poisonwood's Diaryland Diary

Date: May. 27, 2009 . Time: 6:18 p.m.

empathy Entry:



I agree with most of Soto mayor's positions, so I'm glad she was nominated, but I don't endorse this statement:

In a speech published in the Berkeley La Raza Law Journal in 2002, Judge Sotomayor offered her own interpretation of this jurisprudence. "Justice [Sandra Day] O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases," she declared. "I am . . . not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, . . . there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."

One of my strongest felt beliefs is that the wise old man and women would reach the same conclusion, and that any difference in conclusion would be due to nurture, not nature. Sotomay or is not exactly denying that; she's saying her Latina background would give her greater experience in making the decision.

Empathy. Many are bashing Soto mayor for it, and Oba ma is praising her for it. I know empathy shapes how I look at the world. The more difficult experiences in my life have given me enormous sympathy for people who do certain types of "stupid" things - basically young scared people who do just about anything from murder to mayhem. (As you may have noticed, I have much less sympathy for the spendthrift who would live off the fat of the land, perhaps due to being surrounded by extremely frugal people for most of my life, thus reverse empathy.)

6:18 p.m. - May. 27, 2009



Curious about the nationwide gay marriage / civil union laws? WSJ provides a great graphic.

6:15 p.m. - May. 27, 2009


H1N1 revisited

When swine flu first came out in Mexi*co a while back, I was definitely alarmed. They were initially describing 5 to 10% death rates! If a flu ever does hit with those kinds of death rates, we are all in big trouble. To put things in perspective, the flu of 1918 has only about 2.5% fatalities in the US among those who caught it (though significantly higher worldwide.) Most people know that pandemic was devastating. Anyway, it became obvious soon enough that in reality, the H1N1 virus wasn't anywhere near that severe.

Now, the flu seems to be not spreading that much. There are 384 confirmed cases in my county, most of which are probably more severe, since most people probably don't go to the doctor when they go to the flu. It wouldn't surprise me if there had been 1000 or more cases in the county. They've decided to stop testing people with the flu for H1N1 unless they are severely ill (in Wash*ington at least), so we'll never really have any idea how many people actually catch the illness.

Anyway, it's interesting to look back at things after the media hysteria. It's funny. There is sort of an ongoing media hysteria at a lower level over many things - global warming and the economy to name a couple. We'll see if there's a round 2 this Fall.

8:47 a.m. - May. 27, 2009


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