Wednesday, March 30, 2005

PFAW and Mr. Smith

People for the Anti-social Way have produced this commercial against the Senate GOP's proposal to end the filibuster on judicial nominations.

At the very beginning, they show a clip of James Stewart as Jefferson Smith from "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" as he begins to launch into his filibuster.

The only thing is, in the movie, Jeff Smith has to conduct a real filibuster, which means in order to forestall the vote on the graft-laden Willet Creek Dam project he has to be recognised and then hold the floor as long as he can until he changes enough minds or gives up.

Not today. Now we have the "gentlemen's filibuster", where all one senator has to do is state his intention to filibuster and that's it. They can then all go home and have their scotch and Maalox. No one has to get the floor and hold it and try to talk a bill to death. Major wimps.

PFAW want to keep the filibuster? Fine. Let's go back to the one Jeff Smith used. Let's see how long the Democrats would last if they had to keep the floor 24-7 to filibuster a judicial nomination, thereby preventing anything else from coming to the floor.

Let's do it. Jolly good show, what?

Krugman's off his medication again

I swear, I think Paul Krugman, the New York Times' op-ed columnist ostensibly to represent the lunatic fringe, has seriously become unbalanced. Check out his column from yesterday. He tries to connect the Terri Schiavo case with political assassinations.

In a line that is the very epitome of guilt by association, Krugman insinuates that the Schindlers' "spokesman" Randall Terry of Operation Rescue fame is wholly suspect because of the actions of a former associate.

Randall Terry, a spokesman for Terri Schiavo's parents, hasn't killed anyone, but one of his former close associates in the anti-abortion movement is serving time for murdering a doctor.

There you have it. One of Terry's former associates is in the pokey for murder, ergo, Terry is just as guilty. Oh, Terry hasn't killed anybody, but wink wink, nudge nudge.

And then at the very end, Krugman says:

America isn't yet a place where liberal politicians, and even conservatives who aren't sufficiently hard-line, fear assassination. But unless moderates take a stand against the growing power of domestic extremists, it can happen here.

The man is certifiable. Does anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together actually think that he is speaking anything even remotely resembling reality. I mean, is there anyone out there who's not a part of the ANSWER looney left cadre who reads his stuff and thinks, "Wow, that's really insightful analysis?"

No, Krugman needs analysis -- on an industrial-strength couch.

Ahoy, mates, get this man his lithium salts!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

A dear friend e-mailed me last week

when I was knee deep in my trial prep, with the following message.

Man, I’m quite disappointed. I’ve been checking your blog, and apparently, you have chosen NOT to discuss the whole Terri Schiavo situation. I mean, you have no problem attacking liberals or democrats when they do something stupid, why not at least MENTION the stupidity of the right-wing republican factions that are trying to make a mockery out of the judicial process. Thankfully, the balance of powers is at work, lest Jeb Bush have anything to say about that. What, you can give it but you can’t take it?

I love my dear friend, her being a Democrat notwithstanding. Can't say I'm not open and tolerant, eh?

I have resisted posting about the Terri Schiavo case, in large part because of my own conflicted feelings about the case. I do believe that people should be able to decline such life-saving measures if they want to. I have a living will. I have made it quite clear to my family that I don't wish any of that nonsense if I'm so incapacitated. My dear departed father also rejected such measures, even though it might have meant lengthening his life by a unknown amount of time. I firmly believe that such extraordinary measures are more for the benefit of the survivors than the patient.

I don't know what Terri Schiavo said or didn't say. I don't know whether she would have wanted to live as she is, as her parents contend, or that she would not have, as her husband contends. I don't know whether a feeding tube could be considered "extraordinary measures," unlike a respirator. I do believe that matrimonial bonds generally should take precedence over the parent-child relationship. I suspect when Terri married Michael, her father "gave her away" as is traditional. That act sublimates the parent-child bond to the husband-wife bond. The two had become one, and all that.

Now, on the substance of my dear friend's e-mail. I'm not wholly sure of what she was referring to when she wrote about the "stupidity of the right-wing republican factions that are trying to make a mockery out of the judicial process." I assume she meant the congressional efforts to intervene in the case, despite the Florida state courts' numerous rulings in the case.

I generally opposed the effort to nationalise the case, even though, as I understand it, all the bill the Congress passed did was to give the federal courts jurisdiction to review the case. Living wills and these kinds of situations have been the province of the States and should remain so. But I thought it odd that Democrats, mostly the more liberal ones, in Congress, were arguing against federal court review of the case.

You see, it has long been the position of liberals to make any violation of individual rights or individual injustice to the federal courts. State courts, it was argued, couldn't be trusted to protect the helpless and powerless.

Well, here we had a case of a helpless woman facing starvation and dehydration as a manner of death, and liberals couldn't elucidate their opposition to federal court review loudly enough. The question is why?

I don't believe for a minute that this matter, as far as congressional participation is concerned, has been a case of state v. federal courts or any of that nonsense. I'll tell you what I am convinced this case is, as far as the national politicos hope to use it.

This is a proxy for abortion. The Republicans are using this case as a way of playing to their pro-life base and to bolster their pro-life bona fides in an arena outside of strictly abortion. And the Democrats opposing this oppose it for the opposite reason: They see that to allow government intervention into this matter to save a life could serve as a precendent to allow it in to save other life as well. And that the Democrats cannot allow to happen even one iota.

(An historical aside: Did you know that the expressions "not one iota" or arguing over every iota has its origin at the Council of Nicea, AD 325, where the raging debate was between St. Athanasius, who argued that Christ was "of the same substance" of God the Father (homoousias) and Arius the Heretic, who argued that Christ was "like the same substance" of God (homoiousias)? So the main source of controversy in one of the most important meetings in the Christian era was over the iota.)

So the whole injection and protestation of Terri Schiavo's case in the national political arena was for nothing more than politics, abortion politics.

See, Harry Blackmun? You thought with your twisted opinion you could remove abortion as a political issue by giving constitutional cover, just like Roger Taney thought he could remove slavery from the political sphere with his warped opinion. Didn't work then. It won't work now.

Free at last, free at last!

Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last!

(That's my favourite MLK line from the March on Washington speech.)

I finished a federal court jury trial today. I had spent the past two weeks getting ready. That's why the hiatus from posting. But now it's over, and I can get back to my normal life (until the next trial).

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

I think the DUers are going to have kittens

Democratic Underground scurvies are about to explode. Don't stand near one when it happens; the goo is hard to get out of clothes and hair and stuff.

What's got their knickers in a collective twist? The thread really doesn't say, but I 'spect it has something to do with ANWR.

Read Post # 28 for a good chuckle.
I think the time has come for some very serious action. We have been marching en mass for over four years now and have seen little result.

I think it is time for mass civil disobedience -- be it national strikes, sit-ins, or other non-violent actions.

I mean just how much longer do we let this go on, folks??? Really? When do we say enough? When do we say "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anynore?"

I think I am there.

Oh, good-o! A DU national strike, all 500 or so of them. That'll show us.

Like I say, these guys are such a hoot!

The Revolution will not be televised. Film at 11.

Wonder how long before the ACLU gets hold of this

It seems that Ashley Smith may have acted unconstitutionally in her efforts to capture Fulton County courthouse killer Brian Nichols.

It would seem that Ms. Smith referred to God and the Bible as she talked to Nichols.

During the 13 hours police say Nichols held Smith hostage, Smith also shared her faith with him. At one point, he asked her to look at him and see that he was already dead.

"I got a bible and a book called the Purpose-Driven Life," Smith said, "I turned it to the chapter I was on that day, Chapter 33, and I started to read the first paragraph of it."

See also, this.

Smith, 26, said she gained Nichols' trust by talking to him about her 5-year-old daughter, God and hope.

I expect an ACLU lawsuit just any minute asserting that her efforts in helping the government catch Nichols are unconstitutional and that Nichols should be released because of her improper use of religion. Or at least Smith should not be eligible for her share of the reward money.

"There should be no invoking of a deity in the assisting of government to catch a poor misguided young man, a victim of society," I expect the ACLU's brief to read. "A private citizen, acting in furtherance of governmental ends, can no more violate the separation of church and state than the government can in achieving those ends."

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The sistahs they forget

It's an axiom among liberal groups that Republicans are to be opposed, slandered and otherwise vilified for whatever they do -- even if they achieve the ends the liberal groups want.

Case in point: the professional Feminists. Read this.

For many years before September 11, 2001 – and much to their credit – Western feminists tried to rouse a sleeping world to the plight of women in increasingly radical Islamic countries. In the US, it was the Feminist Majority that pressured president Bill Clinton to impose sanctions against the woman-hating Taliban regime; it was feminists who first publicised the horror of genital mutilation in Muslim Africa.

But in the months after the attacks on New York and Washington, as Westerners gradually woke to the strange vocabulary that went with jihadism – burkas, veils, honour killings, stonings, forced marriages – feminists went uncharacteristically mum.

Here was the perfect opportunity to convince a stubborn public that remained ambivalent about feminism – in the US, only about one-third of young women accepted the label for themselves even as they opened their own businesses and maintained their own cheque accounts – yet in the communiques from feminist offices the phrase "Islamic extremists" was barely uttered.

Why the relative silence on a subject that would seem to epitomise feminist concerns? Because in the eyes of the sisterhood, worse than stoning women for adultery or forbidding girls to go to school are the policies of white men such as George W. Bush.

You see? The PF (professional Feminists) wanted Bill Clinton, the guy they liked, to do something about the Taliban and their policies towards women. He didn't. George Bush comes along and he does in the aftermath of 9-11. Apparently to the PF, the liberating of women in Afghanistan suddenly became less important that opposing a Republican president.

The article continues:
[I]f Muslim men could be said to oppress their women, it is the fault of Western imperialists or, more specifically, Western men. "When men are traumatised [by colonial rule], they tend to traumatise their own women," says Miriam Cooke, a professor at Duke University in North Carolina. From this vantage point, feminists must condemn not just war in Iraq and Afghanistan but any instances of what Columbia University professor Gayatri Spivak calls "white men saving brown women from brown men".

But wait, weren't the PF calling on Bill Clinton to do something to save brown women under the Taliban, ostensibly a group of brown men?

Oh, right, Bill Clinton was an honorary black man. Never mind.

I've talked about this very weird phenomenon before. It is strange.

OK, so I ain't a pro

It's been hard to keep the site updated the past few days. Work has been trying of late, and it's just a busy month altogether. I have two hearings and a trial, all in the second half of the month. Thus, it has been hard to keep the site free-flowing with my random nonsense.

I'll try to do better, but I'm not making any promises.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

American Exceptionalism

America is an exceptional nation. We are not a run-of-the-mill country. We are different. We do not feel beholden to the diktats that other countries feel the need to impose upon their people, or on other countries. We are set apart. We are, as de Tocqueville wrote "marked out by the will of Heaven."

I began to think about American exceptionalism when I read this column over at Tech Central Station. It's about why America ratifying the Kyoto Protocol or some other similar nonsense would be disatrous for America, and that when the technological changes come that eventually do cut emissions, it will be American technology at the fore. It won't, nor should it, be foisted at the point of a gun.

The thought of American exceptionalism reminded me of a series of articles published back in 2003 by The Economist. They are all about, you guessed it, American exceptionalism.

One of the articles leads off with this quote: “Everything about the Americans,” said Alexis de Tocqueville, “is extraordinary, but what is more extraordinary still is the soil that supports them.” The piece goes on to explain why European-style socialism, much less communism, has never caught on here.

But exceptionalism has another meaning: that America is intrinsically different from other countries in its values and institutions. . . .

In 1929, Jay Lovestone, the head of the American communist party, was summoned to Moscow. Stalin demanded to know why the worldwide communist revolution had advanced not one step in the largest capitalist country. Lovestone replied that America lacked the preconditions for communism, such as feudalism and aristocracy. No less an authority than Friedrich Engels had said the same thing, talking of “the special American conditions...which make bourgeois conditions look like a beau idéal to them.” So had an Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramsci, and a British socialist, H.G. Wells, who had both argued that America's unique origins had produced a distinctive value system and unusual politics.

Lovestone was purged, but his argument still has force: America is exceptional partly because it is peculiar.

It is when I think of how truly unique, how truly blessed we are as a nation, that I thank God that I was allowed to be born here, allowed to live here, allowed to share as a native son in this exceptional country.

Where are we?

I'll let the reader figure out which one we're in (I'll give you a hint, it's the second guy with the crown). Posted by Hello

Three cheers, lads, to Chuck Asay for another fine cartoon.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

An inspired choice

President Bush has nominated John Bolton to be America's ambassador to the UN. I think that's an inspired choice.

Notlob, er, Bolton has been a vocal critic of the "world body," which has degenerated into little more than a mechanism for graft and a third-world debating society. I think we can safely conclude that Mr. Bolton won't go to New York and play footsie with this dysfunctional organization.

UN delegates have been their usual nonsensical selves.

"I hope that once he is here he will have a deeper perception of what the U.N. is about," Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya said.

Which is what, now? How to enable petty despots and thrid-world potentates how to line their pockets? How to talk for hours upon end and achieve absolutely nothing?

Algerian ambassador Abdallah Baali said, "I think when he joins the United Nations he will certainly adapt his views to the United Nations, and I am sure we will work together in a very constructive way."

I don't want him to adapt his views to the UN. The UN has rotted down to its roots. Even their aid programs, which the UN used to be pretty good at, have become little kitties for the bureaucrats to skim from.

I don't believe for a moment that Mr. Bolton will be able to change the UN. Its corruption and ineptitute are deep seated. But at least it can be hoped that he won't just sit quietly in that oh-so diplomatic way for fear of injuring the delicate sensibilities of some delegate from a backwater dictatorship and call a spade a spade.

Monday, March 07, 2005

No posting tonight.

I'm not well.

That's the trouble with being a lone blogger. There's no back up when you get sick or busy.

Keep comin' back, though, please.

More on injudicious diktat

George Will has an excellent column today on how Anthony Kennedy, in his Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. ___ (2005) decision, played the role of legislator, sociologist and moralist.

At the end, Will writes:

The Democrats' standard complaint is that [Republican] nominees are out of the jurisprudential ``mainstream.'' If Kennedy represents the mainstream, it is time to change the shape of the river. His opinion is an intellectual train wreck, but useful as a timely warning about what happens when judicial offices are filled with injudicious people.


Why do we even bother to have a Congress or state legislatures at all, if the court can step in and say, "Here's what national policy is. You'll take this and like it."

Based on Kennedy's decision, what is to stop the Court, or any court, from, say, imposing higher taxes in order to comport to our "evolving standards of decency." Sure, Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the power to levy taxes, but what is that when there is a "national consensus" (as defined by the court -- indeed it apparently doesn't even take a majority of states to create a "national consensus), or when the Europeans are doing it, or when there are several studies before the Court stating that raising taxes would be a good thing.

That's what is so disturbing about the Roper decision. It wasn't based on law, which is what the Court is supposed to look at. It was based on feelings, personal opinions about what is proper, studies, all those things that are proper for a legislature to consider. If a Court can base decisions on those extra-legal materials, then there is nothing to stop them from ordering anything, whether they have the constitutional authority to do so or not, except their own grace.

That's partially why we broke away from Britian in the first place.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Remembering Jim Gordon.

No, he's not dead, yet.

I was driving to church this morning, and "Layla" by Derek and the Dominoes came on the radio. The song was co-written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon. Actually, I believe Clapton wrote the first past and Gordon composed the instrumental theme at the end.

I get choked up everytime I hear that song, not because of Clapton writing it his love, and then-wife of his friend George Harrison, but because of what happened to Gordon years later.

Gordon was a top session drummer in the late '60s and early '70s. He played with the best of that era, Clapton, Harrison, John Lennon, Joe Cocker, Frank Zappa, Harry Nilsson, and Jackson Browne.

Here he is at a rehearsal. Posted by Hello

Of course, he took copious amount of drugs, as did most of the top musicians of the day. But that wasn't his real problem. His real problem was with schizophrenia.

He had been hearing voices for years, especially that of his mother's. In 1983, the voices got to him and he murdered his mother. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but he was convicted and sentenced to 16 years to life in the California prison system. He actually spends most of his time in Atascadero State Hospital.

It's sad to think of such a musical talent being brought down by mental illness and the things he did for lack of treatment. That's why I get choked up when I hear "Layla" and that hauntingly beautiful theme at the end.

Excepts from a July 3, 1994, article on Gordon.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Now that's funny!

Do I make myself clear? Posted by Hello

Go get 'em!

Update: PowerLine has a story about gunfire at a protest march, fire coming from pro-Syrian thugs. Posits that the weapons play may have been on purpose to give the Syrians a reason to stay in Lebanon to "restore order" or some such.

(Let's hear it for Powerline, lads! Hip hip hooray!)

Fear and loathing in Paris

I generally despise France, and have rarely found the French, on my travels there, to be exactly friendly, be ye Americain or not.

I generally agree with John J. Miller and Mark Molesky that France has been our oldest enemy. See also Denis Boyles' Vile France: Fear, Duplicity, Cowardice and Cheese. The term "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" wasn't just coined by chance.

But aside from their wines, more specifically Bordeaux, and even more specifically Margaux, I have found one other saving grace:

Coralie Clement.

Totally fine. And that breathy whisper-style singing is enough to make even that Carson guy switch sides.

Here's Coralie's picture from her website.

Coralie Clement Posted by Hello

Listen to the song that launches when you go to her website. Something else.

OK, I'll concede France that point. R-r-r-o-w-w!

Marines, salute!

Friday, March 04, 2005

More Python

It seems that Eric Idle, with the blessings of the surviving troupe members, has launched a Broadway musical based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, called "Spamalot."

The story's here.

I like Eric Idle, but a musical, and without the Pythons? Hmmmm. I'll reserve judgment on a thing like that until all the facts are in.

What has America ever done for us?

Gerard Baker, a columnist for the Times of London, and a frequent guest on The McLaughlin Group, has a column on what all America has done for Europe (and the world), which starts off with this (three cheers, lads, to Jonah Goldberg over at NRO's The Corner for finding it first):

ONE OF MY favourite cinematic moments is the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian when Reg, aka John Cleese, the leader of the People’s Front of Judea, is trying to whip up anti-Roman sentiment among his team of slightly hesitant commandos.

“What have the Romans ever done for us?” he asks.

“Well, there’s the aqueduct,” somebody says, thoughtfully. “The sanitation,” says another. “Public order,” offers a third. Reg reluctantly acknowledges that there may have been a couple of benefits. But then steadily, and with increasing enthusiasm, his men reel off a litany of the good things the Romans have wrought with their occupation of the Holy Land.

By the time they’re finished they’re not so sure about the whole insurgency idea after all and an exasperated Reg tries to rally them: “All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”

I can’t help but think of that scene as I watch the contortions of the anti-American hordes in Britain, Europe and even in the US itself in response to the remarkable events that are unfolding in the real Middle East today.

I love Monty Python and just about any Python reference. And Baker's use of a very funny scene and applying it to real life is just icing on the cake.

Also reminds me of a scene from The Simpsons

Krusty: Aw, heck: now where am I gonna get a danish?
Bart: Here's a danish, Krusty!
Krusty: Gimme, gimme, gimme! [devours it] Now that's danish! Where'd you get it?
Bart: I stole it from Kent Brockman.
Krusty: Great! [realizes] Uh, he didn't touch it, did he?
Bart: No.
Krusty: Good job, kid! What's your name?
Bart: I'm Bart Simpson. I saved you from jail.
Krusty: [not remembering] Er, I...
Bart: I reunited you with your estranged father.
Krusty: Er, uh, I don't know...
Bart: I saved your career, man! Remember your comeback special?
Krusty: Yeah, well, what have you done for me lately?
Bart: I got you that danish.
Krusty: [grateful] And I'll never forget it.

That's the European elites in a nutshell. Ingrates.

What would the Founders say?

C-Span had an interesting show from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Washington Journal this morning.

The first call-in topic was on what would the Founders think about America today?

I think that the Founders would, firstly, be impressed at how we've grown from a small strip of land on the Atlantic seaboard all the way across the continent. I think they would be amazed at our incredibly high standard of living, yet somewhat dismayed that there is poverty here. Back in their days, anyone with the least spark of industry could support a family, and heaven help them if they didn't. Government support for the poor and slothful? No, thank you.

Secondly, I think the Founders would be thrilled at how our republic, their little experiment, has not only survived but thrived (and has spread throughout the world) without the need for a king or prince, which was very much the norm in the day.

I think, however, that they would be shocked and appalled at how the national government has become the Leviathan it has become. Even Alexander Hamilton, who advocated a strong federal government, might be shocked at just how big it had become. Concurrently, the Founders would probably be distressed and surprised at how emasculated the States had become, since they were correct in believing that government was best when kept close to the vest. The States now are little more than the provinces the Founders were familiar with in Britain, no more than administrative districts for the crown. In their day, the States were co-sovereign. Not anymore, as a practical matter.

They would be surprised, and maybe a bit dismayed, at how large and powerful the office of the executive had become, and even more so at the unchecked and unrivaled power of the judiciary. They saw the Congress as being the first among equals.

I have no doubt that they would be shocked at how involved we have become in the world. The Founders, collectively, thought we were a breed apart and should remain apart, lest the disease of monarchialism and despotism so rampant in Europe infect this nation. They might, however, have altered that opinion when they saw how our brand of government has spread throughout the world instead of the world's, as they knew it, spreading to us.

Some have said the Founders would keel over at the thought of the US Patriot Act today. But remember that less than a dozen years after the Constitution was ratified, the Congress adopted the Alien & Sedition Act, which makes the Patriot Act look like child's play.

What would the Founders say? Maybe it's best that we not know. Some people may not like what they would hear.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Arresting Development

The geniuses over at little green footballs (three cheers, lads!) have this:

More bloggers arrested, detained, questioned, what have you.

Seems as if some of the iron boots over in the sunnier climes don't much care for the free flow of information.

I suppose there was some tin-horn despot trying to shut down Gutenburg and his hip new information technology. But look where we are.

Information control freaks, y'all are living on borrowed time.

Run 'em through the gauntlet, lieutenant!

What's a limited government person to do anymore?

The Libertarian Party? Nope, been there, done that, sold the movie rights.

The other day I saw a drunken sailor who told me that even he thought the government spent too much.

Who should know more, eh? Posted by Hello

I don't know if there will be anymore posting tonight

Either Blogger's server doesn't have its cables coiled down properly or its on my side. Either way, I'm getting a lot of DNSs.

Mr. Midshipman Fubar send his respects.

All Hail the Conquering Hero

Time is but a fleeting moment. We all seem to have the time to make sure our breath doesn’t smell, but have we really taken the time to be totally truthful with our fellow man and say, “Mint or no mint, your breath stinks?” When will our nation own up to what it has been doing since it left school? It never writes, never calls, not even a postcard, and after all the nights I’ve waited up for it to come home. I mean, really! That’s the thanks I get. But I digress.

We are living in tough times. What with the Raelians buying up every living being in the heavens and on Earth and the possibility that double-knit polyester leisure suits may be coming back in style, I don’t know how I can stand the pressure. Let’s get back to some original values. Free handguns and 90 proof rot-gut for everyone. And before children are allowed to go to kindergarten, we must instill in them some sense of community mob mentality, so that when teachers ask them to recite the alphabet, they can respond, “Up against the wall, you imperialist dog. We won’t take any more of your establishment dogma!”

But given the ramifications of the ever fluctuating petro-dollar, I believe that we will see in our lifetime. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? But getting back to where I originally started ... probably wouldn’t be a good idea. Besides, Mother probably wouldn’t want me back in anyway, what with her Limburger and arthritis pain formula and all. But can we really get back to the future? As the greatest sage and philosophical genius of our time Yogi Berra said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

I think there’s a lesson in that for all of us.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Please let this be the start of something real

Headline:Palestinians recoiling from suicide bombs; even some militants distance themselves from last weekend's attack.

Indeed, after years of celebrating suicide attackers as heroes, Palestinians are souring on suicide-bombings like the one last weekend, which emboldens many of them to question whether strikes at Israel will hasten their goal of establishing an independent state. It's a shift many link to the election of Mr. Abbas - a vocal critic of the militarization of the Palestinian uprising - as well as the emerging détente with Israel.

Amid Israeli outrage and international affront in the wake of the attack, Abbas called the perpetrators mukharebin, Arabic for saboteurs, and a term which observers said has never before been applied to suicide bombers.

While I'm far too cynical and jaded to believe that the tide has turned in favour of peace in the sunnier climes, I can still hope.

How amazing would it be if we could look back on 2005 as the year freedom and peace germinated in the ME.

V: O Lord, let thy mercy be showed upon us.
R: As we do put our trust in thee.

Talk about your loose cannon on deck

It seems as if an Illinois anti-gun, Million Mom Marcher has been arrested on, what else, gun charges.

Annette Stevens became a gun control activist after her son was shot to death several years ago. She told a newspaper the gun belonged to her late son, and when she found it, she didn't know what to do with it, so she put it in a drawer.

Police reportedly found the gun and illegal drugs while executing a search warrant at Stevens' home in connection with a spate of drive-by shootings in the area. Stevens insists the search was illegal.

Apparently, the gun found in her home had had the serial number scratched off.

Y'know, I can't think of anything wittier that could beat this. Sometimes reality just has to speak for itself.

Sound to quarters! Sound to quarters! Tragic irony to larboard!

We're Here, we're feminists, we're still relevant (I swear!)

Carrie Lukas over at NRO has an interesting take on the Larry Summers flap at Harvard.

She posits that the reason that the hard-line feminist cabal have been so relentless since his January mistake of challenging politically correct orthodoxy that there could, just maybe, who knows, we haven't studied it, be a physiological or biological reason for differences in higher-level achievement in math and hard sciences is because the Feminists (capital F) are trying to assert their relevance.

Lukas writes:

The effort to take down Summers, for what objectively appears a modest infraction against feminist orthodoxy, parallels the strategy advocated by many hawks in the war on terror. Toppling Saddam was a strategic move, they argue, because other countries are now more wary of crossing the United States. If Larry Summers is ousted for failing to tightly toe the liberal line, the feminists will prove their ability to punish future would-be dissenters. That's appealing for the gender warriors, but terrible for a Democratic party scrambling to project empathy for middle-American values.

"We're here, we're Feminists, and we're still relevant (no, really, I swear, ask anyone)!"

This is reason enough for him to stay put. It's time to end the Feminists attempts to continually divide us by sex and keep the gender wars raging. He probably needs words of encouragement.

Larry Summers

Harvard Corporation has already expressed its support. Good on 'em.

Three cheers, lads!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I'm still mad!

I'm still mad about that Roper decision. How could something that was deemed constitutional only 15 years ago now be unconstitutional? The Constitution hasn't changed. The only answer is that five mischevious and unelected people foisted their own purely personal beliefs as a matter of national policy outside of the elected branches of government.

Justice Scalia rightly noted that the majority didn't even address whether such punishment was consider cruel and unusual at the time the Eighth Amendment was adopted. But why consider that? The Founders are just a bunch of dead white men anyway.

For everyone who cheers this decision today, just remember that five unelected people could make national policy that you won't like tomorrow.

Time for 5 certain people to kiss the gunner's daughter

I know five certain people who should be made to kiss the gunner's daughter for an absolutely outrageous act.

I refer to the five so-called "justices" of the U.S. Supreme Court who, just today, decided that certain states' death penalty statutes applicable for people who committed their crimes when younger than 18 years old is somehow unconstitutional. This only a decade or so after holding that it was constitutional. This betrayal of republican democracy, otherwise called the opinion, can be found here: Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. ___ (2005).

My beef is not so much with whether, as a matter of policy, states should or should not hand down capital sentences to people who were juveniles at the time they committed their crimes. My beef is that such a decision is for the elected representatives to make.


Five people, five unelected and wholly unaccountable to the citizenry people, have decided what our national policy should be. Doesn't anyone find that in the least bit scary?

And what was their basis? The blackguard Justice Kennedy cited, of course, the Eighth Amendment and its proscription against cruel and unusual punishment. But how is something that wasn't cruel and unusual before suddenly so now?

Kennedy cited our evolving standards of decency. But THAT'S NOT HIS JOB to be the moral and final arbiter of our standards of decency! That's what we have legislatures for!

Kennedy then cites ad nauseum the studies of juveniles and their mental and emotional capacities and abilities, all of which would make for a wonderful committee report to a legislature. "The susceptibility of juveniles to immature and irresponsible behavior means 'their irresponsible conduct is not as morally reprehensible as that of an adult,'" Kennedy writes. That's as maybe, but it is no business of a court's! You weren't elected, so you don't get to make these value judgments!

Kennedy then goes on to state that "[i]t should be observed, furthermore, that the Stanford Court should have considered those States that had abandoned the death penalty altogether as part of the consensus against the juvenile death penalty. . . ." So, is what you're saying that the policy of other states, even a majority of them, should now of necessity be binding on the rest, absent the constitutional mechanism put in place for achieving that dominance, otherwise known as the amendment process? Of all the unmitigated gall!

Finally, in Part IV of his opinion, Kennedy commits the most heinous act. He looks to the laws of other countries to decide our own. "It is proper that we acknowledge the overwhelming weight of international opinion against the juvenile death penalty. . . ." No, it is not proper! The laws and policies of other countries, other government, do not and should not influence ours, especially when those laws and policies are rendered by a body that does not have the constitutional authority to makes those decisions.

Then Kennedy has the gall to say: "The Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments forbid imposition of the death penalty on offenders who were under the age of 18 when their crimes were committed." No, it doesn't; YOU DO! And therein lies the way to tyranny, when unelected people can make the laws.

I strongly urge everyone to read Justice Scalia's vigourous and well-written dissent. He says everything I have just written, only in greater detail and better.

More about The Family.

A little more about the family.

The Wife is the poor benighted housewife, struggling through days of dog poop and Play-Doh® and Caillou. She did vacuum today, though. We alerted the media.

She was traumatized as a child. She was routinely left in a small 2’x3’ room with a deranged insurance salesman. To this day, she sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night screaming, “No! Not the actuarial tables!”

The Boy is the heart and sole of the family. His silliness knows no bounds, and his dream in life is to become a deranged insurance salesman. We think something must have happened in utero. He loves football (except the penalties), baseball (except for the boredom part) and cricket (except for the understanding the what the heck is going on part).

The Boy 2d used to be the Baby of the World. Now, he’s the big boy
of the World. He was named for a Scottish king whose name eludes me for the moment. We love him very much, especially when we hook him up to the treadmill for some free electricity.