May 07, 2002

Pride and "rules" and links

There was a threatened lawsuit against the Dep't of Ed. here recently. The issue: could a graduating senior girl wear slacks under her gown. This was settled yesterday, after the state Attorney General told the DoE (paraphrasing): girls wearing slacks is a quite acceptable practice. The DoE is the institution which is responsible for educating children, and they have to be told this? OY! Care for some more governmental foolishness? From today's HHS press release, this quote: "To highlight the health benefits of physical activity, especially for older Americans, Secretary Thompson today will lead senior citizens on a half-hour walk around the National Mall in Washington." Ah, symbolism!

Here's a nice book link...Great Books and Classics. From Sophocles to Solzhenitsyn, no less. (Link found at Becky's place). Another nifty site: a webcam at the North Pole; it's described as an attempt to decipher changing weather patterns in the Arctic. This item is non-web technology, but I'll betcha it makes it over here from the UK soon: prepaid minutes for your cell phone available at ATMs.

Did anyone watch Masterpiece Theatre last night? Here's an analysis of the story upon which the program was based. It's a story of surgeons' hubris and reluctance to believe their actions were killing approximately 300 kids.

Posted by Linkmeister at May 7, 2002 03:34 PM

Although I do not have an opinion on the issue, my first thoughts, upon hearing the news, was captured nicely by an OpEd in the Wall Street Journal that "an institution such as the Internation Criminal Court might be undemocratic. Though described as a "court," the ICC is better thought of as a permanent prosecutor -- one with broad powers to indict, prosecute and rule on almost anything it interprets as a human rights "crime." And in contrast to free societies like the U.S., the U.K. and many other countries around the world,, where the courts are ultimately checked by democratic institutions, the ICC would virtually be a power unto itself."

For the last fifteen years in this country, we have learned of the how easy it is for special prosecutions, unchecked by other institutions of government, to abuse their powers and investigate ad infinitum. Ask Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton how such tools were used by their opponents. Ultimately, the U.S. Congress abandoned the concept.

The second thought I had is that a court would have to have some kind of patron (the United Nations, for example). Experience shows me, however, that the United Nations is good at seeking justice in some cases (Rwanda, Kosovo, etc.) while completely ignoring others (China, Palestinian homicide-bombers, etc.)

Finally, I note that the previous occupant in the White House, understanding that the U.S. Senate would likely not ratify the treaty, signed it anyway on his last day in office, and then left town. The Senate's opposition, of course, reflected the views of their constituents.

Howsoever one disagrees with specific policy issues, we should all be careful to disregard the decisions and processes of a democratic society.

All of this being said, I still do not know if I would support the establish of an ICC. I suppose I should investigate it further.

Posted by: Pixelshim at May 10, 2002 09:47 AM