Eminent Domain

Reason Morning Links: Stress Tests, Reagan Revisionism, and the Men Who Murdered Mother's Day


• After a dizzying series of leaks—and more than a little negotiation—the "stress test" results are in.

• The feds want to seize private land for a Flight 93 memorial.

• State pension scandal, meet Lincoln Bedroom scandal.

• The Supreme Court's "other diversity problem": a uniformity of class and career paths.

• Is there a correlation between torture and terrorism?

• Gawker vs. David Simon.

• Christopher Caldwell reviews what sounds like a very interesting new book on Ronald Reagan's foreign policy. (Caldwell briefly mentions another Reagan book as well. It does not sound as interesting.)

• I don't know if it makes sense to essentially agree with both Jason Mittell's skeptical take on the Susan Boyle phenomenon and Timothy Burke's rejoinder, but I do.

• Mother's Day is coming this Sunday. Read about the men who voted against the holiday.

NEXT: Friday Funnies

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  1. Gawker vs. David Simon.

    Heard something about this before.

    Gawker nails it. Simon is full of crap. If you want to read about what is going on in city council meetings you need to go to the blog of someone who follows them.

    Simon fails to mention that if you want to read the BS spin from a politician, then read a print paper that had a fanboy reporter of that politician writing there.

  2. I think it makes sense to agree with both Mittell and Burke.

    I knew better than to be surprised that a pretty voice could come from a homely face. My surprise was at the beauty of the voice. I’m not a Les Miz fan, either, but I could listen to Susan Boyle sing it all day long.

    It don’t care what the package looks like, a sound like hers will always put me in a state of ecstasy.

  3. Susan Boyle Ambivalence is a widespread mental condition. I wrestle with another form of it here:


  4. Is that the same Flight 93 memorial that is going to be crescent shaped with a red arrow that points toward Mecca?

    Propsed design

  5. “…whether or not young men honored their mothers was none of the federal government’s damned business.” -Bill Kauffman from the Against Mother’s Day article.

    If only our current esteemed congress-weasels were as principled as those of 1908…

  6. But a funny thing happened on the way to the florist. Anna Jarvis, the mother of Mother’s Day, became its harshest critic.

    Jarvis denounced the greeting card and gift and candy manufacturers who battened on her day. In vain, she urged sons and daughters to buy buttons instead of flowers for mom; she called greeting cards “a poor excuse for the letter you are too lazy to write.” The embittered Jarvis concluded that “charlatans, bandits, pirates, racketeers, kidnappers and other termites” had corrupted “with their greed one of the finest, noblest, truest Movements and celebrations known.”

    Anna Jarvis, meet the Law of Unintended Consequences.

  7. Senator Jacob Gallinger (R-NH) judged the very idea of Mother’s Day to be an insult, as though his memory of his late mother “could only be kept green by some outward demonstration on Sunday, May 10.”

    “There are some thoughts that are so great and so sacred that they are belittled by movements of this character,” lectured Senator Charles Fulton (R-OR), who went on to suggest the consecration of “Mother-in-Law Day.”

    “It is not a proper subject for legislation,” declared Senator Weldon Heyburn (R-ID). “[T]he sentiment that exists between the parent and the child” was “too sacred to be made the subject of bandying words” and symbolic resolutions.

    That brought a tear to my eye. O, for the long-lost discourse of the pre-17th amendment United States Senator.

  8. Of course there’s a correlation between torture and terrorism. The U.S. suffered a massive terror attack, and a year or two later we (very arguably) tortured three of the leaders of the organization that did it to extract information. In the other specific examples in the paper cited, they mention French Algeria (where, AFAIK, the terror came first ) and Israel in Lebanon in 1982 (where it certainly did). (Note: the authors use the phrase “physical integrity rights” to include everything from torture to offing PLO leaders hiding in refugee camps.)

    So there does seem to be a correlation and even a causation, but the causation looks like it goes in the opposite direction implied. (I’ll admit I’ve only skimmed the paper. If someone wants to wade word for word through the academic verbiage and find the evidence that torture causes terror, please post about it.)

  9. I’m not a Les Miz fan, either, but I could listen to Susan Boyle sing it all day long.

    Even if “it” is one of the worst songs ever written?

    There was a time when men were kind
    When their voices were soft
    And their words inviting
    There was a time when love was blind
    And the world was a song
    And the song was exciting
    There was a time
    Then it all went wrong

    (Throwing up yet?)

    I dreamed a dream in time gone by
    When hope was high
    And life worth living
    I dreamed that love would never die
    I dreamed that God would be forgiving
    Then I was young and unafraid
    And dreams were made and used and wasted
    There was no ransom to be paid
    No song unsung, no wine untasted

    (Don’t you wish you had some cyanide right about now?)

    But the tigers come at night
    With their voices soft as thunder
    As they tear your hope apart
    And they turn your dream to shame

    He slept a summer by my side
    He filled my days with endless wonder
    He took my childhood in his stride
    But he was gone when autumn came…

    OK, to go any further is just plain sadistic.

    And still I dream he’ll come to me
    That we will live the years together
    But there are dreams that cannot be
    And there are storms we cannot weather…

    Make it stop!

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