A News and Politics Blog, With a Smattering of Sports
Monday, July 07, 2003
James Watson would have aborted his son if a genetic test had been available at the time warning that his child would be born with severe epilepsy.
Would that make it OK to have Watson castrated before he could breed?
32 posted on 07/07/2003 9:53 PM EDT by LibKill (MOAB, the greatest advance in Foreign Relations since the cat-o'-nine-tails!) "
"Any time you can prevent a seriously sick child from being born, it is good for everyone,' Dr Watson told The Sunday Age."Sick. One step away from "any time you can keep a handicapped child from having a life of hardship by euthenizing it before it is capable of rational thought, it is good for everyone."
If I recall, the Nazis did not just kill Jews. They also exterminated the feeble, the handicapped, the aged, the ill.
Time for what? To let the famous guy get his rep destroyed by a gold digger?
If it turns out there is any validity to this woman's claims at all, I will be beyond shocked. In the interim, Free Kobe! He has always been a class act in a league full of less-than-class acts.
"The popular radio talk show host who did a weekend TV show for the cable channel referred to an unidentified caller to his show Saturday as a 'sodomite' and said he should 'get AIDS and die.'I concur. Despite his popularity, Savage represents the worst of punditry.
'His comments were extremely inappropriate and the decision was an easy one,' MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said."
"The story regarding the Father's Day Invitational golf tournament on Page B1 contained an encounter with one 'Carl Spangler' whom [sic] the story reported had invented a new type of grass for golfing. . . . It came to the attention of management that the incident had not taken place and was in fact a scene from a movie. After discovering this, management immediately terminated the author."Hey everyone, we're all gonna get laid!!!
Religion is immoral? The liberal mindset.
Other Dean rivals are happy to leave Dean alone on the theory that he is most bothersome to the Kerry campaign, especially in New Hampshire, where the primary next January is do or die for both men. “Either Kerry or Dean is going to survive the New Hampshire Primary, but not both,” said an adviser to another rival. “Why should any of us get in the way of that? If Dean defeats Kerry there, it opens things up for the rest of us.” Gephardt’s and Lieberman’s advisers see Dean blocking the progress of Edwards, who has positioned himself as a new-face, new-ideas outsider but who has yet to make any headway in the polls. Lieberman and Edwards are delighted to see Dean rising in the polls in Iowa, where he is making life more complicated for Gephardt.I believe the others are whistling past a very haunting graveyard. The characteristic which Dean is exploiting to vault into contention is Democrat activist anger. There is a sizeable contingent within the Democrat base that is mad as hell, and they are not going to take it any more. The more Dean plays to them, the more their anger is validated.
Should Dean fail to gain the nomination, will these angry Democrats back the nominee? This is not the same situation as with Bush and McCain; the latter gained considerable support from Democrat crossover votes in open primaries. Many of these voters never intended to vote for the Republican, and a significant portion of those that would have voted for McCain did not vote for Bush.
It is more likely that should Gephardt, Kerry, Edwards or Lieberman knock off Dean, that these angry leftists will become even more angry, but this time their anger will be at the party establishment for kicking their beehive aside. The sting the Democrats may feel in such a case will be an exodus of support to the Greens.
A truly remarkable story. I cannot fathom surgery lasting 2-4 days.
It goes to show, however, how strong the desire is within people to be free. These two women have never once in their lives experienced privacy, or the ability to go somewhere freely without the consent of another. It reminds me of a line from "Go To The Mirror" by The Who in the rock opera "Tommy":
Imagine though, the shock from isolation, when he suddenly can hear and speak and seeThese brave women are risking their lives to be free. Imagine though the shock of isolation, when they suddenly are alone, for the first time, at the age of 29.
We can all spare a prayer for them, both to survive the surgery, and to handle traumas we can only imagine afterwards.
"Core Democrats have an emotional investment in the idea that George W. Bush is an idiot; if conservatives believe they are conservative because they have more common sense than other people, liberals believe they are liberal because they are smarter than other people. At the heart of their hatred of Bush is snobbery. Gephardt, Lieberman, Graham, and Edwards don't exude this snobbery. Dean and Kerry do."Quite.
The Democrats' problem is that at least 70 percent of voters do not share their contempt for Bush and find it off-putting. Outside a Bush fundraiser last week one protester's sign read, "France was right." That is not a winning slogan in an American election.Quite.
A double-quite-er from Barone.
I linked to the thread on the article on Free Republic, despite the fact that the thread is very short on substance and very long on fans of Coulter and non-fans taking unsubstantive pot-shots at each other. This comment, however, was excellent:
As for Ms. Coulter, my personal opinion comes from a conversation I had with my wife. My wife is conservative by inclination. She is not, however, a doctrinare partisan, and is neither a news nor a political junkie. I consider her to be a wonderful canary in the coalmine; if something makes her croak, then I know it is probably toxic. She watched some liberal show (The View, I believe) where there is a panel of four women who talk. Normally, my wife is aghast at the liberal positions of the panel. This one day, Ann Coulter substituted for one of the regulars. My wife found her to be ascerbic (not a problem), obnoxious, off-putting, and unpersuasive. Coulter may provide great red meat for the hard-core sharks, but the chum in the water and the resulting feeding frenzy probably chases away many of the fish conservatives need to attract and convince.
"McCarthy, undeserving as he may be of the extreme villification he's gotten over the years, is far from a rehabilitatable character, as even so august a figure as William F. Buckley has been known to admit on occasion. He was a flawed man who properly recognized a security threat and then handled addressing that threat in a less than laudable manner. It's my view that his alcoholism, and the grandiosity that often goes along with alcoholism, played a central role in many of his excesses.
The historian Peter Viereck got it about right when said of the McCarthy era and the reactions to McCarthy from the left, 'I am against hysteria, but I am also against hysteria about hysteria.'"
Saturday, July 05, 2003
I loved this little aside:
"The first time Canada was at the top of the list was in 1992 when Brian Mulroney's Conservative government was in office."Just think how high the quality of life could be in Norway, if they would just swing away from socialism.
I am sure had Bush not made any such statement, there would be no attacks against our troops </sarcasm>
I always chuckle when the media is so blatently stupid and/or partisan.
"Karl Rove tried to stir up enthusiasm for Dean marchers yesterday at the 37th annual Palisades Citizens' Association Fourth of July parade along the District's MacArthur Boulevard, which always attracts plenty of politicians.I suppose since he is a tad more famous and influential than I am, I should say that 'I often think like Rove' instead of vice-versa, but this is my blog so for here, it is 'he often thinks like me'. Either way, Go Dean, Go!
As a dozen people marched toward Dana Place wearing Dean for President T-shirts and carrying Dean for America signs, Rove told a companion, ' 'Heh, heh, heh. Yeah, that's the one we want,' ' according to Daniel J. Weiss, an environmental consultant, who was standing nearby. ' 'How come no one is cheering for Dean?' '
Then, Weiss said, Rove exhorted the marchers and the parade audience: ' 'Come on, everybody! Go, Howard Dean!' '"
(Rove also has drawn the McKinley parallel for President Bush)
Newsday.com reports At Least 31 Killed in Pakistan as a militant Islamic group storms a Shia Muslim mosque.
CNN reports at least 16 people killed in Moscow as two women homicide bombers detonated themselves at a rock festival. A passport found gives evidence that they were Chechen separatists. For some reason, the media rarely notes that the Chechen separatists are Islamic.
Seven recruits for the rebuilding Iraqi police force were killed in an explosion in Ramadi, a Baath stronghold:
Many people said they blamed U.S. forces for the explosion, but the local police chief denied that, saying he thought there was an effort to create tension between the U.S. forces and the police.
Friday, July 04, 2003
Fox News is reporting that Taylor has accepted an asylum offer from Nigeria.
But they are hedging and saying it 'may have a catch'- namely that there must be Peacekeepers first.
"As for the bus-and-truck McCain act, that got a workout the other day when Dean formally launched his campaign in Burlington, Vermont and cast himself as the outsider among a bunch of establishment drones. "It's a bit of a club down there," he said. "All the candidates from Washington, they all know each other, they all move in the same circles, and what I'm doing is breaking into the country club."
In normal circumstances, this would have been a bit of consultant-scripted boilerplate outsiderism - except that a few days earlier his son Paul and three buddies had been arrested for breaking into Burlington Country Club to steal some beer. Realising his 'gaffe', the governor shrugged to his aide, "Why do I say these things?" "
At face value, I think this would be acceptable. Without his agitation, the situation in the immediate area would calm quickly, and as such there is reason to believe that such a 'peacekeeping' mission would be less dangerous than those usually are, and shorter in duration.
However, I am not sure it should be taken at face value. Once peacekeepers are in place, would that lying S.O.B. actually step down?
Happy Independence Day!!!
Thursday, July 03, 2003
"In experiments using donated embryos, scientists from the Centers for Human Reproduction in New York and Chicago investigated whether healthy cells from one embryo could be implanted into a second defective embryo.Create life just to throw it away.
They found that, in some cases, the introduced cells do proliferate and spread throughout the chimaeric embryo.
Their hope is that having even a small proportion of cells from a healthy embryo might prevent certain genetic diseases from arising.
The 'merged' embryos were never intended to develop into children, and were destroyed after a few days."
I really wonder about some people.
This is one of the most amazing speeches I have ever read.
The battle for liberty did not end with the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Chan! Chan! He's our Man. Fox, rescue his movies from the PC s..tcan!
"Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee: News will break on Saddam's weapons program"This story in the Lost Wages Sun gives me a different impression. To me, it does not sound like anything big is going to break. The comments quoted from Roberts are as follows.
"It's classified information now - I am urging the administration and the intelligence community to make at least portions of that public," the Kansas Republican said. "We've had some success; I'm sorry I can't go into detail about that." ...One possibility is that such a comment is meant to start managing expectations away from finding WMDs to finding out the details and extend of the WMD programs.
"It's going to take some time to uncover Saddam Hussein's weapons programs, and let me emphasize the term `programs'," Roberts said. "This was a program designed to be hidden, hidden by people who knew what their fate would be if they revealed it."
"You can't dig up every rosebush in Iraq," Roberts added. "We need people who are familiar with the program to show us where they are hidden."
As for the information being classified at this time, that probably means that we have some informants in Iraq who could be jeapordized should the details of what we have found so far come to light. I do not read much into that; when more information is found and the identity of the source(s) can be hidden in the fog of quantity, it will come out. Just don't expect any smoking guns.
"The U.S. government plans to launch a Persian-language television newscast in Iran on Sunday as the Bush administration continues to encourage internal dissent against the ruling clerics, administration officials said yesterday."So far so good.
The program, "News and Views," will include ... a report about the United NationsAck.
"Hence sites like LewRockwell.com beg their readers to use the Alexa tool bar so they can claim absurdly inflated traffic numbers."Is it true that LRC does this? I do not know, although this Google search hints that it may be so. I do not find anything wrong with it, although the idea of civil libertarians going out of their way to download software so that they can be tracked online is somewhat perplexing.
Yes, yes, I know, it is voluntary, but still. It just seems strange.
"With more than two million jobs having disappeared since Mr. Bush took office in January 2001, he finds himself in danger of becoming the first president since Hoover to oversee a decline in the country's employment."The hit the economy took due to 9/11 is completely irrelevant, right NYTimes?
The Yankees' recent years' domination?
"In the hope that this action will evoke discussion about the progress made in our modern, multicultural society, we invite you to please visit our website at www.foxmoviechannel.com to send us your thoughts on the matter.---> Fox Movie Channel will schedule Charlie Chan films based on the feedback of its subscribers."Blogworthy. Time for some positive feedback.
I think it is ironic that the hit Japanese show Banzai is being ported to America by Fox, but Charlie Chan movies are verboten. Banzai makes Asians look like fools (but granted, they are Asians playing Asians looking like fools), while Charlie Chan was an Asian, played generally by white guys, who was made out to be sharper than anyone else. And the latter is the one that is offensive to Asians?
"The great irony here is that the Yankees' very dominance may come back to bite them. By setting the bar so high, the Yankees have discouraged all but a few of the teams in their own league from attempting to compete with them. As a result, there's been a gradual migration of talent to the National League, the effect of which is that the NL has a better-than-even chance to win this year's Mid-Season Classic. If the Yankees lose Game 7 of the World Series in a closely fought contest at Turner Field or Pac Bell Park, they may have nobody but themselves to blame."I think the Yankees will accept this downside to their recent years' domination of baseball.
"On or around March 1, 2003, the government of the United States arrested a man it said was Iyman Faris, a U.S. citizen from Columbus, Ohio. Faris disappeared. No formal charges. No arraignment. No trace. Last week, the government said that in mid-April, Faris was allowed to plead guilty to plotting to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge. Did he have a lawyer? What if he hadn't been "allowed to"? We don't know. This happened in secret, in a Virginia courtroom. He was sentenced. The sentence is secret. ...Some people still want to close their eyes and think we can fight terrorists without infiltrating the terrorist organizations. They have no regard for the fact that we have a duty to protect those who are fighting to safeguard our nation.
The great columnist Jimmy Breslin is apoplectic. I don't blame him. ...
"I don't know what Faris looks like or sounds like or what he thinks and what he was doing," Breslin wrote. "He could be the worst. I don't know. Prove he wanted to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge and let him paste a picture of Osama bin Laden on the cell wall for inspiration over the next half a century. But first bring him into open court and try him."
I am sure Osama would just love to know how we found out about this guy.
The trick is how to craft the system so there is sufficient oversight to ensure that the government is not abusing the secrecy it needs in order to fight terrorism. But Jimmy Breslin's and this guy's calls for 100% transparency is a nice idea that went down in a crush of flaming jet fuel and crumbling concrete and steel on 9/11.
And there will never again be a good day for pretending that we can simply wish terrorists away. Made here
He said the maps showing Democrats winning are the 'best case' scenerios for Democrats, if everything goes their way. Iraq turning into a quagmire. The economy tanking. And an error free campaign for the Democrats. He said even given those assumptions, he really struggled to get any of them over 270. And he did not include Dean because, while he thinks it is increasingly likely that Dean will get the nomination, he cannot see how Dean could avoid a landslide defeat.
"Violence-marred strikes over rising fuel prices in Nigeria entered a fourth day Thursday after talks between union leaders and government officials ended without agreement."This is a strange situation. The NLC is, like most union organizations, on the left. In the words of their current President, they are "progressives seeking change and Social Democracy". However, they have stated that the party they support will not be communist. In the most recent Nigerian Presidential elections, they supported the results that Obasanjo had won re-election, rejecting the agitation of anarchist / radical muslim challenger Muhammadu Buhari. And they support privatization of much of the Nigerian economy.
Does this general strike signal a change in tactics by the NLC and its leader Adams Oshiomhole? A quick review of the recent news indicates that the strike is being more than welcomed by Buhari, and if the NLC has changed sides, then this is extremely bad news.
The Daily Times of Nigeria reports:
Those of us who interpreted Buhari’s tantrums as the cheap antics and mere ranting of a typical defeated Nigerian politician (incurable bad loser syndrome) actually underestimated the seriousness of the situation. We did not realize the danger that this unrepentant dictator posed to Nigeria’s democratic process. From recent indications and with the benefit of hindsight, one can say with some assurance that Buhari did not really contest the Presidential elections to win but to muddy the political waters and cause confusion. He did not contest because he had faith in democracy or Nigeria’s fledgling constitutional political process ...(Posted on Free Republic here)
First, Buhari’s democratic credentials or lack of it were such that he would not have won any free and fair general elections in Nigeria. As a notorious religious fundamentalist, regional irredentist and sectional champion, it would have been a miracle if he had performed better than he did. A sectarian leader could not by any stretch of imagination be expected to secure the nationwide acceptance required to be the leader of a heterogeneous country like Nigeria.
Secondly, Buhari did not campaign in several parts of the country. He was so lackadaisical and perfunctory in his few outings that only few political watchers could have taken him seriously.
Thirdly, after losing the election, as he should have expected if he was realistic and honest to himself, he rejected the result of the elections. He criticized the entire process, his fellow participants, the umpires, everyone and everything but himself. He refused to go to the Election Petition Tribunal as demanded by the Electoral Act.
He mobilised other political parties who lost elections to gang up against the ruling PDP. He was not long before he lost the support of most credible members of his own party who now largely see him as a misguided missile and political nuisance.
Perhaps sobered by the international endorsement of the Presidential election results and the local nationwide acceptability of both the process and the results, most forward-looking politicians started distancing themselves from General Buhari, who is looking more and more like an anarchist.
What that tells me is that since the cable news networks kept getting 'confirmation' that the troops were going and that there was going to be a peacekeeping force, but then there is nothing substantive reported as a followup, is that someone is trying to manipulate the White House. Someone either wants to pressure the White House into sending troops by planting that it is a done deal, or they want to pressure the White House into not sending troops by generating a backlash in advance, or it is coming not from anyone in the know but from a Democrat operative wanting to give the impression that the administration is in disarray. Without knowing who is doing the leaking, it will be impossible to figure out what the motive is, or how likely the leak is true.
Whatever the case, we should know soon enough.
Wednesday, July 02, 2003
And through it all the American soldier is asked to do what no others could do — and yet does so with grace under fire. On July 4th we should remember all this and the rare breed who, thank God, are on our side."
Well worth the click.
But you can see that over there ------>
At the bottom of this page, I have a counter. The hosts of this counter, provide a service by where one can view the referring pages of hits to one's page. I noticed one such hit coming from a Google search on the phrase "founding fathers" and sodomy. Out of curiousity, I hit it to find what I would see, and found the usual mixed bag of results. Unfortunately, too many of them were sites that are flat out dispicable (The Church of Euthenasia, The National Alliance, SatanService).
One thing conservatives need to always be vigilant is not merely saying "they don't speak for me", but also saying "I reject the goals of such groups completely and without equivocation". If the National Alliance appeals to you, then you and I are not allies.
However, I do like this:
"'We're exploring all options as to how to keep the situation peaceful and stable,' he said. 'One thing has to happen: Mr. Taylor needs to leave the country. ... In order for there to be peace and stability in Liberia, Charles Taylor needs to leave now.'"
"'There was never an organized, articulate, and effective liberal or left-wing opposition to the communists in Hollywood,' concluded John Cogley, a socialist, in his 1956 Report on Blacklisting. As former party member Budd Schulberg (On the Waterfront) put it, the party was 'the only game in town.' But even though the Communists were strongest in the Screen Writers Guild, influencing the content of movies was a trickier matter. "This begs the question- has there been in modern times an organized, articulate, and effective liberal or left-wing opposition to communists in the Democrat party?
Putting several hundred of America's finest in harms way to keep the peace (thereby keeping a thug with ties to terrorists in power) is simply wrong, and a terrible cave to foreign pressure by the administration.
Mr. Morse, Ayn Rand would have some advice for you- there are no contradictions. A is A. Or to use more trite colloquialisms, 'you can't have your cake and eat it too' and 'you reap what you sow'.
California is so expensive because California has chosen to be so expensive. The only contradiction Californians are trapped in is their stubborn rejection of conservative economics while whining about the results of liberal economics.
I admit to some satisfaction in seeing a California Democrat saying:
"Here's the idea, then. Let's cancel everything the state of California has acquired since, say, 1950, when the schools, roads and colleges were excellent and there were 5.7 state employees per 1,000 citizens instead of the current 9. 1. ... The way to go is back to the future, when Californians thought they had a future.Bet you wished you had been listening to William F. Buckley shortly thereafter, when he said his goal was to stand atop history yelling "Stop!"
"'CHENEY: Well it seemed to me to be exactly the right decision. I've been a conservative for a pretty long time. And it's always seemed to me to be a stretch, the idea that somehow government has any business in bedrooms.'"I tend to agree, Mrs. Cheney, but the question is not if it is the government's business, but rather if the Constitution says the federal government can tell states to not have it be their business. See Thomas' dissent.
The SCOTUS should not be determining the wisdom of laws. It should be determining if they are Constitutional.
"The current round of fighting in Liberia began three years ago as rebels began trying to oust President Charles Taylor, who won contested elections and took the presidency in 1997 after a 1989-96 civil war."If we go into Liberia, it should be to remove Taylor, not to make a peace that enables him to stay in power. Given the tasks currently facing our military, the better option is to let the people of Liberia work things out, which the article indicates is the prevailing opinion, for the time being, of those within the administration.
"At a press conference after announcing his new AIDS inititative coordinator, President Bush said that he does not know yet if we need a federal marriage amendment. He said lawyers are still looking at the full implications of the Supreme Court ruling. He then emphasized that what he does support is marriage defined as between a man and woman."Given that Justice Kennedy has tipped the hand of the SCOTUS regarding how it will rule on gay marriage (see below), such an amendment may be required.
Libertarian Judicial Activism
Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down two opinions which have dismayed many conservatives. In Grutter, the majority refused to strike down the use of race in admission decisions at the University of Michigan, and in Lawrence, the majority declared that a Texas law forbidding sodomy was unconstitutional.
Much of the conservative criticism has been aimed at Sandra Day O'Connor, who voted with the majority in both cases. In Lawrence, she suggested that the law in question was "a bare ... desire to harm a politically unpopular group"; laws of that nature the court has "consistenly held ... are not legitimate state interests." Right or wrong in her analysis of if the Texas sodomy law, the scope of her legal argument is relatively narrow.
Her concurring opinion was not the opinion of the Court, however, and O'Connor did not join in the majority opinion. Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion is more ambitious in scale and, as the Court's opinion, is further reaching in impact; as such it deserves more attention. Writing for the court, he states [bolded emphasis mine]:
"In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992), the Court reaffirmed the substantive force of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause. The Casey decision again confimed that our laws and tradition afford constitutional protection to personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing, and education. Id., at 851. In explaining the respect the Constitution demands for the autonomy of the person in making these choices, we stated as follows:This passage makes clear that the majority of the court, led by Kennedy, is expanding the edicts of Roe far beyond matters of abortion. As pointed out by Jeffrey Rosen in Sex Appeal, "carried to its logical conclusion, it seems to read the libertarian harm principle of John Stuart Mill into the Constitution, preventing the state from forbidding individuals from engaging in behavior that the majority considers immoral but that poses no harm to others.""These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under the compulsion of the State." Ibid.
"That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." - John Stuart Mill, Essay on Liberty, 1859The allusions to Mill are spelled out clearly by Kennedy, as he wrote "This, as a general rule, should counsel against attempts by the State, or a court, to define the meaning of the relationship or to set its boundaries absent injury to a person or abuse of an institution the law protects." If one buys into the argument made by Mill should not be the point. The point is whether the Constitution, as written, embodies this principle. Is there, in the Constitution, a "right to define one's own concept" of morality, with local, state and federal governments forbidden from legislating such matters so long as they do not harm others? As Justice Scalia wrote in dissent,
"That 'casts some doubt' upon either the totality of our jurisprudence or else (presumably the right answer) nothing at all. I have never heard of a law that attempted to restrict one's "right to define" certain concepts; and if the passage calls into question the government's power to regulate actions based on one's self-defined "concept of existence, etc.," it is the passage that ate the rule of law."The Constitution is one of the most libertarian documents of governance ever employed, but it is not a completely libertarian framework. The 10th Amendment states "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." If the intent of the founding fathers to implement for the entire country the principle that Mill's theorem later encapsulated, the phrases regarding "the States" would not have been included. The wording of the 10th Amendment demonstrates that the Constitution was not written so as to give citizens "a right to define one's own concept" of the law, but rather that such was the realm of either the states or the people. The fact that laws regarding morality were commonplace in states during the years following adoption of the Constitution backs this reading of the intent of the founders.
Kennedy hints that the 14th Amendment is salient and must be considered. "These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment". But even his words highlight that the 14th does not introduce liberties, but rather introduces protections (for all citizens) of the liberties already specified within the Constitution.
"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.", 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, Section 1Is the "right to define one's own concept" of the law one of the privileges of citizens of the United States? It was not prior to the 14th, and the 14th did not add it.
Kennedy continued, "The statutes do seek to control a personal relationship that, whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law, is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals." If one was to substitute the word "activity" for "relationship" would be applicable to an argument against drug use laws; why activities regarding relationships deserve different Constitutional treatment than others is not well defined, especially "absent injury to a person or abuse of an institution the law protects". Lawrence, as Scalia notes, lays the framework for the dissolution of the rule of law, at least where laws fall outside the principles of Mill.
Kennedy has engaged in judicial activism of the libertarian variety. In so doing, he struck a blow against the principles of federalism; a blow that Justices Souter, Breyer, Ginsburg, and Stevens were all too happy to join in making. And if, indeed, there is Constitutional protection "to personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing, and education", then on what grounds are there to be laws regarding bigamy, polygamy, bestiality, and incest? This is the exact argument that Senator Santorum was making when he was recently vilified by the mainstream media. It is not that sodomy and bestiality are comparable, but rather that the Constitutional basis for laws regarding such matters is the same, and the Kennedy opinion destroys that basis.
The question is not if it is good governance for there to be sodomy laws, as Justice Thomas noted in dissent. "I write separately to note that the law before the Court today "is ... uncommonly silly." ... If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it. ... I am not empowered to help petitioners and others similarly situated". Thanks to Lawrence, that is no longer the case; he is now so empowered. Due to unintended (or intended) consequences, libertarian judicial activism has greatly expanded the powers and the reach of the federal government as personified by the courts, at expense of the ability of states and localities to self-govern.
For conservatives and adherents to a strict constructionism judicial philosophy, this is an obvious setback, but not one without a silver lining. As Santorum warned, such a ruling will lead to a bevy of challenges to many other laws. It does not take much imagination to apply the "right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life" to any number of laws. The court will inevitably be forced to revisit the stealth addition of Mill to the Constitution, either to repeatedly reaffirm it or to remove that fanciful addition. One such review will come regarding gay marriage laws ("personal decisions relating to marriage"). More will come after that. And since this is now the pillar on which Roe stands, such a revisitation will be welcome, especially if in the context of the absurdity of a challenge to laws restricting bestiality or incest.
"But increasingly, Republicans will find it convenient to repair to a 'principle' of pragmatism: These issues have been decided."I tend to get frustrated when conservatives dismiss 'pragmatism'. As Russell Kirk pointed out in the opening chapter of The Conservative Mind
"This is an exception, however. Burke did not often leave important material influences out of consideration; he was eminently, almost omnisciently, practical. "I must see the things; I must see the men." He elevated political "expedience" from its usual Machiavellian plane to the dignity of a virtue, Prudence. "I heaved the lead every inch of the way I made," Burke once said of his political practice."Conservatism is grounded in reality, based upon the wisdom of the ages. Pragmatism has always been a (sometimes unpleasant) necessity, and it will always so be.
That is not to say conservatives should worship at the alter of compromise. Experience has shown that if one always retreats, one ends up losing their territory.
The only answer is to use the judgement with which God graces us, to weigh when it is wise to be pragmatic, and when we are better served by drawing the line. A dogmatic approach in either direction is to surrender free will to a political philosophy, and to spurn one of God's greatest gifts (the ability to think) for adherence to a 'principle'.
Goldwater knew that both sides needed each other, and that interparty squabbles that involved threats of turning away from the party merely empowered the enemies of liberty- the Democrats.
Who now will stand up to propose that a future Supreme Court reverse itself and declare that diversity is not a compelling interest of government?
It certainly would not be anyone like Barry Goldwater. As I pointed out here, his nomination acceptance speech included no fewer than six references to the benefits of diversity and how intertwined it is with Republicanism and America.
But assuming Lindberg was sloppily adopting the language of the left and confusing the desirable 'diversity' with the undesirable 'affirmative action and state sanctioned racism', who will stand up and propose that a future Supreme Court reverse this?
That would be anyone calling for 'strict constructionists' who 'narrowly interpret' the Constitution for 'what it says'; Justices like 'Scalia and Thomas'. As it so happens, this is exactly what President Bush has been saying. It has not just been empty rhetoric, either. His Judicial nominees have been exemplary, from Estrada to Kuhl to Pryor to Owen to Pickering to McConnell to Shedd to Sutton to Tymkovich to Roberts to Boyle.
The Republican party, as frustrating as it can be at times, has backed these nominees. The Democrats have prevented many of them from taking their seats.
So who will stand up? Bush has. He has most of the party backing him. Fools like Lindberg seem to want to say "but he is not standing the way I would."
I offer to Lindberg and people like him two more passages from Goldwater. The first is also from his acceptance speech; the second from another famous speech- his 1960 address of Nixon's convention. Both aim directly at those who demand a lock-step purist approach in exchange for their support:
Balance, diversity, creative difference-these are the elements of Republican equation. Republicans agree, Republicans agree heartily to disagree on many, many of their applications. But we have never disagreed on the basic fundamental issues of why you and I are Republicans.And the second is more concise:
This is a party-- this Republican party is a party for free men. Not for blind followers and not for conformists.
Grow up, conservatives
"Next to the hyperbole of Kennedy and Scalia, the most convincing opinions in Lawrence were the most modest. In the same way that O'Connor offered the case for striking down the Texas law in the narrowest possible terms, so Justice Thomas gave us a dissent of eloquent simplicity. 'The law before the Court today 'is ... uncommonly silly,' he said, quoting Justice Stewart's dissent in the contraceptives case. 'If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it.' Nevertheless, Thomas said he was unable to find in the Constitution a 'general right of privacy,' or, as the Court called it 'the liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions.' The fact that the majority didn't bother to respond to Thomas shows how little the judicial activists on the left and the right have learned from the errors of Roe. Their lack of self discipline will only fan the flames of the confirmation battles to come, whether they occur this week, next year, or in the years to come."Always an effective debate technique: if one's opponent presents a difficult parry, simply ignore it.
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
All I know is that if civil upheaval has a chance to overthrow the Mullahs, I wish them success and pray that the rebelling Iranians suffer little in the turmoil.
"This moral certainty may be the key to understanding Mr Bush's stance on Iraq. He believes toppling President Saddam is the right thing to do, and hang the precise reasons, which, perhaps unsurprisingly, remain elusive. Mr Bush does not even seem to care what it might do to America's standing in the world, or to its relationship with its allies."Our standing? I think the fact that the UN wants us to intervene in Liberia suggests our standing is just fine, thank you very much.
This excerpt from another outstanding National Review Online piece, this time by Peter Kirsanow on the UofM Grutter decision makes me livid:
"The evidence is irrefutable that, if race/ethnicity were not the decisive factor, few blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans would meet UM Law's admissions threshold. As noted by University of Texas law professor Lino Graglia, median GPA and LSAT percentiles for admittees to the country's most elite law schools, of which UM is one, are 3.8 and 98 respectively. Fewer than 20 black law-school applicants in the entire country meet these standards. Consequently, meeting UM Law's critical mass of black students (approximately 30 per class) is utterly impossible unless race is the overriding factor."Emphasis his.
I am angry. Livid. How can the leaders of the black community have failed so miserably? How can they continue to back the failed policies which have made it so that in the entire country there aren't 30 black law school applicants that can meet the normal standards of the University of Michigan? In any business, a CEO with that sort of record of 'accomplishment' would be fired. In the realm of racial politics, it means more more more of the same (no justice, no peace)!
One may wonder how the black leadership and their co-dependent partners in the DNC can sleep, knowing that the policies that keep them in power are the very same that fail the black community. I look at it from a more color-blind perspective. These are Americans, being failed by charlatans who empower themselves by keeping other (black) Americans down.
It would appear TownHall has fallen victim to some sort of Internet prankster who bid up the ratings of the NSAWP in order to get it on the top-100 list. There ought to be a lesson here: Just because you're on the Web, that doesn't mean you can do without editors.
See below on my blog. Iraq had the weapons. We need to find them, and in so doing we'll be protecting your arse as we always do.
"When Polly's in trouble I am not slow. It's hip hip hip and away I go!"
"So many of the political commentators [in Canada] are right of centre, the diplomat said, while Canadians themselves are in the moderate middle. There's a disconnect. Who could disagree... Most of its commentators -- David Frum, Mark Steyn, Andrew Coyne, George Jonas, Christie Blatchford, Robert Fulford, Elizabeth Nickson, Hugo Gurdon, Terence Corcoran -- slant right."It is an interesting point, but it nothing new. Just as children rebel from their parents, papers tend to rebel from the only authority figure over them: the people. The disconnect between the Canadian people and the media is just a photo negative of the disconnect between America's predominantly liberal media (Rush excluded) and America's generally conservative public.
The biggest surprise? They showed modesty by not having The TownHall.com website proper on the list (although they do get their chat forum in there, at #64).
The top ten:
- National Review Online
- Jim Huber's Politically Correct Cartoons
- Washington Times
- FrontPage Magazine
- Free Republic
- American Spectator
He's not the perfect pundit, however. In his article O'Connor makes catchphrase law of the land, he writes
"The correct term is ''racial quotas,'' but that's too bald, too clear. So its proponents came up with the coy evasion of ''affirmative action.'' But over the years that also became tarnished. Hence the invention of ''diversity.'' "This is not entirely accurate. The term "affirmative action" started gaining popularity thanks to JFK in 1961 with Executive Order 10925. It stated that every federal contract affirm that "The Contractor will take affirmative action, to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin." I cannot speak with precision as to when 'diversity' became a buzzword, but it was not that long thereafter. Barry Goldwater's Acceptance Speech was replete with references to diversity:
And because of this administration we are tonight a world divided. We are a nation becalmed. We have lost the brisk pace of diversity and the genius of individual creativity. We are plodding at a pace set by centralized planning, red tape, rules without responsibility, and regimentation without recourse...Mr. Goldwater realized early on that Republicans and conservatives needed to rescue the great American ideal of diversity from the race-baiting demagogues of the left.
And beyond all that we see and cherish diversity of ways, diversity of thoughts, of motives, and accomplishments. We don't seek to live anyone's life for him. We only seek to secure his rights, guarantee him opportunity, guarantee him opportunity to strive, with government performing only those needed and constitutionally sanctioned tasks which cannot otherwise be performed...
Thus do we seek inventiveness, diversity, and creative difference within a stable order, for we Republicans define government's role where needed at many, many levels-- preferably, though, the one closest to the people involved: our towns and our cities, then our counties, then our states, then our regional contacts, and only then the national government...
Balance, diversity, creative difference-these are the elements of Republican equation. Republicans agree, Republicans agree heartily to disagree on many, many of their applications. But we have never disagreed on the basic fundamental issues of why you and I are Republicans...
The beauty of the very system we Republicans are pledged to restore and revitalize, the beauty of this federal system of ours, is in its reconciliation of diversity with unity. We must not see malice in honest differences of opinion, and no matter how great, so long as they are not inconsistent with the pledges we have given to each other in and through our Constitution.
One side gets money from big business, wealthy fat cats, and union power brokers.
If you are reading this blog (and I know you are) then you probably do not need me to tell you which party is which in the above. The Republicans are the party of the common man, and the Democrats of the rich special interests.
So why does this merit a blog entry? Because the New York Times is coming oh...so...close... to figuring it out.
the G.O.P. attracted almost 50 percent more contributors than the Democrats and showed a commanding edge among lower-budget donors who gave less than $200 apiece. Sixty-four percent of them gave to the Republicans, versus 35 percent for the supposed party of the people...Yes, the public may, ol' Grey Lady, partly because you have been complicit in foisting false images of the parties for years.
The public may be surprised to learn these results...
The one category the Democrats led in was among fat-cat donors, with the party garnering 92 percent of the contributions of $1 million or more in 2002, the last year soft money was permitted.You don't say.
"'Such interviews are a political rite of passage and must-see TV for the insiders who frame Washington's prevailing wisdom. And by most accounts, Dean performed miserably. He bickered with the host, Tim Russert, evaded some questions and equivocated in response to others. Most egregiously, in the eyes of critics, he could only guess at how many U.S. troops were on active duty around the world and incorrectly estimated the number in Iraq.'...I must be hallucinating, because I remember a minor media uproar when George W. Bush was given a pop-quiz by a local Boston television reporter, and could not name Pakistan's leader. He fumbled for it, said it was "General something", and that he didn't know.
''People watched [Dean's appearance on 'Meet the Press'] and said, 'Hey, there's a guy who admits he doesn't know the answer. You never see anybody in Washington do that,' ' said Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager.'"
I don't remember the Democrats saying it was a good thing and that it would help connect him with the common man, and I don't recall the media giving it the soft sell as they are doing with Dean.
The one that caught my eye was Colombia.
I am not a huge fan of our expenditures of foreign military aid. However, I am dismayed that this may lead to that country being overrun by the leftists the money was going to help fight.
He doesn't quite make the link to passion for the job of performing the Constitutional role of a Supreme Court Justice that I did, but he comes close (and writes better than me):
"Justice Scalia writes as he does precisely because he does not believe that his fellow justices are acting as 'neutral umpires.' He does not believe that the disagreement between them can be characterized as fair-minded people reasoning in good faith about the meaning of the Constitution and reaching different conclusions. He believes that some of his colleagues are busy imposing a Constitution of their own devising, and sometimes barely concealing the enterprise. Scalia has evidence to back up this view. What evidence? Well, the bitter arguments of his dissents - arguments that, by the way, very rarely presuppose, even at their most furious, the rightness or wrongness of the policies at issue, contrary to Sullivan's suggestion."
"But I also think what we're really witnessing is a profound and probably permanent change in the principles of conservatism which has been building for decades.Irving Kristol, for example, was considered heretical among conservatives years ago for arguing that a welfare state which protected the neediest and the eldery was not incompatible with conservatism (a position that, ironically enough, Pat Buchanan not only holds now but considers to be the heart of his economic philosophy). According to Kristol, Social Security, for example, is hardly a threat to the values of the elderly who have worked their entire lives. "I have had Kristol's book on my to-read list for quite some time, desiring to read for myself what the father of neoconservatism was saying so that I could compare it to what paleoconservatives say neoconservatism is. But if this paragraph is true, then the paleocon sniping at neoconservatives becomes even more difficult to comprehend.
"How quickly we all forget. (Posted on an earlier thread)
This is Blix's own list of WMD's and issues he highlighted, from his speech to the UN on Jan 27th, 2003, written up in the Daily News, UK., same day.
Some 6,500 chemical bombs containing 1,000 tons of chemical agents and 'several thousand' chemical rocket warheads, known from previous declarations, are unaccounted for.
Inspectors found a 'laboratory quantity' of thiodiglycol, a precursor of mustard gas.
Iraq claims it destroyed its stocks of VX gas after it proved to be of poor quality. But the UN says it has evidence that the VX was 'weaponised'.
The discovery of 122mm chemical rockets may be the tip of the iceberg. 'Several thousand' chemical rockets are unaccounted for.
Iraq has repaired equipment at a chemical plant previously destroyed by the UN, supposedly for the production of chlorine and phenols.
Iraq claims to have destroyed 8,500 liters of anthrax, but has provided little evidence.
Iraq deliberately omitted to declare 650kg of bacterial growth medium. This could produce 5,000 liters of anthrax.
Iraq has supplied Al Samoud 2 and Al Fatah missles - both with ranges exceeding the 150km limit - to it's army. These missiles are 'prima facie cases of proscribed systems'.
Iraq has rebuilt casting chambers, previously destroyed by the UN and possibly used to make missiles with ranges above 150km.
Iraq has imported 380 rocket engines which could be used for the Al Samoud missiles.
Iraq has 'illegally' imported chemicals used in missile propellants, also guidance and control systems.
Soooo, when Blix's team was doing the looking (and finding nothing), there was ample reason for the world to fear Saddam's regime, but now that Bush's team is doing the looking, there's no justification for the conflict that ensued?
Suddenly, GW has been lying and exaggerating about this stuff? Incredible!
What about Blix? Nobody stood up and criticised him when he made these claims.
The Left relies upon the peoples' inability to recall facts, even a couple of months prior, but our computers have much more reliable memories.
61 posted on 07/01/2003 12:36 PM EDT by spoiler2"
I suppose Sobran can answer the salient question, 'where is all of this, then, which Iraq admitted to having, but has not been found?'
Amazing how those who dance with the idiots at the IHR start sounding more and more like radical leftists. The Pipeline of Hatred in action.
Sobran long ago made himself into a laughing stock, but still it is annoying to see yet another person actively trying to harm our national security. Shame on him.
"'I'm not a politician,' she says evenly. 'If I want to be one, I'll run for office. Susan Sarandon, whom I know and love, is a fantastic actress. It's her right as an American to say whatever she wants. [But] just because you're rich and famous doesn't qualify you to make political statements. I don't put my opinions out there to influence people. You have a lot of influence. And sometimes I feel it's undeserved influence.' "With this bit of wisdom, I am much more curious than I ever thought I would be over Witherspoon's opinions. Isn't that ironic?
While I am always skeptical of Democrats, and always skeptical of trial lawyers, and quadruply skeptical of Democrat trial lawyers, and dodecahedrally skeptical of Democrat trial lawyers running for President, since I am an unabashed capitalist I will have to read Edwards' argument in more detail at a later time.
That does not prevent me from daydreaming ahead, should Edwards (aka The Candidate) win the Democrat nomination, to when newscasts feature him claiming that Bush is anti-capitalist, followed quickly by Bush being protested by International ANSWER and their band of roving communists
"Both the crowd and the speeches were so extremist that any news coverage could only help the President. I'm beginning to suspect that this is the Secretariat of the Workers World Party's secret intention; in terms of resources, publicity, and membership, they're faring far better under the Bush administration than they did under Clinton, or would under the administration of any left-leaning Democrat. Therefore, another term for President Bush is in the Workers World Party's interests; therefore Workers World Party demonstrations against President Bush are going to be as angry and militant as possible. This allows them to recruit the truly radical while alienating the nation's undecided swing voters, giving them street credibility. "
"As next year's campaign heats up, and the number of television cameras at these protests grows, the speakers are going to get angrier and angrier. The Democratic Party has put itself in this unenviable situation by refusing to denounce the Stalinists in its midst, in their efforts to generate "mainsteam" opposition to President Bush. In the future, these party hacks should take note: when you cooperate with the communists, you always get burnt."
"The Democratic Party was represented by a few supporters of long-shot presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and three identically-dressed members of "Team Barbara Lee," the radical Berkeley congresswoman..."The liberal ideal- forced diversity to where everyone is the same, and no one stands out.
"No one group stood out in the crowd..."
Completely unrelated, but also interesting, were these paragraphs:
"Every public protest organized by the Workers World Party or any other leftist group centers on a long string of monotonous speeches, and this was no exception. No fewer than fourteen different radicals took the stage to deliver rants. A few focused on single issues, often peripheral to the main purpose of the protest. For instance, a Workers World Party event wouldn't be complete without a long harangue on Columbia, so Workers World Party-front supporter and promising new recruit Natalie Alsop used her speech to condemn the United States' opposition to the FARC, Columbia's armed Marxist drug pushers. Of course, the City College of San Francisco student was only identified as a volunteer for International ANSWER.Never trust a group that doesn't tell you up front who they are. They may end up wanting to sell you Amway.
"Similarly, long-time Workers World Party member Alicia Jrapko was identified only as a member of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five. She briefly discussed America's detention of five Cuban spies before accusing Cuban-Americans of being terrorists themselves, accusing the
population of Miami of being "good terrorists, the kind supported by the government." And speaker Azania Howse, a Workers World Party member since at least 1996 and likely back to the first Gulf War, spoke primarily about her work to protect an arts center in Oakland. Although praised by the master of ceremonies for reneging on her obligations as a voluntary, paid member of the military, refusing to fight in Desert Storm, and contacting a Workers World Party front for help deserting, Azania's party affiliation was never mentioned."
"Perhaps to avoid paying elevated seller's fees to International ANSWER, the books and newspapers, including the journal of the enviro-terrorist Earth First! were distributed 'free,' with recommended 'donations.'"Gotta love the Stalinst International ANSWER imposing 'elevated seller's fees'. Commies charging monopolistic rates. God Bless America!
"In the opening of his dissent in the Grutter vs. Bollinger case, Thomas quoted Douglass: 'Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! ... And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! ... (Y)our interference is doing him positive injury.'"Why has this caused controversy?
"So what's missing? The words that were replaced by the second ellipsis that put what Douglass said into proper context. What Douglass said in the closing lines is: "Let him alone. If you see him on his way to school, let him alone, don't disturb him! If you see him going to the dinner table at a hotel, let him go! If you see him going to the ballot box, let him along, don't disturb him! If you see him going into a work-shop, just let him alone, — your interference is doing him positive injury.""I see this as a tempest in a teapot. DeWayne Wickham seems to want to ignore the parts of the full quote that Thomas quoted, and focus only on the part 'missing'. This is not a case of SloMoDowd totally changing the substance of what was said by 'ellipsising' words that completely change the meaning of a passage. Did Douglass say "If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall!"? Yes. Did anything that was omitted in leiu of the ellipsis function to modify the apparent meaning of that phrase? No. Did Douglass say "And if the Negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also." Yes. Did anything that was omitted in leiu of the ellipsis function to modify the apparent meaning of that phrase?
Lots of people have criticized Justice Clarence Thomas’ anti-race-preferences opinion (from Monday’s Grutter v. Bollinger decision concerning the University of Michigan Law School’s admissions policy), on the grounds that there’s reason to think that he has benefited from some such preferences.It is interesting to compare the words in the SloMoDowd article Volokh references to the words of Clarence Thomas. So that's just what I am going to do.
What a cunning man Clarence Thomas is.Ignore the incoherence for a moment (make up your mind, SloMo. Is he an average or below intellect who could not merit admission to Yale without affirmative action, or is he cunning?), a difficult task I know. Now, the good Justice:
He knew that he could not make a powerful legal argument against racial preferences, given the fact that he got into Yale Law School and got picked for the Supreme Court thanks to his race.
"Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall!He is quoting Frederick Douglass there, by the way, in a manner which has caused a bit of an uproar. But I'll get to that in another post, in a moment. I just love the comparison, with Thomas arguing that affirmative action harms blacks by stigmatizing them and leaves them vulnerable to charges of not having earned their positions, and SloMo responding that Thomas is not qualified (although he is cunning) to make such an argument because he benefitted from affirmative action and would not be where he is without it.
This is an open deal for anyone who wants in.
Planned Parenthood did not demonstrate at the last GOP convention and was not active in the antiwar marches over the last year. But activists say Bush's impending approval of the so-called "partial-birth" abortion ban, which effectively outlaws abortions beyond the second trimester regardless of the threat to a woman's health.The bill does not 'effectively outlaw' all third trimester abortions (I wish it did), and it is not indifferent to the threat to a woman's health. Any rudimentary fact checking would have caught these distortions. Rather, the limited scope bill:
The bill legally defines a partial-birth abortion as any abortion in which the baby is delivered alive until A in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother," or if the baby is delivered head first, A the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother," before being killed. The bill would allow the method if it was ever necessary to save a mother's life.If there are any moderates who happen by and are reading this, let me ask you this. When you see one side in a debate blatently lying, doesn't it make you wonder what else they are lying about, and how many of the 'facts' they have sold to you are merely propagandist distortions?