Thursday Thoughts

(Yeah, I really ought to make better titles for my blog entries).’s Supreme Court watcher Dahlia Lithwick makes some interesting points about the whole Justice Scalia ethics debate (i.e., is it ethical for Scalia to make speeches about certain issues; is it ethical for him to go duck hunting with a certain vice president; etc.). Maybe we are being too hard on Scalia – Blackmun has spoken out on issues, so it’s not like it’s a new thing to hear a judge say something; and do we really want to muzzle the justices from just talking? Don’t we want to know what they think, rather than relying on some weird divining technique? (Imagine: “Ohmigosh, Rehnquist is snapping at the petitioner during oral arguments; that’s a bad sign!” “O’Connor’s twitching her lips; is she smiling? She’s pushing for the appellee; no, wait, I can’t tell!”). And, if what the justices say doesn’t necessarily mean they’re really that closed-minded (i.e., that they can still judge impartially), why not let them do their talking? At the very least, we know that they can’t talk about a pending case. But, the counter-argument is very simply that a justice’s actions or words can still smack of impropriety, even if it doesn’t violate some ethical code on its face. Oh, well; I’ll just have to reserve my final judgment on this issue about the Supreme Court justices for now.

NY Times’ Tom Friedman had a nice take on outsourcing today – that it should be less about America closing itself and more about Americans reviving the American Dream – be innovative, creative, and well, American.

Tonight’s “Survivor” was quite good – I didn’t expect the ending that came about at all. The ending of “The Apprentice” wasn’t surprising – someone had to go, and when the smaller team lost, it seemed all too predictable about who’d go – and I think it says something about how women do in the business world (considering how Trump’s female executive seemed to make quite an assessment of Heidi – and maybe it means that a woman has to beat men to succeed, not just be merely “good”; and consider how Heidi had to deal with the dilemma of balancing her participation in the game and her very real worries about her mother’s illness — I mean really, would a male businessman find himself in a similar dilemma about family versus work? I just don’t know – maybe, maybe not).

Spring training: Mets’ players Karim Garcia and Shane Spencer (those ex-Yankees) are in extenuating circumstances, since the pizza deliveryman – who accused them of beating him up – gave such conflicting versions of the incident to the Florida police. No criminal charges, and there’s a likelihood of no civil action, since the pizza guy allegedly made it too obvious that he wanted to sue (he blew his credibility) and he didn’t seem that injured despite the seriousness of his charges. On the other hand, Garcia and Spencer are embarassed about this – it wasn’t as if they were completely sober during the incident – so, no one comes out of this completely unscathed.

The recent incident of the Vancouver NHL overzealous hockey player, Todd Bertuzzi, whose play broke the neck of Colorado Avalanche’s Steve Moore, reminded me of the McSorley thing (McSorley was the Boston Bruin who used his stick too hard on a Vancouver player in 2000). Apparently, no criminal charges were on McSorley, but the NHL suspended him for a year and thus there is precedence on what to do with Bertuzzi. I remembered the McSorley thing only because it occurred during the same semester I took Torts and the professor raised a McSorley type hypo wherein we wondered – was this a prima facie tort? Probably – assault, battery, etc… I swear, law school changes the way I look at anything, especially when I start issue spotting possible civil cause of actions in sports (putting aside the whole policy questions involving the steroids/human growth hormone problem and criminal law problems in sports).

Actor Paul Winfield recently passed away; he’s an actor whose face would be incredibly familiar to the avid television viewer and to someone whose memory is more expansive than mine and my time (e.g., he played Martin Luther King, Jr., in a 1978 “King” miniseries that WWOR (Channel 9) in the NYC area recently showed it as part of Black History month; as well as starred in the movie “Sounder”). For the Trekkies out there, Winfield played the doomed captain in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (Chekov’s superior officer, whose ear and brain were mangled by Khan’s parasite) and the classic episode “Darmok” in “Star Trek: the Next Generation” (the episode where Patrick Stewart’s Picard meets Winfield’s alien captain who spoke in metaphor – a fascinating episode about language which always confused me but I enjoyed because it was so well acted). Winfield had also been incredibly memorable as a judge who was frustrated with the school integration/busing issues in “Picket Fences.” He has quite a legacy.

And, on a final note for the night, sadly, the news in Spain – March 11, 2004: no matter who is responsible for the tragedy, it is still a tragedy. This is our world today and it is too reminiscent of what we have seen almost three years ago in this country.

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