Friday, February 25, 2005

Tribe's Fantasy Life

Ramesh Ponnuru's article on Laurence Tribe is worth reading.
But if Tribe's defense of Goodwin makes sense, then perhaps it could applied to this lapse too: At least Tribe didn't present "fantasy" as "fact." Tribe's colleague Alan Dershowitz came to his defense, just as Tribe himself had defended Goodwin and another colleague charged with plagiarism, law professor Charles Ogletree. (They're quite a band of brothers there in Cambridge.) "If the Standard were to do the same minuscule analysis of every word in the books written by the paragons of the right, they would find much the same thing," said Dershowitz.

But in another recent incident, Tribe appears to have committed precisely the offense that he identified as "the cardinal sin for any scholar" — and it's an incident too weird for anyone to maintain with any plausibility that every scholar does the same.

Does This Criticism Sound Familiar?

It's America's Fault. We're weak. They're supermen.

VDH says it all rings a bell. And then he makes what strikes me as a safe prediction.
A final prediction: By the end of this year, formerly critical liberal pundits, backsliding conservative columnists, once-fiery politicians, Arab "moderates," ex-statesmen and generals emeriti, smug stand-up comedians, recently strident Euros — perhaps even Hillary herself — will quietly come to a consensus that what we are witnessing from Afghanistan and the West Bank to Iraq and beyond, with its growing tremors in Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, and the Gulf, is a moral awakening, a radical break with an ugly past that threatens a corrupt, entrenched, and autocratic elite and is just the sort of thing that they were sort of for, sort of all along — sort of...

Utah Leads on Federalism

Utah is reported to be considering legislation to reject "Federal funds" and set their own school standards. As today's Federalist also noted (scroll down to "in other news"):
What needs to be appreciated is the principle at work here: The federal
government doesn't have any real constitutional authority when it
comes to the education of children. But as Utah's legislature is on the
verge of proving, a fiscally responsible state can simply say "no" to
federal money and set its own standards. Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota,
and Virginia -- among others -- are all considering challenges to the
Act. Let's hope Utah leads the way in defense of federalism.
I still don't understand why Bush (and the Republicans in congress) don't pull the plug on the unconstitutional Department of Education, especially considering that it was nothing more than the *Nasty Little Man's gift to the NEA. Not only is it constitutionally the right thing to do, but it's politically smart. I used to think that the NEA was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the DNC. It turns out I was wrong.

It's the reverse.

So when you cut the NEA's funding, you take away a giant source of funding to the DNC (the NEA collects over a billion dollars a year in dues), plus a huge army of political workers which is larger than the staff of both major political parties combined.

*New readers: I'm talking about Jimmy Carter