Saturday, January 18, 2003

Starting to Read: Stephen King's From A Buick 8. I've been looking forward to this since he discussed it in passing in his book on writing, (which was titled, "On Writing," if I remember correctly.)

Actually, it came in at the library earlier this week, but it's audiotapes and I couldn't find my tapeplayer for listening to in the car.

BTW, there was a Bob Dylan song by the same name -- knowing King's love of music, I don't doubt this figures in somehow.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Curse Be Gone Oh great, now we have to contend with the SI cover curse.

No, I'm not a believer in jinxes or curses or whatever (knock on wood), it's just like many Raider fans who went through the period 1967-1978 and saw the team play in the Conference Championship game (or League Championship in the days of the AFL) every year but one (the immaculate deception year -- we were knocked off in the playoff game before the championship), but almost always lose, I get pretty gun-shy. During that period we won 2 championship games - then lost in our first Super Bowl and winning the second.

In fact, in 1970, the Super Bowl was to be played on my birthday -- the only time in history, thanks to scheduling changes -- and I just knew my Raiders were going to win it all. That team was 12-1-1 under 33 year old coach John Madden and was coming off a 56-7 thrashing of the Oilers. In the championship game, they played the Chiefs, a team they'd beaten twice that year (in fact, if I remember correctly, only the Raiders beat the Chiefs that year), they lost when Daryl Lamonnica sprained (or broke) his hand and there was an extremely bad call on a long reception by Otis Taylor, who had both feet out of bounds. Losing to a team you'd beaten twice was bad, but for it to be the arch-enemy Chiefs was extremely bitter. Worse was watching them decimate the Vikings on my birthday and knowing it should've been my Raiders...

*Shudder* Okay, enough self-pity. I do think you should know there is a history we Raider fans have when approaching these games. We might not be afraid of the Titans, as much as we are of our history.

Speaking of history, Eddie George has a history of dominating the Raiders. Yes, if you look at the score from the first match-up between the Raiders and Titans (52-25) it looks simple. In some respects it was, namely, coming off our bye week, the Raiders had a 21-0 lead after just taking one snap on offense. And that was with a controversial reversal of an interception by Phillip Buchanon. In that game, although he had four interceptions, Steve McNair threw for 398 yards. In fact, the Titans came back in the second half with three straight touchdowns to make it a 38-25 game. At this point, it should be noted that if it weren't for three different returns for touchdown by the Raiders, three missed conversions (three tries for two points), and a failed fourth down conversion in field-goal territory, the Titans could be ahead 31-17.

Yeah, I believe my Raiders will win this game, but I have reason to be nervous.

More ESPN's Len Pasquarelli has this from Rod Woodson: "What we found out in that first game, and we'll do well to remember this time, is that they never quit." He further notes:
Despite the disparity on the scoreboard, the statistics for the game were very close, with the Raiders owning just slight advantages in first downs (24-23) and total yards (464-430). McNair threw for a career-best 398 yards and four Titans notched 4 receptions or more. Gannon put up 381 yards and 4 touchdown passes, as Jerry Rice and Tim Brown combined for 13 catches and 234 yards.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Earth moving? I don't know if it means anything, but there's been a lot of seismic activity off the coast of Oregon in the past day. (did i really write what I initially wrote?)
Update. Sorry for lack of posting -- I'm doing 15 hr days at work -- start at 6 a.m. (normal time) and home at 9 p.m. (not normal). Should end soon and I'll be back.

Monday, January 13, 2003

Right to Abortion; Pre-Roe. In the Abortion cases, the Supreme Court announced that it had discovered a constitutional right to abortion, striking down at least 21 different state laws regulating abortion (from the Rehnquist dissent at note 2, which only relates to those states which had laws restricting or prohibiting abortion in both 1868 and 1973).

It is interesting to note that on at least two prior occasions, the Court looked at cases involving the prosecution of the performing of abortions without revealing this constitutional right.

In Missouri ex Rel. Hurwitz v. North (271 U.S. 40, 1926), the Justices affirmed the revocation of a license to practice medicine on the ground that the doctor had unlawfully produced an abortion. This was not an "abortion case" as you might think of it -- although the physician in question was found to be performing abortions in violation of the state law -- it was a challenge to the process: the physician was not able to issue subpoenas to compell testimony before the board. (" The due process clause does not guarantee to a citizen of a state any particular form or method of state procedure. Its requirements are satisfied if he has reasonable notice and reasonable opportunity to be heard and to present his claim or defense, due regard being had to the nature of the proceedings and the character of the rights which may be affected by it.")

The second case came immediately before the first Roe argument and was more of a direct challenge to the regulation of abortion. In United States v. Vuitch (Argued January 12, 1971, Decided April 21, 1971, 402 U.S. 62), the U.S. District Court had struck down a D.C. Statute making it a crime to "attempt to produce abortions" saying that the law was vague. The Supremes reversed the lower court finding that the statute was not too vague. This is also part of the line of cases that allow "health" to be stretched to mean mental well being: the "word 'health' in the statute, in accord with general usage and modern understanding, and a recent interpretation of § 22-201 by the federal courts, includes psychological as well as physical wellbeing, and as thus construed is not overly vague." The Court did note:
Appellee has suggested that there are other reasons why the dismissal of the indictments should be affirmed. Essentially, these arguments [402 U.S. 73] are based on this Court's decision in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). Although there was some reference to these arguments in the opinion of the court below, we read it as holding simply that the statute was void for vagueness because it failed in that court's language to "give that certainty which due process of law considers essential in a criminal statute." 305 F.Supp. at 1034. Since that question of vagueness was the only issue passed upon by the District Court it is the only issue we reach here.

Scalia and Religion. Here is a report on Justice Scalia's comments to a gathering with respect to church-state issues. According to the report, Scalia said, among other things, "The establishment clause was once well understood not to exclude God from the public forum and political life."

I agree that the Court seems to have interpreted the Establishment clause to mandate government hostility toward religion, something the clause doesn't do. It clearly prohibits the establishment of a state religion as distinct from allowing the recognition of the role religion plays in the lives of the people of America.

I wish that Justice Scalia felt the same way about the other clause -- the Free Exercise clause. He seems to view this and nothing more than a speed hump in the way of the government -- slow down, but it imposes no limit.

Update. Emma has some comments by James Madison that indicate Justice Scalia is wrong.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Raiders Win -- and I'm elated! My observation, though is that the Jets were never defeated. They are going to be awesome next year.

Bring on Tenessee.
[BTW I see the opening line has the Eagles favored by 3 1/2 and the Raiders favored by 7. FWIW.]