Monday, October 31, 2005

Judicial Philosophy

In relation to the nomination of Justice Alito to the Supreme Court, allow me to set out my take on the law and what a proper Judicial Philosophy is. For too long, many in our society have taken the approach that if something is good or desirable, then it must be afforded Constitutional protection. On the flip side, if something is deemed bad or undesirable, it must be found to violate the Constitution. Proper Constitutional interpretation, however, is not quite so broad.

If Congress or a State Legislature passes a law that is not in conflict with the clear language of the Constitution as it was originally intended, then that law should be upheld. It is not the place of a Judge to decide whether a law is a "good" law or a "bad" law. If the law does not violate the Constitution, that law should be upheld, regardless of whatever bad consequences there might be. If the law violates the Constitution, the law must be struck down, regardless of whatever good it might create. It's really not that hard.

I remember having this debate in my Civil Liberties class in law school about the issue of Commercial Speech. I was the only one in the class who took the originalist approach. It was rather disheartening. My classmates actually assumed that because I felt that Commercial Speech did not fall within the protection of the First Amendment, I must not think it a good thing for people to have more information relating to commercial enterprise. Nothing could be further from the truth. I agree that more information flowing is better than less, but just because that information flow is good, does not mean that it rises to the level of Constitutional protection.

I know that my view isn't the easiest to grasp these days, but that's the result of decades in which people have had the wrong attitude about how the Constitution is to be applied.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

2006 Dallas Summer Musicals Schedule

DSM released the 2006 season. I am underwhelmed. I may try to catch "Mamma Mia!" and "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," but the rest of the season doesn't entice me at all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 46

I overdid the exercising last Tuesday, and I had to lay off for several days.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 218.0

Today's Weight = 218.5

Weight Gain in past week = 0.5 pound

= 48.5 pounds

Friday, October 21, 2005

Wicked Awesome or Wicked Disappointment?

I caught Dallas Summer Musicals production of Wicked at Fair Park Music Hall on Wednesday. I had heard nothing but glowing reviews of this show, and I was very excited.

Stephanie J. Block was brilliant as the green-skinned Elphaba, who is much more misunderstood than wicked. Her singing was extraordinary and may actually have surpassed that of Idina Menzel, who originally played the role on Broadway. Kendra Kassebaum was fine as Galinda/Glinda, but she seemed out of her league vocally compared to Broadway's original, Kristin Chenoweth, and she paled in comparison to Block. Kassebaum's over-the-top antics and physicality were also a little distracting at times.

I was looking forward to Carol Kane in the role of Madame Morrible, but she actually didn't pull it off for me. At times, she was difficult to understand (which may have had more to do with the terirble acoustics in the Music Hall than anything else), and I thought the character should have been a touch more sinister.

David Garrison (Steve Rhoades from TV's "Married With Children") was fine as the Wizard. Jenna Leigh Green (Libby Chessler on "Sabrina the Teenaged Witch") turned in a solid performance as Nessarose, Elphaba's sister, and I was pleasantly surprised with her singing.

Boq was played by Logan Lipton. His performance was unremarkable except for the mic problems he had in Act II (unfortunately, at a critical juncture). Derrick Williams' portrayal of Fiyero was high-quality.

Unfortunately for all the other actors, though, nobody could match the sheer power of Block's Elphaba.

I enjoyed the production of The Producers that came to DSM earlier this year more than this show, but Wicked was a better overall production. The Producers made me laugh almost non-stop, but Wicked can actually make you stop and think.


I don't think the musical had to follow Gregory Maguire's book completely, and I understand the decision to have Boq become the Tin Man. I can even accept that Fiyero becomes the Scarecrow. What really drew the air out of the show for me was the "happy ending" that was added. For me, the story is much more poignant if Elphaba is dead, and having her and Fiyero/Scarecrow go off into hiding just seems cheap.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 45

After I got over being sick, my weight popped back up to where it had been. I've been pretty good drinking water this past week, and I even exercised last night.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 222.0

Today's Weight = 218.0

Weight Loss in past week = 4.0 pounds

= 49.0 pounds

Friday, October 14, 2005

Don't try this at home

As you all know, I'm engaged in a continuing effort to lose weight. This morning, when I stepped on the scale, it read 216.5. This was a loss of 5 pounds from yesterday. What precipitated this dramatic drop you ask? Well, it seems the Calvinator household acquired a stomach virus from somewhere. My wife called me yesterday morning to let me know that one of the girls had already gotten sick and that she, my wife, was feeling nauseated as well. Over the course of the day, all the girls got sick except for our one year old.

It appeared that I might avoid the wrath of this bug, but at 2:30 in the morning, I could be found on all fours on the bathroom floor. Thankfully, that was my only episode. Because I had not been sick for several hours, I decided to go to work today. Probably a mistake. I feel wiped out.

On a good note, the 216.5 pounds is the least I have weighed in the entire time my wife has known me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Interesting Personal Discovery

Over the weekend, my wife was out of town. She took Calvinatorette IV with her, but I had Calvinatorettes I, II, & III. On Sunday evening, my mom kept the girls because I have to get up early to get to work on Mondays. So, I came home to an empty house after the closing performance of Rumors.

What I discovered that night was that although when the family is home, I like to be left alone on occasion, I do not like being alone. I hated being the only one in the house. It's not like I didn't have things I could do. I watched some sports. I surfed the web. I listened to music. All the while, I was aware that I was the only one in the house.

And I didn't like it.

Getting in Shape Update 44

It could have been worse.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 221.5

Today's Weight = 222.0

Weight Gain in past week = 0.5 pound

= 45.0 pounds

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Getting in Shape Update 43

I sometimes wonder if I engage in a little self-sabotage. Eating was not the best this past week.

Starting Weight = 267.0

Last Week's Weight = 220.0

Today's Weight = 221.5

Weight Gain in past week = 1.5 pounds

= 45.5 pounds