• We do the Bridge-Walks on Saturday mornings assuming no rain or other commitments. We meet at 7:45 a.m. and begin walking to the Golden Gate Bridge at 8:00 a.m. It's okay to arrive late; you'll just have to catch up or meet us after the turn at Fort Point. 7:45 a.m. SFYC-Marina parking lot to GGB & return, assuming a decent weather forecast. This is a walk TO, not over, the bridge, and back.

  • Description: Unless otherwise noted, all walks proceed as follows: we begin at the parking lot shown as Yacht Road on Mapquest adjacent to the north end of the Marina Green next to the St. Francis Yacht Club. We meet at 7:45 a.m. and at 8:00 a.m. ambling towards the Golden Gate Bridge, which is about a mile-and-a-quarter away. If you're late, it's easy to catch up. The round trip takes about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. There are comfort stations at each end. Snacks and a bookstore are at the Warming Hut near the Bridge. Plenty of birds and boats to see along the way. Bring a friend or child, a camera or binoculars. Dress for wind and weather. Drizzles don't bother, rainstorms will cancel. We talk about something, nothing, birds, plants, boats, whatever, and if it relates to Con-Law, so much the better, but that's not required. We enjoy ourselves, basically, by getting fresh air and taking a more or less brisk walk, depending on what stops we make to smell the flowers or view a bird.


  • Choose a work that you love and you won't have to work another day. Confucius
  • A sound mind in a sound body under a sound Constitution, that's our motto. rs
  • The key to nearly everything is a competent investigation, which means one conducted with integrity, an attempt to see where you might be wrong. RS w/ thanks to RPF
  • The key to creating an illusory world is a biased selection of facts according to a preconceived notion. - Thomas Sowell
  • The past isn't dead, it's all around you... rs
  • The past isn't dead. It isn't even past. -- Wm. Faulkner
  • If Constitutional Law doesn't get your dander up, you're not getting it. -- R. Sheridan
  • The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, but remember, you are the easiest person to fool. -- Richard P. Feynman
  • No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. -- U.S. Constitution, Amends 5, 14
  • No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned,...or in any other way destroyed...except by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. - Magna Carta
  • The only thing new under the sun is the history you don't know. -- Harry S Truman
  • Study the past if you would divine the future. -- Confucius







November 23, 2004



F-84 writes:

"...There has to be consistency..."


"Foolish consistency is the hob-goblin of little minds."

No, I don't know who said that first, for sure. But I'd start with William Congreve.

Hell, if Con-Law were consistent, it wouldn't be Con-Law.


Thank you, F-84, for your kind reactions to some of the (intentionally provocative) posts around here. I welcome and value them, and you.

Please try not to take my reactions to your reactions personally.

I try to focus on the arguments and kick what I can over the imaginary goal posts, using as much metaphor as I can muster to create a vivid image.

This means that I sometimes draw the arguments of others (never my own) to their logical, some would say absurd, conclusions in order to tee them up the way I want for better kicking.

This is a debater's trick, or technique, I guess and they've been doing this since Jefferson and Hamilton went at it, and Adams. The old Monarchist vs. Riff-raff argument.

The person who innocently makes an argument that I've just tried to blast for a field goal, whether it is the game-winner or not, might sometimes feel as though the blow were aimed at him. It never is.

Kick the argument, not the arguer, that's the rule around here.

TypePad doesn't seem to offer text editing tools in this Comment section. I'll suggest it to them. It's a good idea and they do seem to be interested in making their script more useful.

And a lovely post-Thanksgiving to you, F-84.

I read that your wife has just passed the California Bar, a great and challenging milestone. Hearty congratulations to her and to you for your encouragement, and best wishes for continued success in a tough garden.

We'll have to arrange for one of our Con-Law Bridge Walk'n'Talks when you're up in San Francisco.

Federalist No. 84

RS wrote: "It seems to me that if I have something growing inside me, its up to me to decide whether it should remain."

But the choices are interrelated. Just as I can't tell you, "RS, get that thing out of your stomach (or keep it)," you can't say, "I'm going to keep this thing in my stomach, there's nothing you can do to stop me, and and you know what, you are going to be responsible for it when it comes out."

So, the woman decides whether the "something" growing inside is going to stay or go. Fair enough. I accept that for argument's sake. But I still don't how it's fair to bind the MAN to the WOMAN's decision.

I'm not arguing that man should be able to stop a woman from having an abortion. I am arguing that it's unfair for a woman to decide whether a man will have a child. Because the woman, by having the child, obligates the man to pay for the child. He's on the hook.

I'm not saying it's bad policy to require someone to take care of the child - I love kids, and if anything, I am sad that more are not better taken care of. But in philosophy la la land, there has to be something more than an appeal good policy. There has to be consistency.

I don't see how your position is consistent.

But it seems we are at loggerheads. Have a nice post-Thanksgiving.

On an unrelated note: Can you enable html for your comments? It makes rapping a lot easier since I can put your words in italics easily. For example, Bob's words would be in italics.


F-84 asks:

What's the principled basis for treating men and women differently as to reproductive decisions?


Maybe the principled basis is that the woman has something growing inside HER body while the male does not.

It seems to me that if I have something growing inside me, its up to me to decide whether it should remain.

Looks like a pretty good principle to me...I've seen worse.

Federalist No. 84

First, your hypotheticals presuppose that woman slept with the "bozo." So let's not pretend that someone who sleeps with bozos does not bear some responsibility for her choices. But the woman is your hypos wants an abortion. Fair enough. The man should not be able to stop her.

rs writes: "You want to give the MAN the right to control her body."

Nope. I am arguing against a double standard. It takes two to create a baby. But only one can decide whether to keep the baby (and thus hold liable for child support another party). The man has no control over the woman's body, but the woman has control over the man's body. If she keeps the child, she will obtain a percentage of the fruits of his labor. That's involuntary servitude if the man does not want to be involved with the child's life.

Vague references to "male supremacy" and insinuations that I am making a certain type of pro-slavery/anti-woman argument are not persuasive, and not appreciated.

But it is a way to avoid my intial argument. So I'll ask again, "If choice is good as to reproductive decisions, then when will men get the right to choose to not be economically encumbered to a child they do not want?"

And let me say something. If a student answered your con law exam saying, "All law is politics, so why bother analyzing the question," you'd fail him or her. If your student attacked justices or implied they harbored offensive views (again, without analyzing the legal problem), you'd fail 'em. So let's stop calling names, e.g., "You want to give the MAN the right to control her body" and start talking turkey (it is Thanksgiving, after all).

What's the principled basis for treating men and women differently as to reproductive decisions? Why can the man not "enslave" the woman by making her not have an abortion, but the woman can enslave the man by requiring him to pay child support.


And I suppose that a woman would reply to a man, "Suppose someone got YOU pregnant and ran off, would you keep the baby?"

Of course not.

"Or suppose some bozo who didn't know how to use a condom correctly and who could barely support himself, whom you picked up in a bar, accidentally got YOU pregnant and decided you ought to become the mother of his child for the next eighteen years, when all you'd bargained for was an interesting evening."

No, F-84, this is why we give the WOMAN the right to control her body.

You want to give the MAN the right to control her body.

Same old, same old, male supremacy, MCP bit, that you seem to be advocating for the lesser breeds...females, in this case.

No slavery for one, no slavery for all!

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