Archive for October, 2005

Now I Know Why I Voted For Bush

Monday, October 31st, 2005

It was because of his great court picks.

Alito And Bush

Needless to say, HP is VERY happy with this pick.

Update: More info on Alito,

A graduate of Princeton and then Yale Law School, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the appellate division, Assistant to the Solicitor General, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey — what’s not to like?

Judge Alito also was unanimously confirmed in 1990 by voice vote in the U.S. Senate for the Third Circuit seat he currently holds; has argued 12 Supreme Court cases, argued at least two dozen court of appeals cases, and handled at least 50 others.

So he’s been confirmed by the Senate twice, has impeccable credentials, and a hsitory as a crime-fighter . . . as U.S. Attorney, he prosecuted white collar and environmental crimes, drug trafficking, organized crime and civil rights violations.

Oh, yes — and he’s a member of the Federalist Society.

Update: Judge Alito in his own words, from the Newark Star-Ledger, May, 2005:

“Most of the labels people use to talk about judges, and the way judges decide (cases) aren’t too descriptive. … Judges should be judges. They shouldn’t be legislators, they shouldn’t be administrators.”

Quote Of The Day

Monday, October 31st, 2005

“In the United States, over 85 percent of health care expenses are paid for by insurance companies or governments. This is one of the highest rates of insulation in the world (based on OECD health data, but this particular table is not available on line). Even in Canada, the percent of health care costs paid out of pocket is slightly higher than in the United States. Americans’ high rate of insulation, combined with the abundant availability of trained specialists and the latest equipment, accounts for the high level of health care spending in this country”. -–Arnold Kling, Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Quote Of The Day

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

“As Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald mulls possible charges in the Valerie Plame investigation, the gloating in liberal enclaves like Manhattan, Oberlin, and Arianna’s dining room has swelled to a roar… Hold the schadenfreude, blue-staters. Rooting for [Karl] Rove’s indictment in this case isn’t just unseemly, it’s unthinking and ultimately self-destructive. Anyone who cares about civil liberties, freedom of information, or even just fair play should have been skeptical about Fitzgerald’s investigation from the start. Claiming a few conservative scalps might be satisfying, but they’ll come at a cost to principles liberals hold dear: the press’s right to find out, the government’s ability to disclose, and the public’s right to know” — Jacob Weisberg, the editor of

Update: The Wall Street Journal has more and more.

Update: Christopher Hitchens has more.

Economics Podcasts

Friday, October 28th, 2005

Do you know of any good podcasts? Here are some economic podcast sites I’d recommend.

Radio Economics, a blog by Dr. James Reese an economics professor at the University of South Carolina. He interviews various economic bloggers. Interviews include nobel laureate Gary Becker and Richard Posner, of the Becker-Posner blog. There is also a recent one regarding “The Economics of Wal-Mart” with professor of economics Dr. Russell Roberts, made especially for you Wal-Mart haters out there.

Foundations For Economic Education, click on “Events”, and it will take you to various different podcasts. Some important ones include, “Human Betterment through Globalization” by nobel laureate Dr. Vernon Smith.

Ludwig Von Mises Study Guide, definitely the widest ranging and largest collection I have ever seen. They have almost any topic you could think of, and for those of you really new to economics, I would recommend their, Home Study Course here.


Quote Of The Day

Friday, October 28th, 2005

“Rent control would be another. In California, for example, there are two things that almost every person who wants to be thought decent and humane believes in: He believes in open space and he believes in affordable housing. Now if they understood just the most elementary economics, they would know that if you take two-thirds of the land in a given county off the market, then the price of the remaining one-third is going to go up, and the price of everything built on that one-third is going to go up. But I think most people who believe in open space and affordable housing see absolutely no conflict between them”. —Thomas Sowell

The Anti-Wal-Mart Crowd – Do As We Say Not As We Do

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

The Cleveland Plain Dealer writes:

Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers, er, critics
Aides to Kucinich, Nader, Dean bought supplies from chain
Monday, October 17, 2005
Stephen Koff
Plain Dealer Bureau Chief


— Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Howard Dean and others on the national stage have badmouthed Wal-Mart over its wages, benefits or impact on American communities.

Yet, their aides have bought office and campaign supplies there — and presumably saved their bosses money with the low-price shopping.

Records reviewed by The Plain Dealer show that political organizations headed by these politicians — as well as John Kerry, Wesley Clark, the liberal activist group America Coming Together and the pro-feminist group Emily’s List — have spent money at Wal-Mart over the last 2½ years.

Leaders and advisers of these groups have either criticized Wal-Mart or are lobbying to stop Wal-Mart’s spread in cities including Cleveland.

They say Wal-Mart symbolizes the human cost of relentlessly pursuing lower retail prices: low pay and insufficient benefits for the chain’s employees, and the financial destruction of small merchants.

Why, then, have their aides been cruising Wal-Mart aisles with their bosses’ money?

Robert McAdam, Wal-Mart’s vice president of corporate affairs, suspects he knows.

“We serve so many people because we’re the place that’s convenient to go and at low prices,” said McAdam, who disputes the criticisms leveled at his employer. “So if you’re in charge of managing precious resources for a campaign, which traditionally always struggle to have the right amount of money they need, I can’t imagine they’d make any other choice.”

Exactly, which is precisely why Wal-Mart is good, for the economy as a whole, but especially for the poor. Something that rich limousine liberals like Kerry, Dean, and Kennedy will never understand.

Quote Of The Day

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

“We’ve been waiting 30 years to end the lunacy of nine demigods on the Supreme Court deciding every burning social issue of the day for us, loyal subjects in a judicial theocracy. We don’t want someone who will decide those issues for us – but decide them “our” way. If we did, a White House bureaucrat with good horse sense might be just the ticket.

Admittedly, there isn’t much that’s more important than ending the abortion holocaust in America. (Abortionist casualties: 7. Unborn casualties 30 million.) But there is one thing. That is democracy.

Democracy sometimes leads to silly laws such as the one that prohibited married couples from buying contraception in Connecticut. But allowing Americans to vote has never led to crèches being torn down across America. It’s never led to prayer being purged from every public school in the nation. It’s never led to gay marriage. It’s never led to returning slaves who had escaped to free states to their slave masters. And it’s never led to 30 million dead babies.

We’ve gone from a representative democracy to a monarchy, and the most appalling thing is–even conservatives just hope like the dickens the next king is a good one”. —Ann Coulter

Attention California Voters – The State Needs You

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

There are some great propositions coming up on the November 8th ballot. Here are my favorites,

Proposition 73

That’s right my friends, here in the state of California, there are some people who believe that 40 year old adults are too stupid to know what to do with their own money when it comes to social security, yet 14 year old kids should be trusted to make the right decision on whether or not to have an abortion, all without the parents permission. This bill would change that by requiring parental notification before the abortion is performed, and in extreme cases, allowing a judge to stand in the parents place.

Proposition 74

This bill has two important parts, first, it “[i]ncreases length of time required before a teacher may become a permanent employee from two complete consecutive school years to five complete consecutive school years”, and secondly, it “[m]odifies the process by which school boards can dismiss a permanent teaching employee who receives two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations”.

Contrary to popular opinion, there are good schools that operate in poor areas. These schools operate with overall the same funding, with overall the same racial and poverty make up, and in overall the same areas. Well, what makes them different you say? Why aren’t all public schools like this, you ask? Well, these schools do differ from traditional public schools in a few different yet fundamentally important aspects, but one of the most critical is the ability to hire and fire teachers of their choosing. All of these schools were public schools who chose to become charter schools primary because of the bureaucracy. Once they were released from the bureaucracy and the unions, they had the freedom to institute real change, dramatic change, and in doing so, many minorities that otherwise would have been robbed of a chance at the American dream, now have that opportunity. The schools serve as roll models to other schools in the area, and Arnold is trying to move us more in that direction (For more information on those schools, read this book).

Those of you that were also part of the Los Angeles Unified School District know what I am talking about, we have all seen the teachers that just want the hour to go by, and see teaching more as a pay check than as a calling. Reducing tenure and giving greater power in firing teachers is only a problem for bad teachers, not for good teachers whose primary duty is the education of the students.

Proposition 75

This is a really important one as well, for it shows just how powerful the unions are in California, not only do they force employees to pay union dues, but they want to deny the employee a say in where those union dues go. What if the union member is a die hard Democrat, should she have no say in whether her money goes to a Republican cause? This proposition strikes twice; it limits the all to powerful public employee union, and puts more power in the hands of the employee. For more on this, see Betsy’s Page.

Proposition 76

There is no better way to describe this, than to quote from Arnold himself, “Proposition 76 will force our government to balance the budget and live within its means. Proposition 76 will prevent state expenditures from growing faster than revenues while also stabilizing education funding. Proposition 76 will fix Sacramento’s broken system of deficits and out-of-control autopilot spending”.

Predictably, there are those who are going to complain about the ‘larger concern’ of a reduced funding for public school education. But those who make that argument have the difficult burden of proof to show that more funding is actually good for education. In fact, evidence shows that more funding for education has very little, to no improvement in education at all (This picture says it all).

Proposition 77

Currently, district lines are drawn by those in Sacramento, creating a situation where those in power create their own district lines, which in turn results in a district line that guarantees their election victory, and in doing so, removes politicians accountability to the citizens. As Governor Schwarzenegger’s Analysis states, “It used to be that voters picked their politicians – now politicians pick their voters”.

To combat this, proposition 77 will let a panel of retired judges draw new districts, which in turn would have to be approved by the voters. I am not sure this system will work, but compared to the alternative, I am willing to try different solutions, and if it does prove to be a success, I would support the same system to be implemented at the federal level.

So please, California voters, do your part in bringing a thriving economy back to California, and vote yes on the propositions above.

Quote Of The Day

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

“The sickness of what liberals have done to America is that so many citizens – even conservative citizens – seem to believe the job of a Supreme Court justice entails nothing more than “voting” on public-policy issues. The White House considers it relevant to tell us Miers’ religious beliefs, her hobbies, her hopes and dreams. She’s a good bowler! A stickler for detail! Great dancer! Makes her own clothes!

That’s nice for her, but what we’re really in the market for is a constitutional scholar who can forcefully say, “No – that’s not my job.”

We’ve been waiting 30 years to end the lunacy of nine demigods on the Supreme Court deciding every burning social issue of the day for us, loyal subjects in a judicial theocracy. We don’t want someone who will decide those issues for us – but decide them “our” way. If we did, a White House bureaucrat with good horse sense might be just the ticket.” —Ann Coulter

RIP Rosa Parks

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

The pioneer of the civil rights movement has died:

Rosa Parks, civil rights pioneer, dead at 92

October 24, 2005, 10:47 PM

DETROIT (AP) — Rosa Lee Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement, died Monday. She was 92.

Parks died at her home of natural causes, said Karen Morgan, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep John Conyers.

Parks was 42 when she committed an act of defiance in 1955 that was to change the course of American history and earn her the title “mother of the civil rights movement.”

At that time, Jim Crow laws in place since the post-Civil War Reconstruction required separation of the races in buses, restaurants and public accommodations throughout the South, while legally sanctioned racial discrimination kept blacks out of many jobs and neighborhoods in the North.

The Montgomery, Ala., seamstress, an active member of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was riding on a city bus Dec. 1, 1955, when a white man demanded her seat.

Parks refused, despite rules requiring blacks to yield their seats to whites. Two black Montgomery women had been arrested earlier that year on the same charge, but Parks was jailed. She also was fined $14.

Speaking in 1992, she said history too often maintains “that my feet were hurting and I didn’t know why I refused to stand up when they told me. But the real reason of my not standing up was I felt that I had a right to be treated as any other passenger. We had endured that kind of treatment for too long.”

Her arrest triggered a 381-day boycott of the bus system organized by a then little-known Baptist minister, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who later earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

“At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this,” Parks said 30 years later. “It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in.”

The Montgomery bus boycott, which came one year after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark declaration that separate schools for blacks and whites were “inherently unequal,” marked the start of the modern civil rights movement.

The movement culminated in the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act, which banned racial discrimination in public accommodations.

After taking her public stand for civil rights, Parks had trouble finding work in Alabama. Amid threats and harassment, she and her husband Raymond moved to Detroit in 1957. She worked as an aide in Conyers’ Detroit office from 1965 until retiring Sept. 30, 1988. Raymond Parks died in 1977.

Parks became a revered figure in Detroit, where a street and middle school were named for her and a papier-mache likeness of her was featured in the city’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Parks said upon retiring from her job with Conyers that she wanted to devote more time to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development. The institute, incorporated in 1987, is devoted to developing leadership among Detroit’s young people and initiating them into the struggle for civil rights.

“Rosa Parks: My Story,” was published in February 1992. In 1994 she brought out “Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation,” and in 1996 a collection of letters called “Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue With Today’s Youth.”

She was among the civil rights leaders who addressed the Million Man March in October 1995.

In 1996, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded to civilians making outstanding contributions to American life. In 1999, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Parks received dozens of other awards, ranging from induction into the Alabama Academy of Honor to an NAACP Image Award for her 1999 appearance on CBS’ “Touched by an Angel.”

The Rosa Parks Library and Museum opened in November 2000 in Montgomery. The museum features a 1955-era bus and a video that recreates the conversation that preceded Parks’ arrest.

“Are you going to stand up?” the bus driver asked.

“No,” Parks answered.

“Well, by God, I’m going to have you arrested,” the driver said.

“You may do that,” Parks responded.

She was born Rosa Louise McCauley on Feb. 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Ala. Family illness interrupted her high school education, but after she married Raymond Parks in 1932, he encouraged her and she earned a diploma in 1934. He also inspired her to become involved in the NAACP.

Parks’ later years were not without difficult moments.

In 1994, Parks’ home was invaded by a 28-year-old man who beat her and took $53. She was treated at a hospital and released. The man, Joseph Skipper, pleaded guilty, blaming the crime on his drug problem.

Parks rarely was seen in public after 2001, when she canceled a meeting with President Bush. In court papers filed in September 2004 in connection with her lawsuit over the rap group OutKast’s song “Rosa Parks,” her lawyers said Parks had dementia.

The lawsuit said the song violated her publicity and trademark rights and defamed her. It also said OutKast and record company BMG exploited her name for commercial purposes. OutKast was dismissed as a defendant.

In 2002, Parks’ landlord threatened to evict her from her high-rise apartment in downtown Detroit after her caregivers missed rental payments. Riverfront Associates decided in October 2004 to let Parks live there rent-free permanently.

Looking back in 1988, Parks said she worried that black young people took legal equality for granted.

Older blacks, she said “have tried to shield young people from what we have suffered. And in so doing, we seem to have a more complacent attitude.

“We must double and redouble our efforts to try to say to our youth, to try to give them an inspiration, an incentive and the will to study our heritage and to know what it means to be black in America today.”

At a celebration in her honor that same year, she said: “I am leaving this legacy to all of you … to bring peace, justice, equality, love and a fulfillment of what our lives should be. Without vision, the people will perish, and without courage and inspiration, dreams will die — the dream of freedom and peace.”

Quote Of The Day

Tuesday, October 25th, 2005

“In its eagerness to regain faltering conservative support for the Miers nomination, the White House has suggested that her religion and her personal views on abortion be treated as relevant information. Indeed, since there is so little else to recommend Miers, the White House is arguing that Miers’ religion and personal views on abortion be treated as the most relevant information.

But if this information is relevant for Miers, it is relevant to all judges. Which would mean, if this unwise nomination goes forward, that from now on, every Catholic nominee, every Evangelical nominee can legitimatly be quizzed about their faith and their personal views of morality. And it won’t be just abortion that will be fair game. They can in that case be expected to be asked about their view of homosexuality, their attitudes toward prayer, and on and on.

With every passing day, this nomination is laying down precedents that conservatives will regret for the next half century. Conservatives have put themselves on record saying that brains don’t matter on the Supreme Court, but religion does; that judges should not be evaluated on the basis of their knowledge of constitutional law, but can be evaluated according to whether their position on abortion accords with that of the current majority in the US Senate.

This is reckless and self-destructive folly. The arguments used today to put Miers on the Court will be gleefully exploited by Democrats tomorrow to keep religious Catholics and Evangelicals off.

In its effort to carry this nomination past an unwilling Senate and an increasingly skeptical country, the Bush White House is surrendering principles conservatives have fought courageously to defend and offering concessions that conservatives will rue for years and decades to come”. — David Frum

Quote Of The Day

Monday, October 24th, 2005

“Perhaps President Bush was conflating liberal dominion over constitutional law and activist courts since the New Deal with intellectualism. That is easy to do, given the pervasiveness of liberal ideology in legal scholarship and academia more broadly. It is tempting to blame the root for the branch. If the liberal jurisprudential establishment emerged from elite schools and journals and spoke in large words and grand theory, the thinking might go, it can only be tamed by reaching outside the Washington-New York intelligentsia to let some Texas common sense cut them down to size.

But law, unlike politics, is inescapably an intellectual exercise, and reason is the bedrock of the rule of law. It is about the careful articulation of principles and nuanced applications, made persuasive by a compelling understanding of the constitutional order and the role of courts. Law is not molded simply by the votes of judges and justices, but in the power and cogency of written opinions and the philosophy they express, which become the fodder of law-review articles, commentaries, and conference panels, and eventually permeate the classroom teaching that forms the next generation of judges, lawyers and scholars. To bypass the opportunity to strengthen a conservative intellectual core–an elite–on the Court is not to make it a populist protector of freedom, but to abandon the field to the liberal elite”. —Dennis Coyle, Catholic University political scientist

Why Don’t Latinos Do As Well In School?

Friday, October 21st, 2005

The answer seems obvious to me, but others find it hard to accept:

Quote Of The Day

Friday, October 21st, 2005

“In choosing Kenneth Starr to vouch for the social conservative credentials of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, Dr. James Dobson picked a man who 24 years ago as a Justice Department official did the same for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor”. —Robert Novak

Bill Cosby Goes To Compton, California

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

When you hear news like this:

Compton’s homicides
A turn for the worse in this deadly problem is a concern for the region.

After years of steady improvement, Compton’s homicide rates have taken a disturbing turn for the worse. Three murders Tuesday have added to the city’s total of 54 killings this year.

If the trend continues Compton could exceed New Orleans as the murder capital of the United States. That startling fact ought to make the whole Los Angeles region take notice.

Sheriff’s Department leaders and city officials don’t have a ready explanation for the spike, but gang-related violence is the most likely culprit. With an estimated 8,000 gang members in a 10-mile city, any uptick in gang violence will have a dramatic effect.

The city’s decision in 2000 to disband its police department and contract with the County Sheriff’s Department has so far served Compton well. But it’s time to take a fresh look at the city’s patrol numbers.

…you realize that you are dealing with a city that is in need of real reform. However, due to Comptons relatively small size and its low revenue, most people don’t take the effort.

Well apparently, Bill Cosby certainly does:

Cosby bringing his issues to Compton
Today he’ll hold “Call Out” meetings, part of his controversial effort to address tough topics in black communities.

Bill Cosby, who ignited a firestorm of debate among African Americans when he chastised poorer blacks on issues ranging from bad grammar to the squandering of opportunities provided by the civil rights movement, will take his crusade today to Compton, a city plagued by a skyrocketing murder rate, a dismal school system and other urban ills.

Cosby, currently touring the country’s lower-income communities, will host a “Call Out” at Compton High School. He says he wants to address what he feels is “apathy” in the area and engage residents in a dialogue revolving around parenting, education and social responsibility.

“I do believe we need clarity on what is protection for our youth,” Cosby said Monday in a phone interview. “Education should be as important as your child’s cough, your child’s sneeze, runny nose or high fever. That is part of the protection.”

The event marks Cosby’s first nonperforming appearance on the West Coast since last year, when his headline-making remarks won praise and criticism from blacks.

At a May 2004 NAACP ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation decision, Cosby said, “These people marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education and now we have these knuckleheads running around…. I can’t even talk the way these people talk: ‘Why you ain’t,’ ‘Where you is’ … and I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. And then I heard the father talk…. Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.”

Some in the black community congratulated Cosby for his bluntness, saying his comments were painful but accurate. But others felt his tone and some of his words were harmful and elitist. The message inspired a book-length response from University of Pennsylvania humanities professor Michael Eric Dyson: “Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?”

Cosby, who lives in New York, said he was not surprised by the negative reaction: “What they are yelling about has to do with the pain that comes with having the covers pulled off, and responsibility being put in its proper place. I don’t feel a challenge from them, I hear them yelling and crying out. I’m looking at the murders and the things that say glaringly, ‘There’s danger, something is wrong,’ and I’m asking my people to wake up.”

Local political activist Earl Ofari Hutchinson said this week that Cosby’s “comments were vital, but the problem was the framework. It gave the impression that it’s only one group that has lousy parents and drug addiction. That was not what was intended, but that’s what resonates. It reinforces negative stereotypes about African Americans. There’s an overwhelming majority of parents who are doing the right thing.”

The Compton event is being organized by photographer Howard Bingham, and has no official association with the city’s unified school district. The two sessions are free to the public, but require tickets, which are available through the Compton City Clerk’s office or at Compton City Hall.

At 4:30 p.m., Cosby plans to moderate a session dedicated to foster parents and their children, and grandparents raising children.

“I want to give them information on the wonderful opportunities in the junior colleges and community colleges,” he said. “The beauty of these colleges is that you can walk in with a young adult, and they will help you find courses and education in areas you are interested in. If young people have made a mistake in life, they’re not dead in the water. They can recover and become what they want to become.”

A second session at 6:30 p.m. will focus more closely on Compton, which has been struck by a sharp rise in homicides. At least 54 people have been killed so far this year, 11 more than all of last year. At today’s event, Cosby says, he will talk about of the city’s most famous former residents — tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams.

“The Williams sisters came right here from Compton,” he said. “The examples of achievement are there on every level of this family — father, mother and children.”

Although Compton has suffered for years under a reputation of being a haven for gangs and criminal behavior, Cosby said he has sought in the past to turn the image around. He once suggested to a Compton politician, whom he declined to name, that the city should honor the Williams sisters with a parade. “I said, … ‘They exhibited the mental toughness of being African American in this world, and now they’re worldwide celebrities.’ ”

That was three years ago. “There’s been no parade, nothing to honor this achievement,” he said. “It’s the mind-set of many of our leaders who can’t or won’t get past this apathy. These are the questions that I want to ask.”

Good for Cosby, I strongly support him in this effort, and hope that this is not his last visit to the city, and hopefully, his visit will encourage others to do the same. Compton could certainly use the help.

Update: The Los Angeles Times covers the event here.

Quote Of The Day

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

“The importance of the distinction between these two modes of use cannot be exaggerated. It is not only a question of respecting the separation of powers. Those who believe the Washington legislature got it wrong can work to change the law through the ordinary democratic processes of persuasion and voting. But in the U.S., unlike in countries whose constitutions are easier to amend, the court’s constitutional mistakes are exceedingly hard to correct. The unhealthy ripple effects of judicial adventurism are many: Legislatures are encouraged to punt controversial issues into the courts; political energy, lacking more constructive outlets, flows into litigation and the judicial selection process”. —Mary Ann Glendon, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, explaining “What’s wrong with the U.S. Supreme Court citing foreign law”