Tuesday, 24 June 2003

Blogroll policy

Considering that not too long ago I said I wasn’t going to post a blogroll, and now I have one, I guess I should post my formal blogrolling policy. There are two ways to get a slot:

  1. Link me. If I visit your site and don’t projectile vomit after reading it, you’ll probably get a link, and if you have an RSS feed, I’ll probably subscribe to it.

  2. I randomly stumble across your blog and feel like I’d probably read it on a semi-regular basis. (I’ll read your content more often if you have a full-content RSS feed. Movable Type should be able to produce one of those.)

Also, you will percolate up to the top of the blogroll when you update your weblog if you do friendly things like pinging weblogs.com or blo.gs (preferably both, because I query them and blogger.com hourly at different offsets from the hour). I don’t use Blogrolling; it’s all homegrown code (the semi-mythical LSblog). And since things like Technorati use those pings to do their special magic behind the scenes, I’ll probably only find out if you link me if you ping somewhat regularly. Check out Laurence Simon’s guide to pinging for all the details you’d ever want. Otherwise, you’ll permanently hang out in Den Beste Land at the bottom.

Finally, if for some reason you think my blogroll is useful, you can grab its contents as an OPML file for your favorite RSS aggregator. And if you read this blog often, and don’t like how it looks or the timezone, set your prefs to change the settings to your liking.

Channeling your inner Jacksonian

It is perhaps ironic that presidential candidates Dick Gephardt and Dennis Kuchinich decided to celebrate the 200th anniversary year of Marbury v. Madison by endorsing the idea of a presidential override of Supreme Court decisions by executive order. Not only is this a constitutionally stupid idea, anyone with even an inkling of the concept of “separation of powers” (much less anyone who’s read Federalist 10) would recognize that it’s a recipe for demagoguery and disaster.

Such an incredibly stupid policy is not entirely unprecedented. Andrew Jackson, institutionalizer (if not founder) of the modern Democratic Party, infamously overrode the Marshall court when it sided with the Cherokee Nation over the federal government, leading to the Trail of Tears. Of course, Jackson also had some redeeming qualities, which does not appear to be the case for either Gephardt or Kuchinich, particularly the latter (who combines populism with sheer idiocy in one convenient package).

Now, I’m not going to pretend that the Supreme Court has a great deal of democratic legitimacy. It is, by its nature, a political institution, by the very definition of politics: they decide, at least in the cases brought before them, how resources (money, liberty, legal protections, etc.) are allocated in our society. But I’m pretty sure I’d rather have nine people who are don’t have to appeal to popular passions to make sure they get their next paycheck deciding those things than some two-bit politician (or, more likely, his political appointees) whose every decision is a result of focus groups, opinion polls, and political calculations in the pure, Mayhewian sense—in other words, because presidents (at least in their first terms), like members of Congress, are “single-minded seekers of reelection.”

An AA-free zone

I haven’t digested either of the Michigan decisions yet, and probably won’t have time to think about either in any detail soon. So rather than spout off an opinion based on the clear-as-mud descriptions of the decision I read in today’s Daily Mississippian, I’ll just say “go elsewhere for insight.”

The only interesting thing I noted was a quote from Sandra Day O‘Connor that indicated that she thought AA would outlive its usefulness within the next 25 years. I guess I’ll be around to determine empirically whether or not she was right…