Daily Grab Bag

I’m going to try a little experiment to see if I can cease flooding Facebook with some of the intriguing things I read in the course of a day. So here’s today’s grab bag:

June 23 was the anniversary of Kelo v. City of New London, the Supreme Court case that ratified taking poor people’s cherished homes from them to put up some spiffy development (probably by a political insider who would make a financial killing). It justified this taking of property by equating “public purpose” and “public use,” because a limited view of public use “proved to be impractical given the diverse and always evolving needs of society.” In other words, when developers have bought enough elected officials, part of the constitution is no longer operative. HT Bench Memos.

Junior Senator Marco Rubio, R – FL, is proving not only to be an “American Exceptionalism” jingoist, but is vying to become the Senate’s leading warmonger. HT Daniel Larison at Eunomia (who adds “P.S. I should add that the conviction that the U.S. government is motivated “solely by the desire to make the world a better place” is not just untrue, but for those who believe this it means that there is no definable limit on what the U.S. should be trying to do to “make the world a better place.” In an era of austerity, Rubio is proposing that the U.S. engage in infinite meliorism for the whole world. Not only can the U.S. not afford this, but there is no nation that ever could.)

I tend to forget the versatility of Mozart. Ave Verum Corpus would be hard for me to identify as his unless I just plain happened to remember. HT Tom Piatek.

“A Dog is better than I because he loves and does not judge.” (Abba Xanthios) HT Fr. John Peck. Well, I don’t hate much, but I speak pretty bluntly about fools and rogues.

The FBI put up a $50,000 PSA campaign and, Voilà!, flushed out Whitey Bulger. Here’s an account of why we should be glad.

There’s a very disturbing trend in government secrecy. Illinois has a law making it criminal to record without consent, and there’s no exception for public meetings. D.C. don’t need no stinkin’ law to arrest people for taking pictures and filming a public meeting of the D.C. Taxi Commission. But still, it’s relatively good to live in America. Heck, in Taipei, you can go to jail for an unfair restaurant review.

So, let’s say you’re a liberal. Can you give a coherent, non-tendentious account of a conservative opinion you disagree with? Or vice-versa? (The ability to do so is why Obama comes across as “moderate” even though his actions and votes tend hard left.) The funloving (and very thoughtful) Esquires over at Volokh Conspiracy are calling this the Ideological Turning Test.

Robert P. George responds to Catholic University of America’s proposal to revert to single-sex dorms, and one of its own law professor’s plausible threat to block or punish such a move. He is not amused. There are examples of how authoritarian “comprehensive views” seek to protector not – conscientious, religiously-based exceptions to the rules their adherents are pushing.

Bon appetit!