Monday, November 21, 2005

Quick links...

Professor Bainbridge has a thread suggesting that if Bush were more open to the Democrats on strategy, they'd stop their snarking. I think that's pure baloney. In his comments I note:

It is ridiculous to believe that the left, peddling the "Bush Lied" lie, would suddenly be sated by an admission of mistakes. That is just plain bonkers. People like Michael Moore and Jimmy Carter will never work towards a common goal of improving the situation in Iraq.

Liberals hate the war in Iraq because they hate Bush, but Bush will be president for 3 more years. They will CONTINUE to hate the President, only if Bush unnecessarily admits mistakes in a gratitutous attempt to make friendly with the Democrats, the liberals will sense weakness and take it to the next notch.

The media is to blame in part, because the media is overwhelmingly liberal. They're not only peddling the stupid "Bush lied" lie, but they're also in abject failure in explaining the strategic currents in Iraq: that al-Qaeda is largely supported by Syria and Iran, and that the terrorists there are attacking Iraqis more than Americans. The media don't want to explain that Syria and Iran have an institutional interest in seeing Iraq fail as a democratic state, because they'd rather blame it all on Bush and the US Army.

What the president should do is continue to make the case that the Democrats are lying about the "Bush lied" meme, and that the media is missing the proper angle on the war.

Liberals would love this to be 1969 all over again, but after September 11, I don't think the American public is interested in that sort of idiotic love-fest. They're much more interested in KILLING TERRORISTS. And when push comes to shove and the Democrats finally cast aside their cloak and finally proclaim themselves the peacenick party (of which they always are), the people will once again reject that delusional fantasy of foreign policy in favor of a party that promotes American strength abroad.

Related to that, Ralph Peters has a column in the New York Post: How to Lose A War. He writes:

Not one of the critics of our efforts in Iraq — not one — has described his or her vision for Iraq and the Middle East in the wake of a troop withdrawal. Not one has offered any analysis of what the terrorists would gain and what they might do. Not one has shown respect for our war dead by arguing that we must put aside our partisan differences and win.

There's plenty I don't like about the Bush administration. Its domestic policies disgust me, and the Bushies got plenty wrong in Iraq. But at least they'll fight. The Dems are ready to betray our troops, our allies and our country's future security for a few House seats.

Finally, Mark Shea links to an ABC News article (warning: MSM activity) about the administration's interrogation techniques. A long discussion will certainly follow about whether the White House conducts torture. From the MSM report, though, it's clear that the administration does not believe its techniques are torture.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Needed Surgery for the Republicans...

I'm a big fan of Rod Dreher, as he used to write for National Review and also comments on several blogs in the St. Blogosphere. But Bryan Preston (guest blogging at Michelle Malkin's blog) pulls no punches with him when he reports:
Democrat Rep. John Murtha said today that we can't win the war in Iraq. That would be news if he hadn't said the exact same thing a year ago. So today's speech wasn't as much a change of heart as a change of venue.

But it was enough to make Rod Dreher leave a big puddle on the floor. Seriously, one more panic like that and Bill Buckley may have to lend Dreher one of his testicles.
Ouch! Poor Rod. But I really, really think Preston is right on this. He continues:
I'm tired of the likes of Andrew Sullivan, whose overwrought, emotional blog writing now meets the McCain definition of torture, and I'm tired of the likes of the Clintons. And frankly I'm past treating the left with anything resembling due respect. The present situation can come to no good. We have the formerly security savvy party running for the door at light speed. We have the moonbat party aiding and abetting the enemy.
Sullivan has been un-readable since 2003, and I won't link to him on principle. It annoys the hell out of me that people like Jonah Goldberg keep discussing him in The Corner. Of course I'm also tired of the Clintons. And naturally, the left and the terrorist-sympathizing, America-hating Democrats never deserved any respect to begin with.

What bothers me most, though, are the Republicans. The Republicans should know better. But they're really showing their cowardice these days (in addition to spending like drunken sailors, not being serious about illegal immigration, and a host of other problems). For pete's sake, the Iraqis will elect their leaders in mid-December for the first time since approving a brand-new Constitution, and all the Republican party can think of is how to screw around and allow terrorist access to the Courts, whose judges will obviously usurp the executive branch's constitutional authority in running the frigging war (another reason to despise those black robed elitist bastards). Only recently has Bush and McCain and Cheney come out to attack the idiotic "Bush lied" lie. Why now, when they could've done it months ago?

So yes, I agree with Bryan Preston's greater point: the Republican party is in serious need of some BALLS.

Update: Captain Ed says it plainly: "Cutting and running is surrender, no matter who proposes it. I don't care if Murtha has a chest full of medals -- telling the national media that American troops can't handle Islamofascist terrorists and must be withdrawn from their range of action is cowardice."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Loretto High School: Run by Dissenters?

An update on Katelyn Sills, the girl who was expelled from her CATHOLIC high school after her involvement in getting an abortion-activist teacher fired: Katelyn has posted all correspondence between her family and the school.

The result is devastating. Loretto High School's administration, particularly Sister Helen Timothy, come off as the most paranoid, delusional, totalitarian, crazy bunch of whacked-out cat ladies this side of the tracks.

Read the emails for yourself. It's a real eye-opener. I think that the turning point came when Katelyn's mom clearly indicated that the discovery of an abortion-activist teacher required termination of the teacher's employment. I'll bet a zillion dollars that Sister Helen Timothy, and her minion principal, Sister Barbara Nelson, rejected that outcome immediately. Why? I submit that they're probably quite fine with the practice of abortion, aka: THEY ARE DISSENTERS.

Yes, I'm speculating, and yes, it's a harsh conclusion. But let's get real here: Sisters who are authoritative, paranoid, and see "threats" in the most sincere of emails are themselves afraid that their own dissent will become known: A word heard when it shouldn't have been, a memo read by eyes who shouldn't have seen. Katelyn's mother probably ended up on their enemies list because she noted the idiotic and dissenting statements made by Sister Barbara Nelson (and this definitely takes the cake for its stupidity): "Just because a person volunteers at Planned Parenthood does not necessarily mean they support abortion." I'll bet that when Sister Helen saw that statement and also read Ms. Sills' shock over it, Sister Helen feared that in the future her own public dissent could become known. Hence, her rageoholic attitude towards the Sills family after the abortion-activist was fired.

I should note that the Sills family attorney is 100% correct that the Loretto High School's public documents regarding the Sills' behavior is per se libel. That means, it is a classic case of the public distribution of untrue statements causing harm and regarding a nonpublic figure with intent or with reckless disregard for the truth. Their lawyer is absolutely right that, because of the public nature of the untrue statements and the damage done to the reputation of the Sills family, Katelyn and her parents can sue for damages. No school has the right to lie about your family to the public. And the school lied in the worst possible way: by suggesting that the Sills family engaged in threats and other potentially criminal behavior.

Well, Sister Helen, how do you like your dirty laundry being aired in public now? Your insane administration of Loretto High School is now open for the world to see. Congratulations, tyrant.

(via Amy Wellborn and The Curt Jester)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

No surprise here...

Ok, I had time to take a brief quiz. No surprise here:

You scored as Batman, the Dark Knight. As the Dark Knight of Gotham, Batman is a vigilante who deals out his own brand of justice to the criminals and corrupt of the city. He follows his own code and is often misunderstood. He has few friends or allies, but finds comfort in his cause.

Batman, the Dark Knight


Lara Croft




Indiana Jones


Neo, the "One"


William Wallace


The Amazing Spider-Man


El Zorro


James Bond, Agent 007


The Terminator


Captain Jack Sparrow


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Very busy...

Posting will be light for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Washington Post Hack...

A smear job by some uglo-American left-wing hack is appropriately fisked by Powerline:

Froomkin goes beyond arrogance and audacity when he reaches the merits of the pre-war intelligence issue. First, he asserts "Far from being baseless, the charge that [Bush] intentionally misled the public in the run-up to war is built on a growing amount of evidence." Froomkin points to no such evidence. Instead, he hides behind the story by Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus. But Froomkin knows that this story provides no evidence that Bush intentionally misled the public about WMD. In fact, Milbank and Pincus concluded thatThe administration's overarching point is true:

Intelligence agencies overwhelmingly believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and very few members of Congress from either party were skeptical about this belief before the war began in 2003. Indeed, top lawmakers in both parties were emphatic and certain in their public statements.

Froomkin lacks the integrity to mention this dispositive admission. If the overwhelming intelligence consensus was that Saddam had WMD, then Bush did not mislead the American people in making that claim. On this crucial point, Froomkin shows himself to be more partisan and less honest than Milbank and Pincus.

I swear, I don't have their patience. If I saw Froomkin, I'd slug him. His lies are disgusting and deserving of contempt. This smarmy, self-righteous attack on the President's decision to go to war is outrageous. Bush may have faults, but he saw the same intelligence as the Democrats and rightly concluded that after September 11, it was not enough to rely on the words of a madman like Saddam Hussein, and that if Saddam didn't come clean we would make him come clean.

But slimy little j**zbuckets like Foomkin don't care about that. They only have one agenda, which ironically enough is spelled out in another Washington Post column written by Fred Hiatt:

Whether Iraqis are in fact committed to a life-or-death struggle for democracy will become clear as its army does, or does not, continue to shoulder a greater burden. But the aptness of Mahdi's view of the United States is already evident in Congress, which pours most of its Iraq-related energy into allegations of manipulated intelligence before the war.

"Those aren't irrelevant questions," says Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). "But the more they dominate the public debate, the harder it is to sustain public support for the war."

What Lieberman doesn't say is that many Democrats would view such an outcome as an advantage. Their focus on 2002 is a way to further undercut President Bush, and Bush's war, without taking the risk of offering an alternative strategy -- to satisfy their withdraw-now constituents without being accountable for a withdraw-now position.

Many of them understand that dwindling public support could force the United States into a self-defeating position, and that defeat in Iraq would be disastrous for the United States as well as for Mahdi and his countrymen. But the taste of political blood as Bush weakens, combined with their embarrassment at having supported the war in the first place, seems to override that understanding.

No kidding. Hiatt goes on to say that a true wartime President would be assuaging Democrat demands, by meeting with them over strategy and bringing them into the war effort. But that complaint is baseless. The Democrats making these arguments aren't patriots at all. They want America to lose in Iraq (meaning soldiers must die) and their constant questioning of pre-war intelligence is a proxy fight, designed to hide their commitment towards RETREAT, because it'd be too embarassing otherwise to directly call for a return of the troops. They don't have the guts for that argument. And a President running a war can't afford to make friendly with an opposition party that wants America to be defeated, purely for partisan purposes. In fact, the President should continue to call them out for the gutless cowards that they are.

All in all, it proves that Democrats can never be trusted with national security issues at all. They never could, and they never will.

UPDATE: TKS points out a perfect example of why Democrats cannot be trusted on national security: "[Senator Rockefeller] is suggesting that the President and these forces could bring in Zarqawi if he and they wanted to, and they simply haven't. Zarqawi roams freely, plotting more terrorist attacks, because the President and U.S. military want it that way. If this is what Rockefeller's point is, then this is paranoid nonsense, and it is baffling to see not just any member of the Senate, but the top-ranking Democrat on the intelligence committee saying this."

Not baffling to me, when you consider that they are so twisted around the pursuit of political power that they'll believe the most ridiculous things in order to criticize the President.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Alito Reads, Understands, Constitution

The fact that a person can read and actually understand the Constitution is news today:
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion" in a 1985 document obtained by The Washington Times....

[He wrote:] "I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

Whattya know? The Constitution requires equal protection under the law and that means ethnic quotas are illegal. Who would've figured? And the Constitution also says nothing about abortion, too. Fancy that! This is news to those who don't read the Constitution and want it to say other things entirely. But for the life of me, I can't find the Affirmative Action clause or the Abortion clause. I do, however, know that the Constitution has an Equal Protection clause and a 10th Amendment (confirming that states have Police Powers, which the Federal government does not).

Of course, this supposedly bombshell news is spun by Republican committee staffers to try to play to the Democrats, again. It's spun this as a denial about how Alito would rule on Roe v. Wade:
A leading Republican involved in the nomination process insisted that this does not prove Judge Alito, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, will overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that made abortion a constitutional right. "No, it proves no such thing," said the Republican, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "In fact, if you look at some of the quotes of his former law clerks, they don't believe that he'll overturn Roe v. Wade."...

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a long history of advocacy on behalf of liberal causes, but she was evaluated on her 13-year record as a federal judge and her jurisprudence, not her belief that there was a constitutional right to prostitution or polygamy."

It's true that Ginsberg advocated on behalf of liberal causes, and while she's a smart judge, she is unquestionably also a Judicial legislator. Alito will not legislate from the bench, but if Alito retains any of the brains he had when he wrote that memo, he should overrule Roe v. Wade if it ever presents itself again. One doesn't ratify abortion rights while sincerely believing that the Constitution does not protect them. If he does and fails to overturn Roe, he'll betray his inner logic regarding the Constitution, and would be establishing himself as a legislator rather than an impartial umpire. If the people want abortion-rights, they can write and pass an abortion Constitutional amendment. Otherwise, pipe down, NARAL.

It's not likely that Alito will transform into a Supra-Legislator on the bench, however:
"In the field of law, I disagree strenuously with the usurpation by the judiciary of decision-making authority that should be exercised by the branches of government responsible to the electorate," he added.... "In college, I developed a deep interest in constitutional law, motivated in large part by disagreement with Warren Court decisions, particularly in the areas of criminal procedure, the Establishment Clause, and reapportionment."
A-frickin'-men. Alito apparently reads, and understands, the Constitution. Wow. What's strange is that while Republican committee staffers want to avoid the issue of Roe v. Wade, they DO want to evaluate his judicial temperment:
Republicans are relishing the opportunity to defend Judge Alito's support for judicial restraint, saying it puts him squarely in the majority of American public opinion.
"We're delighted to have a debate over judicial philosophy and the proper role of courts in America," a Republican strategist said. "That's a debate the Republican Party wins every time."
But if they debate his judicial philosophy, it will necessarily involve a debate about Roe. The Republicans don't seem to understand that. If Alito firmly establishes himself as a person who rejects judicial legislating, then absent some irrational protection of precedent, he should overrule Roe. Judicial temperment might be an adequate proxy substitute about Roe, especially since the source of decisions like Roe is the faulty temperment and inflated sense of superiority in the Court. But Democrats aren't idiots and know what a fight over judicial temperment means. It's strange that the Republicans want a fight about that, but not about Roe. Perhaps they're merely too afraid to state the obvious: a restrained Judge who sincerely reads the Constitution could never support a ruling like Roe, and has a duty to overrule it. And if they really believe it's a debate the Republican Party wins every time, then they should follow its logical conclusion.

Still, this news is very satisfying. I was beginning to have doubts about Alito. Now, I'm a lot more satisfied.

Update: Further Discussion from Captain Ed. And Jay Anderson says this will make both the left and the right happy. Patterico says he was happy to get Alito without a fight, but that it's likely we'll get the fight we were looking for all along. More from Stop the ACLU (crossposted at Prolife Blogs) as well as Blogs for Bush, and ConfirmThem.

Further Update: Professor Bainbridge says that this "unequivocal statement of commitment to conservative values" means that Alito is the anti-Miers. He's right. This is no stealth nominee, and should forever destroy the notion that a conservative must be stealthy in order to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. More importantly, he notes that "only by standing up to Bush and the party loyalists were conservatives able to get a judge who gives us a shot at advancing movement concerns." You can say that again. We cannot let up in our demands for conservativism in ALL branches of government. The Prof. isn't quite as happy as me on this news though, noting that Alito wrote this before the Casey decision and thus could be further influenced by precedent. But hopefully Thomas and Scalia's influence will shoot that lingering concern down, if it is a lingering concern.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Liberal Republicans Should be Punished

Well, I thought that Hugh Hewitt had jumped the shark when defending Hariett Miers, placing his politics ahead of his principles. But look who's making the case for retribution against the cowardly Republicans who voted against dtilling in ANWR?
If the party isn't dedicated to being a majority party organized around the core issue of national security seriousness, it won't last as a majority anyway. Exiling the weak-kneed on a national security issue is exactly the sort of action that will underscore the seriousness of the party on these issues.

Hugh makes the claim that the GOP cannot afford to have individual views trump the party's agenda on national security issues, and suggests that the members who voted against drilling in ANWR be stripped of their committee and subcommittee chairs. Fine with me. I'd also refuse to send them any national campaign money, and the GOP should encourage primary opponents to run against them. Liberal Republicans, as a rule, should be punished.

Of course, the common thread with Hewitt is that, as with Miers and here, he views his own agenda as being equivilent with the agenda of the GOP, which should be defended at all costs. He viewed those attacking Miers as the ones pursuing their own individual agendas at the expense of the party. But when discussing the agenda of "the party," numbers are what counts, and the numbers were against Miers from the beginning.

Here's a thought, though: I wonder when Hugh will take his own advice on party discipline and purge the pro-abortion GOP members? That should be just as important as making national security a party agenda item.

But, maybe Hewitt HAS learned something from the Miers episode after all. He actually makes the suggestion that if liberal Republicans keep scuttling a conservative agenda, conservatives won't vote Republican next time around:
Pro-ANWR exploration Republicans from competitive districts ought to realize that their "colleagues" are endangering not only the majority but their seats as well. It might be unpleasant to deal out some party discipline, but a whole lot less unpleasant than having Nancy Pelosi as the Speaker.

Darn right, Hugh. About time you learned it.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Abortion: It's killing us all.

Jane Galt over at Asymmetrical Information has a lot of posts on abortion. She links to this post, which puts my "Aggressive Conservative" name to shame (the title of his post is called "Why Roe V. Wade Must Be Overturned, Encased in Lead, and Sunk to the Bottom of the Marianas Trench There to Lie Forever Among Tubeworms and Busted Russian Submarines").

A little excerpt:
"Roe V. Wade has had a disastrous and insidious effect on the highest judicial process in the country. It has hijacked an entire branch of the United States government, which means we only have two left. It has reduced all public discussion of constitutional law to one word: ABORTION. The grand legacy of John Marshall, John Jay, and Oliver Wendell Holmes is now represented by a single lump of tissue: ABORTION. The evolution of judicial thinking in the greatest nation on earth has been stopped dead by ABORTION. The vitally important democratic function of reviewing and choosing suitable candidates for the greatest court in history has been gruesomely hewed down to a single splinter: ABORTION. Blind-folded Justice is almost mute; she can only croak the word ABORTION.

Socrates, what is truth? ABORTION. Conan, what is best in life? ABORTION. What's the atomic weight of Germanium? ABORTION. What is the very meaning of existence itself - what single word breaks the silence of those infinite spaces that filled great Pascal with dread? ABORTION, ABORTION, ABORTION, ABORTION, ABORTION...

Now this is a sad state for this once-great court to have fallen to, and makes me wonder if we don't need another court to assume the neglected responsibilities of the current one. Then the Abortion Toggle Switch could be moved to some remote corner of the public's attention, and the various abortion partisans could play their endless game of Keep Away without buggering up the entire constitutional process.

However, this would require amending the constitution itself, with all attendant fuss. The simpler course is to push for Roe V. Wade to be overturned, so that the Supreme Court can get out of the abortion business. And stay the hell out of the abortion business, forever. At once the Pro-Choice legions arise in anguish, complaining that they will never be able to survive the savage Darwinian environment of American politics without the protection of Roe V. Wade. Well, cry me a freaking river. It's about time that you gelatinous sob sisters learned to paddle your own canoe. If you haven't got the guts to make it in the real world, you'll have to use something other than the United States Constitution as an artificial life support system."

Wow. Read the whole thing. Like I said, it puts this blog's name to shame. Some might think it funny, and it is, but it's also very very hard-hitting. I also should note that his insight is precisely the same as Justice Scalia's dissent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which he wrote:
"Not only did Roe not, as the Court suggests, resolve the deeply divisive issue of abortion; it did more than anything else to nourish it, by elevating it to the national level, where it is infinitely more difficult to resolve. National politics were not plagued by abortion protests, national abortion lobbying, or abortion marches on Congress, before Roe v. Wade was decided. Profound disagreement existed among our citizens over the issue -- as it does over other issues, such as the death penalty -- but that disagreement was being worked out at the state level. As with many other issues, the division of sentiment within each State was not as closely balanced as it was among the population of the Nation as a whole, meaning not only that more people would be satisfied with the results of state-by-state resolution, but also that those results would be more stable. Pre-Roe, moreover, political compromise was possible.

Roe's mandate for abortion on demand destroyed the compromises of the past, rendered compromise impossible for the future, and required the entire issue to be resolved uniformly, at the national level. At the same time, Roe created a vast new class of abortion consumers and abortion proponents by eliminating the moral opprobrium that had attached to the act... Many favor all of those developments, and it is not for me to say that they are wrong. But to portray Roe as the statesmanlike "settlement" of a divisive issue, a jurisprudential Peace of Westphalia that is worth preserving, is nothing less than Orwellian. Roe fanned into life an issue that has inflamed our national politics in general, and has obscured with its smoke the selection of Justices to this Court, in particular, ever since. And by keeping us in the abortion-umpiring business, it is the perpetuation of that disruption, rather than of any Pax Roeana that the Court's new majority decrees.

In truth, I am as distressed as the Court is -- and expressed my distress several years ago... about the "political pressure" directed to the Court: the marches, the mail, the protests aimed at inducing us to change our opinions. How upsetting it is, that so many of our citizens (good people, not lawless ones, on both sides of this abortion issue, and on various sides of other issues as well) think that we Justices should properly take into account their views, as though we were engaged not in ascertaining an objective law, but in determining some kind of social consensus...

What makes all this relevant to the bothersome application of "political pressure" against the Court are the twin facts that the American people love democracy and the American people are not fools. As long as this Court thought (and the people thought) that we Justices were doing essentially lawyers' work up here -- reading text and discerning our society's traditional understanding of that text -- the public pretty much left us alone. Texts and traditions are facts to study, not convictions to demonstrate about. But if in reality, our process of constitutional adjudication consists primarily of making value judgments; if we can ignore a long and clear tradition clarifying an ambiguous text, as we did, for example, five days ago in declaring unconstitutional invocations and benedictions at public highschool graduation ceremonies; if, as I say, our pronouncement of constitutional law rests primarily on value judgments, then a free and intelligent people's attitude towards us can be expected to be (ought to be) quite different. The people know that their value judgments are quite as good as those taught in any law school -- maybe better. If, indeed, the "liberties" protected by the Constitution are, as the Court says, undefined and unbounded, then the people should demonstrate, to protest that we do not implement their values instead of ours. Not only that, but the confirmation hearings for new Justices should deteriorate into question-and-answer sessions in which Senators go through a list of their constituents' most favored and most disfavored alleged constitutional rights, and seek the nominee's commitment to support or oppose them. Value judgments, after all, should be voted on, not dictated; and if our Constitution has somehow accidently committed them to the Supreme Court, at least we can have a sort of plebiscite each time a new nominee to that body is put forward...

...By foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and intensifies the anguish.

We should get out of this area, where we have no right to be, and where we do neither ourselves nor the country any good by remaining."
And Jane keeps blogging, musing about abortion-supporters:
"I am amazed that half the chattering classes really purport to believe that the single most important issue facing the courts is whether or not ten or so low-population states will, or will not, be allowed to outlaw abortion. More important than civil liberties? More important than towns condemning any old house they feel like it to build a strip mall? The highest cause in the land, the only one that really matters, is making sure that nothing interferes one iota with the free and unfettered scraping out of uteruses from sea to shining sea?"
Jane, you'd be surprised how many people support evil when they have their entire lives invested in it. They might never even have an abortion or know someone who would. But those who worship at the altar of abortion know that if they give it up, they're giving up the Sexual Revolution. They need that. It's their 20-something fantasy that they hold onto, whether they're actually 20-something or 50-something. Scalia is right that the Court is being destroyed by abortion. But so is the country, and our humanity. Roe v. Wade must be overturned. But even more important, abortion must be attacked from every side. Now that the abortion debate was brought to the national level, it should be finished at the national level. It's not enough to hope like Scalia or Jane that returning it to the states would settle the matter. Like its victims, it will not die unless we destroy it. Abortion should be outlawed entirely, with a Constitutional amendment. I want to bury Roe and its legacy into the ground, for good. And its supporters should be shunned for their support of a murderous ideology of sexual fanaticism and amoral narcissism.

No question about it, abortion is today's slavery debate. Slavery consumed the politics of the young Republic for nearly 70 years before the Civil War. How long will abortion consume the politics, and the people, of America? And like slavery with all its evils, I think it will see its red day before the end. In fact, that would probably be the BEST outcome we can hope for (since it's naive to believe that the abortion-worshippers won't give up without a real violent fight). Because the alternative outcome is complete and utter surrender, and the masses of people giving in and accepting abortion and all its logical consequences: cloning, euthenasia, genetic manipulation, legalization of all sexual deviancies, and state sanction and monetary support to allievate the obvious social problems that are caused, war of the clones, war of the genetically superior over the inferior and their eventual enslavement or holocaust, economic dislocation, poltiical persecution of Christians, the end of parenthood and the family, the rise of nihilism, mass suicides, and the depopulation and eventually moral hollowing-out of the West - leading to Islam's resurgenace in the world and its ruling power of Terror.

If any of that happens, it's all because of abortion. Abortion is a maggot-worm that has wriggled its way into the heart of humanity and is killing us all. You'd think that the widespread practice of murdering innocent babies worldwide wouldn't cause our modern-day philosophers to think twice about this matter, that perhaps maybe Barbarity and all its horiffic glories aren't so chic.

It's going to be a long, long winter...

UPDATE: Amy Wellborn notes a positive piece on the Mirror of Justice blog by Greg Sisk about the good that would happen from overturning Roe. It's a good mirror to my aggressive mood here.

Outsourcing Parenting...

I saw a report on local Fox 5 news here in New York the other night. They had a segment on rich parents who outsource their parental duties so they can spend time doing other things. The local newscasters treated it as if it were a wonderful thing that parents could pay someone, not just for day care, but to do all the "work" of being a parent. Such things include:
  • Paying a professional bicyclist to teach your kids how to ride a bike.
  • Paying a person to sit up all night to comfort your child if he wakes up, so you can get a full night's sleep.
  • Paying a person to help your daughter organize her room.
  • Paying a person to teach your kids not to suck their thumbs.
  • Paying a person to play with your kids

The only evidence of the segment I could find on the internet was this contact information on Fox 5's website, that lists 2 of the people providing their services. It's treated as a viewer resource, like it's a good thing. Throughout the segment, it was made clear that the parents who outsourced their "duties" weren't off working a busy job, they were just doing other things that they wanted to do instead of spending time with their kids. The only semblence of balance in the entire report was a developmental psychologist saying how necessary it is for kids to bond and spend time with their parents. But that advice was treated with utter skepticism and contempt by everyone else.

Needless to say, any parent who has to pay someone to teach their kid to ride a bike because they don't want to do it is a terrible parent. Do I have to mention that the services were so expensive that the "luxury" of spending time away from your kids could only be done by the filthy rich? They should be ashamed of themselves, those self-centered, narcissistic, egomaniac jerks.

Pat Robertson is an Idiot...

What did the self-appointed guru of Christianity have to say now?

All eight Dover, Pa., school board members up for re-election were defeated Tuesday after trying to introduce "intelligent design" - the belief that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power - as an alternative to the theory of evolution.

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God. You just rejected him from your city," Robertson said on the Christian Broadcasting Network's "700 Club."

Yeah, because the last thing we want are people turning to God when they realize they need Him.

There are plenty of problems with unorthodox Catholic priests and bishops. But thankfully we don't have Robertson to deal with. Can't someone pay this man just to shut the heck up?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Republican Cowards...

The Anchoress has words for the Republican Party:
If your plan was to make people so disgusted with your cowardice, your disorganization and your political tone-deafness that they either stop contributing to the RNC, or they decide to just sit out the next election (because what’s the point), or they decide to vote out every stinking one of you in the next elections, because you freaking well deserve ouster for literally doing nothing constructive and squandering your majority…well…you have succeeded spectacularly! Beyond your wildest imaginings, I am sure.

I can’t think of a single reason to vote to re-elect a any one of you....

You seem directed toward nothing more than keeping your almighty Senate or House seat in your name. You give away your power, you give away your advantages in committee, you leave in place utterly feckless people like Arlen Specter and then, when you finally seem like you are on the cusp of doing something productive and right, like investigating the CIA or okaying drilling in a bare, muddly, uninhabitable tundra, you fall into a faint and go slinking back to your states and districts to gladhand and pump for money and then gladhand some more.

Michelle Malkin has been posting reader emails who are increasingly disillusioned with the GOP for breaking away from its campaign promises. John from Right Wing News says that "Voting to allow drilling in ANWR should be the easiest decision the clowns up in Congress ever had to make -- and they still can't get it right. Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic."

The Republicans are going to get their butts handed to them in 2006. They seem not to care about the people that voted for them. The only thing they can count on is the Democrats acting even dumber by continuing to stage useless Senate shutdowns. But that won't work forever (Hillary Clinton is no moron).

A surefire way to be defeated is to piss off the conservative base that elected you. I can't imagine why the Republicans think that's a good thing.

Update: Professor Bainbridge says that Bush is a conservative impostor. I should note that the Professor Bainbridge is now against the war in Iraq. [Edit. I mistakenly said Anchoress was against the war.] I'm not. I was for it, and I'm still for it. But their other criticisms are fair: Bush has mangled domestic policy, spent a lot of useless money, let the Democrats and RINOS run circles around him, and has done a poor job of managing things within his control. I like Bush personally, but he's becoming the leader of a failed Republican coalition. Right Wing News proposes an agenda of the Republican Party post-Bush, but frankly it should've been his agenda all along. If the Republicans want to get anywhere, they should take a hard look at it and start implementing it now, or else they won't be in a position to implement it after Bush leaves office.

Catholic Values and the Court...

(this is an expansion from a comment I tried posting at Mark's blog; I don't know if it successfully posted b/c of Internet problems.)

Mark Shea, commenting on the role of a Catholic Supreme Court judge and the Constituion's "cruel and unusual" clause, says:
I think the death penality is an intractably moral question. I think judges have to draw on some kind of moral tradition if they are to decide it. And as a Catholic, I would prefer that the moral tradition they draw on would be the one revealed by the Son of God, as distinct from whatever they happen to pull out of their butts, as Harry Blackmun's was.

First, as a cautionary note towards those that argue against the application of the death penalty, as some of Mark's commentators are: murders happen in prision. Life imprisonment is no guarantee against preventing crime. There is an excessive amount of crimes committed against other inmates in prison, from rape to murder. A man already serving a life sentence in a state with no death penalty is immune from punishment if he kills another inmate. And that is an injustice, to be sure.

On the greater issue of how to interpret the Constitution with Catholic values verses originalism / textualism, the issue bears greater scrutiny than I think Mark has undertaken. Mark, I know I've criticized you in the past for a shoot-at-the-hip attitude of not looking into the details on things, but in this case I think a sincere re-examination would do all of us a lot of good. Professor Bainbridge had a great thread about this on his blog, which he updated with supplemental posts (here, and here), that responded to critiques about why bishops don't deny communion to judges. I believe Amy Wellborn linked to that thread; I don't know if Mark did.

Basically, a judge, acting prudently and sincerely, has an obligation to interpret statutes and constitutions with plain meaning (textually) and if the meaning is vague (as it may be with a word like "unusual"), to use the original understanding of the term. A judge should not legislate from the bench, period. An originalist judge is, for lack of a better term, a REAL judge. A judge that legislates from the bench is not a REAL judge. However, that is not to say that a Catholic understanding of Right Reason cannot guide him. I agree with Mark that Catholic values should inform a judge, but ONLY because those values are correct. Using Catholic values is not, however, "legislating from the bench." Catholic judges can be REAL judges, and in fact many are. But, how to distinguish between a Catholic properly using Catholic values to inform him, and a judge who lets post-modernist secular values inform him? How can I fairly say that a Catholic judge using his Catholic values could be a "REAL judge?"

Critics will say that I merely want to have the cake and eat it too; why cannot postmodern humanist secular values guide a judge if it's ok for Catholic values? The difference is, as things stand now, Catholic values are fully consistant with sincere and honest efforts at judging (meaning that they're fully compatible with originalism). I have said over and over, from the Roberts nomination until today: There is NOTHING in the Constitution incompatible with Catholic values. Nothing. (usually, people make the mistake of assuming the Constitution requires abortion as a fundamental right when it does not. Once that assumption is out of the way, it's easy to see that the Constitution and Catholicism are perfectly compatible.) In contrast to that, secular humanist values often interfere in properly judging the plain meaning of the Constitution. Secular humanist values must re-write the Constitution to create fake rights to abortion, euthenasia, affirmative action, etc. Judges with secular humanist values are often corrupted into legislating from the bench. An originalist, Catholic judge need not do such a thing, and in fact will not do that, ever.

However, on Prof. Bainbridge's blog, I brought up, and could not answer, the hypothetical of a Catholic judge interpreting a Constitution that explicitly said in plain text that abortion was a fundamental right. I was stumped by that example, because it would be an instance of Catholic values clashing with the clear role of a judge in plainly interpreting text. But that example does not, in my view, exist at this point in time (even on issues like the death penalty). Given the POSSIBILITY of that example, it's important we have this conversation. Also, we should bear in mind that even though we KNOW that Catholic values are right, we cannot use that as an excuse to say that it's ok to use them while saying that a secular humanist cannot draw on his "values". We have to come up with better reasons, and unfortunately that's what I'm struggling with. As long as the Constitution remains as it is now, there should be no problem. But if the Constitution were ever to explicitly include plainly evil things (such as an explicit, fundamental right to abortion), then Catholic judges would be in a real bind, and would probably either have to serve under false pretenses or not serve at all.

Update: Professor Bainbridge links to a book review that Justice Scalia recently wrote, which talks about how to interpret the law. I read this article a while ago, and now I think it provides a clue to my thinking. In Scalia's concluding words, he notes that secular humanist judges are essentially searching for God in their search for the law. Catholics have no such mysteries, since we know who God is. He is our savior. He is Jesus. Catholics are not forced to look for the mysteries of the universe and define them in our law, as those who legislate from the bench are prone to do. Scalia notes:
If, as Smith contends, a hypothetical author is not up to the job of resolving law’s quandary [of what it means], neither, it turns out, is Smith himself. His book describes what he believes to be the quandary but does not resolve it, examining and rejecting various solutions—except, of course, the classical one, which is out of bounds because it violates the “norm prescribing that religious beliefs are inadmissible in academic explanations.” The book’s last paragraph acknowledges that “perplexity is not a resting place” but concludes that “we would perhaps be wise to confess our confusion and to acknowledge that there are richer realities and greater powers in the universe than our meager modern philosophies have dreamed of.”

Hmmm. Richer realities and greater powers than our modern philosophies have dreamed of. Could there be a subversive subtext here? Why does Smith bring in at the outset of his book a third ontological category—religion—which he immediately disclaims, not because it is wrong, necessarily, but because it violates academic ground-rules? And why does his book repeatedly point out how the “classical school”—premised, alas, upon religion—was coherent where modern jurisprudence is not? And why does his penultimate chapter describe at length (though with the academically correct acknowledgment that it is “foreign to prevailing ontological assumptions”) the work of Joseph Vining, which speaks of a hypothetical author who “would need in some sense to be actually present,” and “to display qualities of caring, and of mindfulness”? Lawyers, Vining says, either “must believe what they do with legislation is often foolish and deceptive; or they do believe and confess a belief in an informing spirit in the legislated words that is beyond individual legislators.” Holy cow! Could it be that . . . ?.....

Could it be,...that Smith is inviting, tempting, seducing his fellow academics to consider the theological way out of the quandary—the way that seemed to work for the classical school?As one reaches the end of the book, after reading Vining’s just-short-of-theological imaginings followed by Smith’s acknowledgment of “richer realities and greater powers in the universe,” he (she?) is sorely tempted to leap up and cry out, “Say it, man! Say it! Say the G-word! G-G-G-G-God!” Surely even academics can accept, as a hypothetical author, a hypothetical God! Textualists, being content with a “modest” judicial role, do not have to call in the Almighty to eliminate their philosophical confusion.

Scalia sums it up perfectly. Textualists do not have to call in the Almighty to eliminate their philosophical confusion of the law. We merely need to look to the text of things and figure out its plain, basic, understandable meaning. And that need not change unless the Constitution begins to plainly and expressly permit explicitly evil things.

Further Update: Steve Dillard at Southern Appeal, responding to Mark, notes: "Catholics should be extremely leery of condoning any form of extratextual reasoning that is not already enshrined in the Constitution. The Constitution's meaning is fixed in time, except to the extent the document is amended to alter its meaning. " This statement would be fine as long as the Constitution did not expressly permit or mandate anything evil. But if there were ever an amendment that explicitly said that abortion was a fundamental right, faithful Catholic judges would be strangled in their attempt to interpret it.

In a July 3, 2004 letter to Cardinal McCarrick, Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict) made clear that Catholic judges cannot enforce clearly evil laws:
"A member of the judiciary ordinarily does not have the same capacity to initiate change that a member of the legislature has. . . . While acknowledging the difficulties and limitations inherent in each level and branch of government, the Church urges public officials to be aware that they cannot hold themselves excused from their duties as disciples of the Lord. They must be able to stand before the Lord with a clear conscience and say they defend the rights of all human beings, at every stage of existence, to the best of their ability. They must never take refuge in the specious argument that they must enforce the law, whatever it may be. Persons of good conscience must refrain from seeking office if the price of holding office is the enforcement of evil laws which allow the killing of the innocent. "

Since the Constitution right now doesn't state that abortion is a fundamental right, or any other evil thing, then Catholic judges have no problem. But the fact remains, if the Constitution were amended to become a document of evil, then Catholics could not honestly serve as judges (it's an open question whether they could licitly serve as judges while doing everything in their power to destroy the evil effects of such a law).

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Republican Idiots in Action...

Want to know why the approval ratings of President Bush, and the Republicans in Congress, is so low? Perhaps because they don't know the first thing about running a political office, as politicians. In calling for an investigation into the leak of possible secret European terrorist detention centers, which would turn the leakfest of the Valerie Plame matter back on those hostile to the President's foreign policy, Senate Majority Bill Frist screwed up big time:

A leak suspected to have come from the office of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) complicated, confused and nearly derailed a joint effort by Senate and House Republican leaders to seek an investigation of the unauthorized release of classified information.

Frist and House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) both eventually signed a letter Tuesday calling for the Senate and House intelligence committees to conduct a joint investigation of how The Washington Post discovered of the existence of CIA-run detention and interrogation facilities in eight foreign countries....

The leak appeared to pressure Hastert to sign the letter before he or Frist intended to. But then something happened that lawmakers and political observers surmised made Frist hesitant to sign it.

CNN reported earlier in the day that Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) had said a Republican senator may have leaked information about the so-called black sites to the Post. Lott told reporters yesterday that he had been talking about another Post article. He said he was not talking about the article about the detention and interrogation facilities....

The lack of confirmation about Frist’s support raised the specter that Hastert would be left alone in calling for the investigation. That would have likely been a source of major irritation for House Republicans since the idea for the investigation originated with Frist office, said a senior Senate GOP aide....

Another complication created by the snafu is that it forced lawmakers to answer questions about a letter they were not sure Frist had endorsed.

Read the rest of the article just to see how complicated, confused, and derailed these politicians are. Honestly, it's like watching slapstick, as things get worse and worse.

Frist is an idiot, and he employs idiots. The delayed timing of the release meant the news trickled out, instead of providing a bombshell announcement with clear House-Senate Republican support. The Republicans looked feckless. I remember seeing Drudge's teaser and wondering when the heck the "official" announcement would come. I remember wondering what the heck was taking so long. Now it's clear. Frist bungled the politics of it. Friggin' idiot. I just can't believe how stupid this is.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Flame of Reality..

France Burns:
The police union Action Police CFTC called for curfews to be imposed in all riot-hit areas to combat the "civil war that spreads a little more every day". The mayor of one town, Raincy, north of Paris, announced a late-night street ban on children to "avoid a tragedy". The union also urged the government to send in troops to defeat the trouble-makers, mainly mobs of young people from poor estates dominated by Muslim families whose origins are in France's former colonies in north and sub-Saharan Africa...

More than 1,400 vehicles were destroyed, two policemen were injured by birdshot and petrol bomb attacks were launched on schools, churches and public buildings.

A country that continuously chides America while letting its elders die in a heat wave, that created a bureaucratic superstate in the European Union, that kisses the ass of Saddam Hussein, that todies for Iran's terror-masters, that looks whistfully on the days of its Revolution and the La guillotine, might finally have a serious wake up call.

But I highly doubt it. France is a nation of sycophants. They are incapable of decisive action and cutting through the grey to see the stark choices they face. They are so wedded to leftist political ideology that its logical nihilism will soon be upon them. Better to burn than to fight back against an oppressed Muslim. Needless to say, I don't even think they have the guts to fight back - hence, there will be no "civil war." France will capitulate. It's what they do.

I'm reminded of the words of Denethor:
"But soon all shall be burned. The West has failed. It shall all go up in a great fire, and all shall be ended. Ash! Ash and smoke blown away on the wind!"

But that may be France's destiny. It is not America's.

Americans for the first time in my memory seem not to care a whit what Europeans think — to the great consternation of our elites on the East Coast. Heartland Americans think the French are ridiculous, and seem almost to welcome Gallic disdain. Most of us out here, far from being deprived yokels, have a clearer appreciation of the quite profound amorality in Europe than anyone in the Ivy League: we detect a cynical, self-loathing paralysis of cheap talk and aristocratic banter on the continent that never leads to any real good physical deed: prancing and preening in Brussels and Paris, but paralyzing fear when the real innocents are being butchered in Serbia a few miles away. Tough talk to a democratic and humane America, not so tough talk to nightmarish killers in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

I had a conversation not long ago with a European, who typically so, began with the pained look of someone who was methodically entering a long grandfatherly lecture about the American pathologies of "unilateralism" and "exceptionalism." When I laughed and told him he should worry more about keeping us in NATO than threatening to leave, more about America turning its attention to Russia, India, Japan, and South America than to Paris and Rome, and expect pride rather than guilt that we stopped the Russians, fought the Gulf War, kicked out Noriega, and bombed in Serbia. In short, when I made it clear that Europe is irrelevant, he was shocked — and, mon dieu!, of all things, hurt! Europeans, I think, are going to learn that their real fears are not that we wish to control them, work with them, influence them, or corrupt them, but rather that we simply prefer to forget about them. They are rapidly becoming little more than an old windy Nestor — wordy, impotent, and full of empty advice about a glorious past in someone else's busy present...

Let the Europeans be toadies and fear these abjectly bankrupt regimes; let Americans worry more about the poor half billion people who have had to suffer and endure under them. Europeans, not us, are on the wrong side of history — and it is more embarrassingly apparent each day of this present crisis. Like the weeks before the fall of the Berlin Wall, what is ahead is fraught with uncertainty and fear, but it is also, in some strange and macabre way, full of rare hope as well.

Night lies over Paris. If it does not burn, it will only be because they've abandoned their pretentions and have decided that Western Civilization is worth saving. It remains to be seen.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

France begins to panic...

I see that Chirac is now trying to appease the rioters that are slowly but surely marching towards Paris after 6 nights of rioting.
"The law must be applied firmly and in a spirit of dialogue and respect," Chirac said at a Cabinet meeting. "The absence of dialogue and an escalation of a lack of respect will lead to a dangerous situation."

Oh yeah, I'm sure those thugs, who have taken over 9 towns already, really respect you, Jacques.
The rioting, which spread Tuesday night to at least nine Paris-region towns, has exposed rifts in Chirac's government, with Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy — a potential 2007 presidential candidate — being criticized for his tough talk and police tactics....

That Chirac intervened personally was a measure of the crisis. He acknowledged the "profound frustrations" of troubled neighborhoods but said violence was not the answer and that efforts must be stepped up to combat it....

Sarkozy — blamed by many for fanning the violence with his "zero-tolerance" approach to suburban crime — defended his approach and vowed to restore calm. He recently called rioters "scum" and vowed to "clean out" troubled suburbs.

This Sarkozy guy is probably the only hope that the French have to fight back against the Islamist hoardes that threaten the cities. Naturally, the French hate him for having the slightest bit of backbone. Chirac's appeal to the thugs is ridiculous, a craven position fueled by weakness and cowardice. There is one way to deal with the rioters: tear-gas and deport all of them. End of problem. Of course, they won't do that, and as the Muslim rioters realize that they will grow more brazen. France is screwed.

Prior post in this series: The Fall of France.

Pro-Life Student Expelled at Catholic School...

I suppose I'm late in commenting on this, but Katelyn Sills, a 15 year old girl attending Loretto High School (a Catholic school) who exposed to her Bishop a teacher who was eventually fired for aiding and abetting abortion, has been expelled.

Katelyn has been commenting on her blog, Stand Up and Speak Out. The comments from her schoolmates are disgusting. Many of them are gleefully attacking Katelyn for getting what she supposedly deserved. They are almost all sympathetic to an abortion-helping teacher instead of an innocent girl who speaks the truth.

Contact information for the Loretto administration is here. Personally, I hope the Bishop fires every single administrator who had a hand in expelling Katelyn. He should wade in there and indiscriminately cut them down like a scythe through grass. It's time to clean house. The "Catholic" school was reluctant to fire their pro-abortionist teacher, but they have no problem expelling a little girl who only went to her Bishop. If they lose their jobs, they should consider themselves lucky. As it is, Katelyn could probably sue the pants off of them. She should, irrespective of the merits of her case, because it will put the administrators through a hell they want to avoid. Time to rake them over the coals.

There's a long thread over at Amy Wellborn's blog on this topic, and Mark Shea has a thread about it here.

UPDATE: Katelyn has posted a press release on her blog.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The Fall of France?

Via Little Green Footballs, the International Herald Tribune reports on an amazing quote from the French Interior Minister:
Sarkozy says that violence in French suburbs is a daily fact of life.

Since the start of the year, 9,000 police cars have been stoned and, each night, 20 to 40 cars are torched, Sarkozy said in an interview last week with the newspaper Le Monde.

That is astounding. It's just, un-frickin-believable. 9,000 police cars have been stoned? 20-40 cars are torched, as in fireball destroyed, every night? If this were happening in an American city like New York, there would be chaos on the streets. The international media would call NYC a war zone, and the citizens would probably flee in panic.

France is in the fifth straight night of violent riots by Muslim youths. The violence has started to catch the attention of the MSM. I wonder if this riot is part of the ordinary, 20-40 torches per night and we're only now bearing witness to it, or if it is in fact the beginning of something more sinister and dangerous. I wonder if we're seeing the beginnings of the inevitible Fall of France to the Islamists? Hopefully not, but I have no faith in the French government to do something about these attacks. I notice that in the MSM reports relating to the recent riots, the Interior Minister keeps having to defend himself against charges he's being too brutal, instead of being left to do his job:

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy defended his tough anti-crime policies on Monday after a fourth night of riots in a Paris suburb in which tear gas was fired into a mosque during evening prayers.

Sarkozy vowed to investigate the tear gas incident and repeated his "zero tolerance" policy toward violence that began when two teenagers were electrocuted to death after clambering into a power sub-station while apparently fleeing police....

Opposition Socialists said the disturbances were proof Sarkozy's tough policies were failing. "We need to act at the same time on prevention, repression, education, housing, jobs ... and not play the cowboy," former prime minister Laurent Fabius, who also has presidential ambitions, told Europe 1 radio.

My prediction? Even if Sarkozy does succeed in quelling this riot, it will be too late. There will be more. France is seriously screwed, especially because those socialists aren't going away. Read the rest of that news report. The socialists want to "understand" the "problems" of the rioters. The fools. The failure of Europe will result from the immobile presence of leftist political parties incapable of dealing with reality. And when they fall, all they will do is cry out, "we didn't know...." Yes, you do. You've been told before. You just didn't listen.

Prior Post: The French Have a Little Problem on their hands...


Anyone remember that Looney Tunes cartoon when Daffy Duck portrays Superman? His name in that episode is STUPORDUCK! I always laugh whenever I see it, because during the cartoon he gets increasingly crazy whenever he yells out his name: "This looks like a job for Stuporduck" later is loudly exclaimed, "This is a job for Stupor-duck!!!" Finally, towards the end of the cartoon, he slathers the name yelling it loudly: "THIS IS A JOB FOR - AAAAAA - STOOOOOOPERDUCK!!!!"

I had to think of that when I saw this post by Professor Bainbridge.

(with thanks to the Stuporduck website for the sound links)

The French have a little problem on their hands...

It seems that Radical Muslim Islamists aren't taking too kindly to the benefits of what remains of Western Civilization in France. "A police union spokesman says a Paris suburb is seeing 'civil war.'"

Youths hurled rocks and set fire to cars in the northeastern Clichy-sous-Bois suburb of the French capital, where many immigrants and poor families live in high-rise housing estates notorious for youth violence....

The violence began four days ago among residents of Clichy-sous-Bois over the deaths of two teenagers believed to be of African origin who were electrocuted while fleeing police.

This article by CNN is perhaps the greatest notice the MSM has paid to this story yet. It should come as no surprise to any of us that France will experience the greatest attack from the Islamists. Theodore Dalmypre predicted as much in his City-Journal article from 2002:

Unless it assimilates these millions successfully, its future will be grim. But it has separated and isolated immigrants and their descendants geographically into dehumanizing ghettos; it has pursued economic policies to promote unemployment and create dependence among them, with all the inevitable psychological consequences; it has flattered the repellent and worthless culture that they have developed; and it has withdrawn the protection of the law from them, allowing them to create their own lawless order.

No one should underestimate the danger that this failure poses, not only for France but also for the world. The inhabitants of the cités are exceptionally well armed. When the professional robbers among them raid a bank or an armored car delivering cash, they do so with bazookas and rocket launchers, and dress in paramilitary uniforms. From time to time, the police discover whole arsenals of Kalashnikovs in the cités. There is a vigorous informal trade between France and post-communist Eastern Europe: workshops in underground garages in the cités change the serial numbers of stolen luxury cars prior to export to the East, in exchange for sophisticated weaponry.

A profoundly alienated population is thus armed with serious firepower; and in conditions of violent social upheaval, such as France is in the habit of experiencing every few decades, it could prove difficult to control. The French state is caught in a dilemma between honoring its commitments to the more privileged section of the population, many of whom earn their livelihoods from administering the dirigiste economy, and freeing the labor market sufficiently to give the hope of a normal life to the inhabitants of the cités. Most likely, the state will solve the dilemma by attempts to buy off the disaffected with more benefits and rights, at the cost of higher taxes that will further stifle the job creation that would most help the cité dwellers. If that fails, as in the long run it will, harsh repression will follow.

But among the third of the population of the cités that is of North African Muslim descent, there is an option that the French, and not only the French, fear. For imagine yourself a youth in Les Tarterets or Les Musiciens, intellectually alert but not well educated, believing yourself to be despised because of your origins by the larger society that you were born into, permanently condemned to unemployment by the system that contemptuously feeds and clothes you, and surrounded by a contemptible nihilistic culture of despair, violence, and crime. Is it not possible that you would seek a doctrine that would simultaneously explain your predicament, justify your wrath, point the way toward your revenge, and guarantee your salvation, especially if you were imprisoned? Would you not seek a “worthwhile” direction for the energy, hatred, and violence seething within you, a direction that would enable you to do evil in the name of ultimate good? It would require only a relatively few of like mind to cause havoc. Islamist proselytism flourishes in the prisons of France (where 60 percent of the inmates are of immigrant origin), as it does in British prisons; and it takes only a handful of Zacharias Moussaouis to start a conflagration.

UPDATE: (hat tip to Ringo the Gringo) Daniel Pipes predicted this as far back as October, 1995.

Bush Nominates Alito

He's done it:

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Monday nominated Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court to replace the retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

While many Republicans praised the judicial nominee, Democrats wasted no time in publicly blasting him as "too radical."
Screw the Democrats. They were going to do that anyway.

Alito has been dubbed "Scalito" or "Scalia-lite" by some lawyers because his judicial philosophy invites comparisons to that of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But while Scalia is outspoken and known to badger lawyers, Alito is polite, reserved and even-tempered. Some at the White House have taken offense to the nickname.
FOX News Supreme Court analyst Tim O'Brien said while Alito's ideology may be similar to that of Scalia's, he is an independent thinker and should not be labeled as another Scalia.
But "he is a friendly, easy-going guy and that certainly will help him in this confirmation here," O'Brien said.
I don't know why they'd take offense to the name. It's a great compliment.

NRO's Bench Memos has continuing coverage. David Bernstein at Volokh notes that if Alito is confirmed, it will be the first time in the nation's history that a majority of Catholics are on the bench. I'm sure that, once that fact becomes known, it will make the abortion-worshippers go ballistic, and will bring up another institutional inquisition on the nature of religion/judging, all designed as a mask to make sure that pro-life believers are not on the Court.

Scott at Powerline notes: "We're about to get the fight over Constitutional principles that conservatives have looked forward to for years."

UPDATE 1: Professor Bainbridge notes that Alito "is everything Harriet Miers was not: An experienced jurist. Prosecutorial and government experience. Relatively young (55). Stellar educational credentials (Princeton and Yale). A committed conservative whose track record..." Good point. Also, he's a man. Bush didn't cave in again to the demands of the diversity crowd and nominate another woman merely because O'Connor's seat is held by a woman. The Prof. notes that Alito wasn't his first choice, but nevertheless is a solid candidate and should do much to unite the base. I agree.

I think that some of the more overzealous headline writers among the MSM wouldn't be engaging in hyperbole regarding Bush's second term if he had picked a solid choice for the Court in the first place, instead of Miers. But, in a month's time, assuming Alito is confirmed, Bush should be in a much better place politically than he was last week.

UPDATE 2: Captain Ed notes that "55, has the possibility of providing 20-30 years of jurisprudence on the Supreme Court, meaning that he and John Roberts have a real opportunity to turn the court back from its decades-long flirtation with supplanting the Legislature and turning itself into a strange American version of the Iranian Guardian Council." I couldn't have said it any better myself, Captain Ed. And he's right in noting that the Democrats blew their chance at getting a moderate on the bench (one nearly hand-delivered to them by Bush, though). I wish Alito was younger, like Luttig, but nevertheless he's a stellar choice.

The only thing that remains to be seen is whether the Republican Senate will hold the front and confirm this man. Michelle Malkin has a big rundown of blogger posts and notes (via Jason Smith) that Bill Frist said on FoxNews that "If the Democrats are looking for a fight, we'll be up for the fight. We won't back down... We're gonna get an up or down vote on the Senate floor and if the Democrats want a fight, they'll get one." A-frickin'-men. We should do everything to offer support to those Senators who are willing to go to bat for this nominee. If Alito is defeated, it will be because of the Republicans, not because of the Democrats.

UPDATE 3: An update on the Senate numbers for confirmation: "Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, fired back Sunday, saying that if the Democrats staged a filibuster against Judge Alito or Judge Luttig because of their conservatism, "the filibuster will not stand." Captain Ed predicts about 30 Democrats as opposed to Alito, but that a filibuster would be unsuccessful because of his disarming personality. Perhaps. He also notes that in order to protect a genuine liberal, Judge Stevens (85 years old), the Democrats will want to save their defense of a "liberal seat" for the time when it comes and won't waste their ammo on Alito. I disagree. They need to fight Alito for the same reasons that conservatives wanted him or Luttig or anyone other than Miers: to present to the American people their vision of Supreme Court jurisprudence. The Democrats will fight, but they will lose.

UPDATE 4: Reaction from other Catholic Bloggers (will be updated throughout the day): Amy Wellborn has an open thread, & Mirror of Justice has discussion on Alito's case background. Rich Leonardi also has been posting on Alito. Mark Shea now posts his thoughts.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Hugh Hewitt jumps the shark..

Would a conservative write an opinion piece for the NEW YORK TIMES? Maybe. But would it include this line?
"This triumph of the conservative punditocracy will have lasting consequences, and I hope my fears are misplaced."
You know, for a guy who's supposedly a right-leaning talk show radio host (a job that is quintessentially for conservative pundits), that quoted sentence is incredibly ELITIST. Fears of a conservative punditocracy? Who the hell in their right mind would fear that? I guess only people like Hewitt are allowed to talk. And this is the man who argued that opposing Miers was wrong because it was elitist. Pot. Kettle. Black.

Moreover, the NYT piece he writes drips with sanctimonious false outrage that the opposition to Miers was.... mean-spirited. It's like suddenly Hewitt has adopted all of the talking points of the left. The fact remains, Miers was seen as unqualified by many, but even worse, she had no prior experience in constitituional jurisprudence and there was no evidence at all she would be an originalist/textualist like Scalia. In fact, there were multiple indications she'd be a wishy-washy liberal.

Hewitt has officially jumped the shark.

This Washington Post article is pretty fair in describing the broad-based opposition to Miers. And Jonathan Adler in NRO's Bench Memos deconstructs Hewitt's other complaints.

I think it's wise to move on, not to gloat, and to get onto the business of confirming an originalist, conservative judge. But we should do well to remember that politics is merely a means to an end. People like Hewitt, who value power and appearance over principles and substance, are useless because when push comes to shove, they abandon the fight. Need we any more testiment to that than the fact that now he's bashing conservative pundits in the friggin' New York Times?

One of these should be the next Justice...

Charmaine Yost has a roundup (with pictures!) of the top individuals under consideration for current Supreme Court opening. I think almost any of these candidates would be great. But the younger, the better, obviously. Michael Luttig, Edith Jones, and Michael McConnel stand out. Janice Brown would be a great pick also.

It's a shame more vacancies aren't open.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

For the Record...

I'm feeling very relieved that Miers withdrew. It makes me wonder if the time is ripe to ask for other things I've been wanting for a long time now. So, for the record, I'm praying for the following objects:
  • A lightsaber (red or green will do).
  • A customized Batmobile that also transforms into a stealth fighter that can fly through outer space (which is equipped with missiles, lasers, etc).
  • Customized black kevlar armor that also doubles as a space-suit, with a rocketpack attached so I can fly whenever I want.
  • A hidden fortress.
  • Lots, and lots, of money.

That should do for starters. Oh, and I need all of this for, um... my job. Yeah.

Who to nominate...

Now that Miers is gone, who should be nominated?

There are many names out there, but why not just ASK Justices Scalia and Thomas their opinion on who would be a good choice? I'm sure they've reviewed countless decisions by judges across the country and can predict with good certainty who would be an originalist/textualist.

But barring that, the President should do a thorough search now. He should really think hard about this. Justice Roberts is a competent judge and knows the Constitution very well, but it's still a guess if he'd be a judge in the mold of Scalia. This time, the President must not fail. He really, really, really should take his time on this one, and think hard about who to pick.

Frankly, I'm not wedded to one single candidate like Judge Brown or Luttig. I've heard those names before, but the only person I know I could be satisfied with right now is Robert Bork. Hey - why don't they ask BORK who a good choice would be? That's an idea... In any event, I have no pre-selected replacement for Miers. All I want is the most solid, conservative, originalist candidate in the entire friggin' country right now. Basically, I want Scalia's role model.

Captain Ed says: "Now can we nominate a candidate whose qualities and track record presumes we control the Senate?"

Amen to that.

Holy Moly...

Miers withdraws her Supreme Court nomination...

More from FoxNews & CNN.

Michelle Malkin has a blog roundup: "What a relief. Sad, pensive, what-a-waste relief. Not happy-joy-joy relief."

I for one am really surprised. I didn't think it would happen this early. Wow.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

RNC, are you listening?

Looks like Ken Mehlman didn't get that nasty email I sent him when he last requested cash from me. I got a postage letter from the RNC in the mail today:
"Dear Mr. XXXXX,

I've written you several times since January but our records show that you have not renewed your RNC membership for 2005."

Oh really? I wonder why the heck I'd let that lapse...
"Perhaps our letters have crossed in the mail or you may think your continued commitment to President Bush and our Party is not needed now that the 2004 campaign is over."

Or, perhaps I think you're a hack willing to shrill for an administration that's sending a liberal to the Supreme Court and is spending like a sailor more drunk than Ted Kennedy...
"Mr. XXXX, your continued support is needed now more than ever. Liberal Democrats are determined to derail our President's second term initiatives and will do whatever it takes to win."

Liberal Republicans seem to be derailing the second term just fine without the help of the Democrats, Kenny.
"Democrats and their liberal special interest allies are continuing the vicious negative attacks and outlandish charges that marked the 2004 presidential campaign. They have rejected the Bush victory and the votes of 62 million Americans."

At least they know how to do their job, bub. The President and the Republicans, however, are feckless crapweasels. Why else would they fail to cut pork, nominate a feminist liberal to the Supreme Court, threaten conservatives with retaliation, and call us names?
"The RNC must be able to get our positive message of reform past this bitterness and anger and build momentum for the President."

How about you apologize for calling us sexist elitists first. It might to a bit to assuage the bitterness and anger. Idiot.
"Your continued support as a Sustaining Member will keep our grassroots network strong and growing. And your generous gift today will help the RNC expand our communications program to promote our agenda and recruit strong candidates who share our principles and goals."

You mean candidates like Lincoln Chaffee, liberal wuss from Rhode Island who didn't even vote for President Bush? Who's currently facing a primary challenge from a more conservative Republican, Steve Laffey? And who you're supporting against Mr. Laffey's challenge by running ads against him? Give me a friggin' break.
"That is why I urgently need you to renew your RNC Membership with a contribution of $100, $50, or $25 to counter the liberal Democrats' smears and delaying tactics. We must lay the groundwork today for the 2005 state elections and the crucial mid-term elections in 2006"

Again with the liberal Democrats... Frankly, the only thing the RNC stands for at this point is holding power for its own sake. I'd never give to a bunch of liberal Republicans, which is what you are. I oppose the Miers nomination. You guys, on the other hand, have no problem with her support for racist quotas, feminist lunacy, and complete lack of grounding in constitutional interpretation. Tell you what... I'll CONSIDER donating to you if you do one of the following IMMEDIATELY:
  1. Begin impeachment proceedings against Justices Ginsberg, Kennedy, Souter, Breyer, Stevens... and what the heck, O'Connor also. For not knowing the first damn thing about reading a Constitution (or, even worse, probably knowing and not caring because they're all too damn drunk with power). It'd be nice if they're thrown off the Court, but if not I'd still congratulate the effort for the mere fact of showing a spine against our Black Robed Masters. Oh, and while we're at it, DUMP MIERS and appoint someone better. Like Luttig, or frigging Robert Bork for that matter...
  2. Pass a constitutional amendment ending lifetime appointment of Justices, ending or severely restricting judicial review, and limiting the terms of all members of Congress.
  3. Pass a constitutional amendment protecting unborn children, a balanced budget amendment, a line-item veto amendment, and a defense of marriage amendment.
  4. Rebuild the Twin Towers, taller and with anti-aircraft weaponry on the rooftops.
  5. Convince Adriana Lima to marry me. (work safe, I think)

That's it. Should be easy enough for you gentlemen. Get to work.

UPDATE: More from Michelle Malkin on how Miers is so embarrassing because she can't turn in her homework on time. And Baseball Crank has a bunch of good questions for self-appointed Hack, Hugh Hewitt.

FURTHER UPDATE: Amy Wellborn also says that it's the straw that broke the camel's back, just like Prof. Bainbridge, Captain Ed, Rob Dreher, NRO's Ed Whelan, and Redstate's Pejman.

Conservative Rebellion....

Well whattya know? Bush is worried that he's losing the conservative base:

In a speech to the Economic Club of Washington, Bush said lawmakers should make tax relief permanent and restrain the spending appetite of the federal government. Bush's message was designed in part to ease the worries of conservatives that the Republican Party is not doing enough to control spending and cut the deficit.
Color me unimpressed.
"Bush's remarks came as congressional Republicans are advancing a budget implementation bill to curb federal spending by as much as $50 billion over five years."

50 billion over 5 years? That's only 10 billion a year. That's PATHETIC. The administration has increased spending by 18 bagillion zillion dollars since taking office in 2001 anyway. But what good is this kind of rhetoric when they can't even end the bridge to nowhere pork project? Trust me, the Republicans ain't cutting anything from the budget. Forget about it. They're too damn timid.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Catholicism and Islam...

I've seen some strange things, but I've never seen a person who professes to be a faithful Catholic claim that the religion is essentially the same as Islam. This person, with a demonstrable persistence in falsely maintaining that Pacifism is the end-all-be-all of Christianity, was bound to come up with other falsehoods in time.

Chris Sullivan is now claiming that Islam and Christianity are exactly the same. On a thread over at Disputations involving an entirely different matter, Chris Sullivan writes in the comment boxes:
As Islam proclaims there is only one God, and he is the God of salvation, it follows that Islam is a path to God's salvation.
Those Qu'ran passages which seem to deny the trinity need to be read in the context of the book's frequent use of the plural in refering to God and it's depiction of the Gospels as "holy books" (the trinity is clear in the Gospels despite what Mark Shea thinks).
Islam belives Jesus will return to judge the living and the dead. To do that justly Jesus must know everything everyone ever did and their mental state at the time. Only God can know this.
The clues are all in the Qu'ran but one needs the key to unlock them. Her name is Mary and the Qu'ran has an entire chapter about her.

He continues in more posts:
"There is nothing in the Qu'ran which isn't reconcilable with the Christian faith, although, as with the bible, it's possible to come up with "first impression" interpretations which are erroneous.To understand the book, you need to go to the key, Mary."

And later...
"My views on Islam cannot be a heresy because no Pope or Ecumenical council has ever pronounced dogmatically that Islam is incompatible with the Catholic Faith or made any negative assesment of the Qu'ran."

One wouldn't think that a Ecumenical council would be necesary to state that the Sky is Blue either. Anyway, in response to the incredulous nature of these comments, one commenter suggested that Chris Sullivan couldn't possibly be suggesting that Christianity and Islam are at bottom one religion. Chris's response?
"They are. If you go right to the very bottom, but few dare go that deep, down through the dark night led by the mediatrix of all graces."

I understand what "they are" means, but I don't know what the hell he's talking about when he says that "if you go right to the very bottom... down through the dark night..." Sounds like a new Batman movie or something.

In any event, this is the most ludicrous thing I've seen yet. Obviously Islam is only tangentially related to Christianity, in the sense that Islam was derived from Christianity as well as certain pagan traditions which influenced Mohammed. Yes, Islam professes to believe in the God of Abraham. Islam reveres Jesus as a prophet, but explicitly says Jesus is Not the Christ, that he is Not God, that he explicitly did Not Rise from the Grave on the Third Day. Muslims explicitly, absolutely, 100% reject the Ressurection. In fact, the Koran explicitly says that Jesus was surely not killed on the Cross:
That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah"; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;- And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in him before his death; and on the Day of Judgment he (Jesus) will be a witness against them. (surah al-Nisaa'; 4:157-159)

"For a surety they killed him not." According to Islam, Christ DID NOT DIE, but was merely transplanted to Heaven like Elijah. And if Christ did not die, he could not die for our sins, and he could not be ressurected. And, as St. Paul says in his 1st letter to the Corinthians, "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain."

Christianity is Not Islam, period. And it is disgraceful that someone could think they're the same. I don't know what kool-aid Chris Sullivan is drinking, but this is probably the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard him say (and that's me trying to be nice about it, which isn't easy). If this isn't heresy, then I don't know what is.

UPDATE: I think that one can understand how Chris Sullivan came to this deluded view through his clue on how Islam views Mary. Islam proclaims Jesus to have been born of the Virgin. Well, that's fine, but it doesn't change the fact that according to Islam Jesus is NOT the Christ. He is Not God, and still Did Not Die and Was Not Ressurected. And thereore, Christianity is NOT the same as Islam. Sheesh...