

This day in history

Besides the obvious adoption by the Continental Congress of the Declaration of Independence, it is interesting to note that exactly 50 years after that Declaration, on 4 Jul 1826 both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died.  Five years later to the day, James Monroe died.  One president was born on the 4th of July, . . . → Read More: This day in history

The psychopath’s brain and the courts

NPR has been running a series on how new findings in neurophysiology of psychopaths are affecting sentencing of criminals with this trait.  In some cases, it has not swayed juries (e.g. Chicago).  In others, it has (Tennessee).  I think the whole story highlights flaws in our philosophy of culpability and punishment.  The crux of . . . → Read More: The psychopath’s brain and the courts

Know Thyself

I just listened to a Philosophy Bites podcast about self-knowledge.  The ancient philosophers gave this as an important aphorism, and Socrates urged that we examine our lives.  This podcast explored how well we can know ourselves.

I’ve often been struck by how different some other peoples’ views of my personality and character are than . . . → Read More: Know Thyself

McDonald v. Chicago

The Supreme Court today invalidated Chicago’s law against citizens having firearms for self protection.  I agree with the decision, but wish they had decided it on the basis of the “privileges and immunities” clause of the 14th Amendment and not “due process.”

One of the major purposes of the authors of the 14th Amendment . . . → Read More: McDonald v. Chicago

Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls is one of the most popular hikes in the Mount Hood Wilderness.  The falls is different from most Oregon waterfalls in that it pours over a cliff of columnar basalt, which breaks the fall into a myriad of small cascades.  Lower Proxy Falls in the Three Sisters Wilderness, and Fairy Falls in . . . → Read More: Ramona Falls