Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Cruising the Web

Research shocker: smoking marijuana contributes to laziness and lack of motivation. And now there is scientific research connecting marijuana and the development of schizophrenia.

For Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gettysburg seems to be all about her with a little bit of Lyndon Johnson and Eleanor Roosevelt on the side.

Just as there are contrafactuals in history, there are contrafactuals in sports. Here's a story on some might-have-beens from great moments in sports history.

Just what I've long suspected: French philosophers are deliberately obscure. This helps them seem profound. And if they're criticized, they can always charge critics with misunderstanding them and thus being idiots.

It's rather remarkable how the Democrats of today are running away from the Bill Clinton legacy just as they're gearing up to support his wife's nomination.

Allen Guelzo recounts how Gettysburg changed history. George Will explains why Gettysburg still matters.

The Miami-Dade voter fraud story swirling around Democratic representative Joe Garcia keeps expanding.

It's time to start writing real consequences into laws in case a president or his administration violates the law. We have had too much of seeing the Executive Branch violate laws without any consequences since the laws were so poorly written that there would be no consequences for such violations. As Conn Carroll writes, such executive flouting of federal laws has increased in the Obama administration and little seems to be happening.
The Executive Branch's casual disregard for the rule of law has only skyrocketed since Obama took office.

Congress can't come to an agreement on how to renew the No Child Left Behind federal education law? No problem, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will just unilaterally rewrite it.

Obama doesn't like the Defense of Marriage Act? No problem. He just won't enforce it or defend it in court.

Obama wants to bomb Libya but doesn't want to bother finding the votes in Congress? No problem. He'll just completely ignore the War Powers Act.

And then, of course, there is immigration.

After Congress failed to pass the Dream Act, which would have granted amnesty to any illegal immigrant who could produce evidence they had entered the country before they turned 16, Obama simply bypassed Congress and implemented the failed legislation through executive fiat.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have since sued Obama to force him to let them enforce the law as written. But it took months of litigation to establish that these officers even had the standing to challenge Obama in court, a feat that an average citizen could never hope to accomplish on their own.

The lesson from all of this is that no American, especially no United States Senator, should ever trust the executive branch to enforce any law, ever.

One science writer laments how he gets emails from kids across the country basically asking him to do their homework for him. Teachers think it's cute to require students to contact scientists and ask questions, but often it just comes down to asking the scientist to explain everything they need to write their research papers. I get this a lot from students who find my school website for my students. They basically ask me to explain or answer questions that they have from their teachers. I even get teachers writing me. I have a scavenger hunt through the Constitution that my students have to do. The questions are mostly in order, yet every year I get several government teachers writing me and asking me for the answer key. They don't seem to realize that the Constitution is the answer key or that anyone teaching a class on the Constitution should be able to answer these questions and answer most of them off the top of their heads. It seems that one thing the internet has done for us is to open up the list of people that can be asked to do our work for us.

I hadn't known that the armies of the French Revolution and Napoleon initiated a semaphore telegraph system across the continent. Napoleon could get a detailed message from Paris to Northern Italy in a few hours.

Connor Friedersdorf analyzes the left's paranoia about Rand Paul.