Monday, May 30, 2005

Freedom Tsunami's Next Wave

The evidence just keeps piling up: Democracy and freedom are on the move. Thanks to the strong and visionary leadership of the United States, freedom loving and democratic forces for peace around the world have become emboldened. Like the wave that swept from the Phillipines to Central America and parts of South America then on to Eastern Europe in the late 1980's, this 21st century tsunami of freedom is just picking up steam.

The old Soviet Republic of Georgia had it's "Rose Revolution" Ukraine's revolution was orange. Iraqis voted with purple fingers. Now, the Lebanese and their Cedar Revolution are next in that line of dominoes.

Even a former foe, the rogue state Libya, saw the crest of this wave last year and renounced their program to produce weapons of mass destruction.

Of course the path won't be easy, nor trouble free. Yet the peoples of Iran who seek to throw off their oppressive theocracy (this being a REAL theocracy, not the hysterical ravings of tie-dyed hippe freak tree worshipping neo socialists in this country who are just out to impose THEIR views on the rest of us). With enough support and encouragment, we may see Iran rejoin the company of peaceful nations and renounce state sponsored terrorism.

Even FRANCE, that's right: FRANCE has rejected the idea of ever oppressive world socialism and voted overwhelmingly against the European Constitution which would have enshrined socialism deeper into the European fabric while enslaving the people.

Freedom is on the move and it's all happening because America is leading the way. Remember that as you ponder the Memorial Day just passed.

The Washington Times: AP: "BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) -- The son of assassinated former premier Rafik Hariri swept Beirut legislative elections, officials said Monday, in a solid rejection of Syrian influence that marked a turning point in Lebanese politics.

Saad Hariri, a 35-year-old political novice who took over his father's mantle only in April, headed a ticket that won all 19 parliament seats up for grabs in the capital Sunday in the first election since Syria ended its nearly three-decade military domination of Lebanon in April.

Political pundits expect Hariri's Future Movement to win the biggest bloc in the next parliament as elections continue over the next three weeks, a stature that could propel him to the premiership. Hariri said Monday he would decide whether to seek the job after the elections."

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Filibuster Fracas

It's always nice when intelligent people you respect agree with you. So when I read in Sunday's Washington Times that "veteran political observers" agree with my contention on Wednesday that Senator George Allen was the big winner in the filibuster fracas, I was pleased.

From The Washington Times:
Last week's Senate compromise that averted a showdown over filibustered judicial nominees was actually the opening salvo of the 2008 presidential campaign, several veteran political observers say.
The unexpected consequence of the filibuster compromise is to give a boost to the presidential prospects of Sen. George Allen, Virginia Republican.
"Allen was very vocal in support of changing the rules to eliminate the filibuster of judicial nominees and took the right position in condemning the compromise," said Free Congress Foundation President Paul M. Weyrich.
"George Allen is helped to the extent that the other potential [Republican] nomination competitors are not helped," said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. "Allen was on the right side and said the right things."

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Why Bolton Needs to Be at U.N.

Want to know the best reason to approve John Bolton to the post of U.N. Ambassador? See this video. This is the ammunition that the left thinks will convince Americans that Bolton is the wrong man for the job. It's basically a shouting match that Bolton got into with Erskine Childers, a lifelong U.N. hack (see his bio here, posted on a site of anti-semitic, pro-Palestinian terror supporters... if that tells you anything.)

Mr. Childers criticizes Mr. Bolton saying that the American founders of the United Nations would "turn over in their graves" if they heard some of what Mr. Bolton has to say about the U.N.

Well Mr. Childers... I can well imagine those American founders of the U.N. ARE turning over in their graves. But it's the pandering of Euroweanies like you, that grants genocidal butchers a figleaf of legitimacy from the U.N. that would offend them.

We need Bolton now and here is why: SEE THE VIDEO. (download may take a while for you dialup dinosaurs)

Thanks to Glen at Nashville Truth for putting me onto this one.

Friday, May 27, 2005

The View from the Gulag

When Amnesty International recently called the prison run by the United States on Guantanamo in Cuba "an American gulag" it even outraged the Washington Post. Guantanamo offers Al Queda and Taliban scum better living conditions than most Holiday Inn's and the comparison with the horrific, brutal and inhumane treatment of Soviet labor camps is unconscionable.

Yet this episode offers further proof, as if any were needed, of the compete intellectual bankruptcy of the neosocialists who find themselves in the grip of an Orwellian nightmare where the understanding of good and evil are confused to the point that some openly support evil.

Natan Sharansky suffered 13 years in a Siberian gulag before being freed and emigrating to Israel. In the following interview he discussed one of the brightest moments from that dark time. It was a moment when the light of truth shone in upon the darkness of evil and freed the hearts of men, years before their physical captivity was ended.

The View from the Gulag: "It was the great brilliant moment when we learned that Ronald Reagan had proclaimed the Soviet Union an Evil Empire before the entire world. There was a long list of all the Western leaders who had lined up to condemn the evil Reagan for daring to call the great Soviet Union an evil empire right next to the front-page story about this dangerous, terrible man who wanted to take the world back to the dark days of the Cold War. This was the moment. It was the brightest, most glorious day. Finally a spade had been called a spade. Finally, Orwell's Newspeak was dead. President Reagan had from that moment made it impossible for anyone in the West to continue closing their eyes to the real nature of the Soviet Union.

Los Angeles to Secede from U.S.; Join Mexico?

L.A. Mayor: "Mexico Will Shape My Policies"

Los Angeles Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday that Mexico will play an important role in shaping his policies, reports Mexico's El Universal Online.

'We are starting a new era. Instead of closing the borders, as stated by Schwarzenegger, we should look at our border as an opportunity,' Villaraigosa said.

'This is a time of great importance, not just for us to rediscover our roots, but looking to create a mutually beneficial relationship,'added the city's first Latino mayor since 1872.

The top L.A. Democrat lamented that the recent passage by Congress of The Real ID Act, if signed into law, would prevent illegal aliens from getting driver's licenses. 'Politicians in the United States need to understand that immigrants come here for the same reason that immigrants have always come: to work,' Villaraigosa told El Universal. 'Instead of punishing and demonizing them, we should try to integrate them.' Villaraigosa also told El Universal that he would not support policies that supposedly persecute the city's large migrant population.

'I support Special Order 40 [prohibiting police from making migration-related arrests],' he said. 'We need our police officers to fight gangs and organized crime. That will keep them more than busy.'

O.K... So why not just take this to the next level and allow Los Angeles county to secede from California and the United States and join Mexico. The Mayor here is clearly pandering to a movement that would like nothing better: see here.

No longer would residents of Los Angeles be bound by U.S. law. Neither would residents of this new Mexican colony be required to pay U.S. taxes. They could appreciate the value of Mexico's corrupt bureacracy first hand as they no longer receive the protection of civil rights as understood in the United States. Also, they would be voting in Mexico and not the U.S. Had this been the case in 2004, President Bush would likely have won California.

The best thing about this idea is that Barbara Streisand, Michael Moore and the rest of the Hollywood/Malibu cortex would be forced to move to one of their many other palatial homes or witness firsthand how such luminaries are treated in Mexico (unless of course they make large payoffs to the right people).

We would of course build a very large fence, sealing the county off from the rest of California. You can certainly expect that as soon as Mexican economic policies are introduced in this new Mexican territory, immigrants will do anything to get into the United States.

My advice to friends in L.A. county: MOVE NOW!

Filibuster Alive and Well in U.S. Senate

Senate Democrats Filibuster Bolton Nomination

Even Americans with short attention spans or little interest in politics will recall the backslapping and self-congratulatory statements from the "gang of 14" Senators who brokered a deal earlier this week on President Bush's judicial nominations.

You may have seen the words of my own Senator Graham of South Carolina who had this to say about the deal:

"The American people won tonight. The Senate is back in business....With better communication and a spirit of putting the country ahead of ourselves, I believe we can avoid future filibusters. We are a nation at war which desperately needs a functioning Senate. Our men and women in harms way deserve Senators with personal courage and respect fo the institution. They are risking their lives to defend our freedom and those of us in the Senate should have the courage to put the welfare of the country ahead of our own personal political interests. That's the least we should do. "

Senator Graham has been very vocal about the need to keep the Senate working and the "deal" being key to preserving the working relationships necessary for the Senate to do the people's business.

Yet here we go again. After exhaustive hearings, repeated delays and an organized smear campaign against the nomination of John Bolton to be our Ambassador to the United Nations, Democrats defeated a cloture vote that would have ended debate on Bolton and allowed a vote on his confirmation. Democrat Minority Leader Reid insisted that this was not a filibuster.

Yet, any succesful vote against cloture (which requires 60 votes to pass) means a filibuster is taking place. The definition here is even clearer than the "extraordinary circumstances" which the deal on judicial nominees would allow for filibusters.

So how did the "gang of 14", those who wanted the country to move ahead with important business vote on this filibuster? All the Republican members of that cabal voted for cloture and an end to the filibuster. Four of the Democrats voted to continue the filibuster, with Inouye not voting and only Landrieu and Pryor voting against the filibuster.

Another vote is scheduled for June 7. Once again, the people's business at this important time is being held hostage to a minority of Senate Democrats who offer the people little else but obstruction and delay.

In the office of Senator Graham, they've been getting so much heat from the voters of South Carolina, they had to bring in bags of ice and stack them like sand bags to deflect the ire of angy conservatives.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Frist Not Finished Fighting

This speech delivered by Senator Frist on the Senate floor has brought renewed respect for our oft-maligned Majority Leader. He delivered similar remarks to the GOPAC dinner the same night, where he also brought along a Magic 8 Ball to predict what type of treatment future nominees might expect. No Magic 8 Ball on the Senate floor as Ted Kennedy kept playing with the last one.

The confrontation over judicial filibusters is the greatest single constitutional issue to confront the Senate in our lifetime.

That is because this issue involves the relationship between the Senate and the Presidency, and the relationship between the Senate and the courts. It involves all 3 branches of government! In addition, it involves interaction between majority and minority parties within the Senate itself.

The Senate confronts many significant issues every year, but none of them touches the grand institutions of American democracy the way this one does.

The President has the constitutional obligation to appoint judges. And the Senate has constitutional responsibility to offer its advice and consent. For 214 years, the Senate gave every nominee brought to the floor a fair up or down vote. Most we accepted, some we rejected. But all those nominees got a vote.

In the last Congress, however, the minority leadership embarked on a new and dangerous course. They routinely filibustered 10 of President Bush's appellate court nominees and threatened filibusters on six more. Organized and fueled by the minority leadership, these filibusters could not be broken. By filibuster, the minority denied the nominees a confirmation vote and barred the full Senate from exercising its obligation to advise and consent.

The purpose of the filibusters was clear. It was not only to keep the President's nominees off the bench, it was to wrest effective control of the appointments process from the President. Anyone who did not pass the minority leadership's ideological litmus tests would be filibustered. That meant a minority would dictate whom the President should appoint if he expected the nominee to get a confirmation vote. This was a power grab of unprecedented proportions. And with more filibusters threatened for this Congress, the power grab would become even bolder and more entrenched.

Fundamental constitutional principles were called into question. These included the separation of powers, checks and balances, the independence of the judiciary, and negation of the Senate's right to advise and consent.

The minority claimed the right to impose a 60 vote threshold before a nominee could pass muster, for that is the number needed to invoke cloture and break a filibuster. The Constitution doesn't say that. It only requires a majority to confirm. But for a minority spinning novel constitutional theories, the real Constitution took a back seat.

The Republican majority tried at first to invoke cloture on each of the judicial nominees. But driven by the minority leadership, the filibusters proved resilient to cloture. Then, we introduced a filibuster reform proposal and took it through committee. But it died without action because it was sure to be filibustered itself. So, we turned to the voters in November, and the election strengthened our majority. But the minority ignored the election and dug in its heels.

Faced with the certainty that the minority would expand its filibusters, Republicans faced a critical choice. Either accept the filibuster power grab as the new standard
for the Senate, or restore the tradition of up or down votes for the nominees. We as Republican Leadership decided to stand for a principle. And that principle is clear. It is clear without trimming or equivocation: every judicial nominee brought to the floor shall get a fair up or down vote.

The Constitution specifically gives the Senate the power to govern itself. And we were fully committed to use that power to establish a process by which a confirmation vote would occur after reasonable debate. This approach has a lot of precedent. The minority attempted to demean it by calling it the “nuclear option.� But the nuclear option is what they themselves detonated with their filibuster power grab initiated in the last Congress. The proper term for our response is constitutional option, because we would rely on the Constitution's power of self governance to restore Senate traditions barring judicial filibusters.

Against their unprecedented power grab by filibuster – their nuclear option -- the constitutional option is the only effective certain antidote.

The moment of truth was to have come yesterday on May 24. But action was preempted by an agreement among seven Republicans and seven Democrats to forestall use of the constitutional option in exchange for confirmation votes on just three nominees and a promise that filibusters would only occur in “extraordinary circumstances.� I was not a party to that agreement nor was the Republican Leadership. It stops far short of guaranteeing up or down votes on all nominees. It leaves open the question of whether Miguel Estrada – who has been filibustered by the minority seven times in the last congress – would be an “extraordinary circumstance.�

Now we move into a new and uncertain phase. Today the Senate will confirm Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Several more of the nominees will follow her. Priscilla Owen, a gentle woman, accomplished lawyer and brilliant Texas jurist was unconscionably denied an up or down vote for more than four years. The minority distorted her record, cast aspersions on her abilities, and rendered her almost unrecognizable. She had the fortitude to see the process through. And very late, but at long last, she will be confirmed by an up or down vote.

• Without the constitutional option, Priscilla Owen would never have come to a vote. Neither would any of the other nominees.

• Without the constitutional option, judicial filibusters would have become a standard instrument of minority party policy. The agreement among the 14 is based on the trust that casual use of judicial filibusters is over.

• Without the constitutional option, the minority would have adhered to the path it was on and deal brokers would have had no deal to broker.

I am now hopeful but wary. As Ronald Reagan was fond to say, trust but verify. If nominees receive up or down votes and the sword of the filibuster is sheathed, then the Republican Leadership can be proud that its focused direction on the constitutional option arrested a dangerous and destructive trend. If filibusters again erupt under circumstances other than extraordinary, we will put the constitutional option back on the table and move to implement it.

Abraham Lincoln once said that when it is not possible to do the best, it is best to do what is possible. Standing firm for the principle of fair up or down votes, we have made real progress. That is something we all can celebrate. And that principle will be our guidepost as the rest of this great constitutional drama unfolds.

This speech isn't nuclear... it's DY.....NA.....MITE!!!

Fed Funded Schools Must Teach Constitution Every Sept. 17

If anyone wants to know why I take constitutional issues so seriously, here's your answer: The Constitution and I share the same birthday, September 17 (gifts will be accepted). I also had the pleasure of meeting the late, great Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger at a neighbor's house on Capitol Hill in Washington. His birthday is also on that day. Coincidence or cosmic master plan?

Fed Funded Schools Must Teach Constitution Every Sept. 17: WASHINGTON -- The Constitution long has ensured that Congress can't tell schools what to teach. But that's no longer the case for at least one topic - the Constitution itself.

The Education Department outlined Tuesday how it plans to enforce a little-known provision that Congress passed in 2004: Every school and college that receives federal money must teach about the Constitution on Sept. 17, the day the document was adopted in 1787.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Senate Deal: The Good, The Bad, The UGLY!

Now that the cabal of seven Republicans and seven Democrats have finished with their 48 hour backslapping and self-congratulatory marathon, the dust is beginning to settle on the "Memorandum of Understanding of Understanding on Judicial Nominations" (signed copy of the document here). It's perhaps a good time to take a closer look at the deal and it's implications for the future.

It's often said that if you anger both those on the right and the left that you must be doing something good. This deal certainly caused a fair number of people on both sides to go nuclear, even though it seemed those on the left were doing more crowing than usual. But on calmer reflection, or perhaps due to the overwhelming negative reaction from conservatives, Republicans have begun to spin the matter in a more positive direction.

The Good

In what was described as a "Top Line Message On Judicial Compromise" my county Republican Party passed along what appears to be talking points from somewhere which state in part:

It is a positive step that after enduring years of harsh,unjustified attacks, Justice Priscilla Owen, Justice Janice Rogers Brown, and Judge William Pryor will finally get an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.

These highly qualified judicial nominees never should have been filibustered in the first place.

It is also a positive step that signatories of the compromise agreement have agreed not to filibuster judicial nominations in the future except under extraordinary circumstances.

Well, that's all very encouraging, as far as it goes, and it is echoed in blogs like Red State and the much respected Opinion Journal which had this to say:

The left is crowing and the right is carping, for the most part, about last night's deal by 14 senators, seven from each party, to avoid the "nuclear option"--a Senate vote to abolish filibusters of judicial nominees. We beg to differ. We favor an end to the obstruction of judicial nominees via filibuster, and it strikes us that this agreement is likely to accomplish that, at least for this Congress (after which the agreement expires). If so, the nuclear option will have shown its value as a deterrent.

The agreement binds the 14 senators who signed it to vote for cloture (i.e., against a filibuster) of the three remaining nominees the Democrats have most demonized: Priscilla Owen, Janice Rogers Brown and Bill Pryor. The compromisers expressly "make no commitment to vote for or against cloture" of two additional nominees, William Myers and Henry Saad. The status of two other nominees, Brett Kavanaugh and William Haynes, is unclear. Early this afternoon the Senate voted 81-18 for cloture on Owen's nomination; an actual confirmation vote should come by tomorrow.

Do you feel better yet?

There's a whole raft of opinion covering the spectrum At Real Clear Politics:

A New Beginning in the Senate? - David Ignatius, Washington Post

In the Long Run a Good Deal For Conservatives - Linda Chavez, Townhall

Republicans Had the Votes But Not the Guts - Thomas Sowell, RealClearPolitics

The Right Cries Foul As Bush Is Foiled - Joe Conason, New York Observer

McCain Sells Out The GOP - Pat Buchanan, Creators

The Senate's Real Leader is John McCain - David Broder, Washington Post

Senate's Third-Party Caucus Restores Power to Center - Dick Morris, The Hill

God Save U.S. From Self-Appointed Saviors - Tony Blankley, Washington Times

Bush and Frist Got What They Wanted - Robert Kuttner, Boston Globe

A Democratic Victory and GOP Setback - Jules Witcover, Baltimore Sun

More on "The Deal": DavidCorn Mark Davis Ronald Cass Robert Steinback

Is Conservative Republicanism Slipping? - Howard Fineman, Newsweek

This "deal" will make it more difficult for Democrats to filibuster. It also pretty much greases the skids for confirmation of some very fine judges: Owen, Brown and Pryor. Democrats allowing that to occur after basically calling these three every name in the book exposes their transparent political hypocrisy.

Feeling any better yet?

The Bad

So if this isn't such a bad deal and it's all been a bunch of bellyaching from rightwingers who wanted Reid to glow a uranium mine in Nevada, then why all the confusion about the deal? First of all, the Senators like my own Lindsey Graham, must have known that handling an issue this radioactive would have some fallout. Their attempt to explain it has been lame and confusing; perhaps because they seemed to be spending all that time instead by congratulating each other.

Second, the deal says that Dems will not filibuster Ownen, Brown and Pryor. The assumption is (though no one really knows) that the remaining nominees Saad and Meyers could be filibustered.

Third, the seven Democrat signatories promise not to filibuster, or presumably permit a filibuster from their fellow Democrats on future nominations. The seven Republicans also promise not to use the nuclear, or more correctly the "Bryd" option, thus named because Senator Byrd used this exact same tactic when he was Majority Leader.

The seven Democrats who signed onto this deal are not from the rabid wing of the Democrat Party, even though the former Klansmen Byrd was very involved in recent coordination with the tie-dyed hippie freak, tree worshiping neo-socialist out to impose their views on the rest of us organization: Moveon.org.

So the HOPE is that the understanding of "extraordinary circumstances" would not be abused in the same way that Democrats with a greater reality challenged perspective have struggled with such concepts as the meaning of the word 'is.'

Fourth, the battle here is just a warm up to a contest royale over a coming nomination to the Supreme Court. Whether it's more difficult to filibuster or not, you can expect the moonbats to come out of their holes, take a leave of absence from their local coven and hit the streets screaming. This deal will do nothing to prevent the launching of another scare, fear and hate campaign directed at whomever the President nominates.

The Ugly

And that brings us to the ugly part of this deal. The Constitution of the United States is pretty clear as it relates to the powers of the President to appoint judges and the Senates role in confirming them:

[H]e shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States.

In the deal, Senators define that phrase this way:

We believe that, under Article II, Section 2, of the United States Constitution, the word "Advice" speaks to consultation between the Senate and the President with regard to the use of the President's power to make nominations. We encourage the Executive branch of government to consult with members of the Senate, both Democratic and Republican, prior to submitting a judicial nomination to the Senate for consideration.

Again we're down to defining words like "extraordinary" or "advice." But the Constitution locks in a process here...the President "shall nominate" is FOLLOWED by the "advice and consent of the Senate." What the deal suggests is that the President should consult the Senate BEFORE making a nomination.

Anyone who doesn't see that as an unconstitutional power grab by one branch encroaching on the constitutional authority of the other is probably not going to have a hard time finding "extraordinary circumstances" to oppose a nominee.

With all the high talk of compromise and "let's all get along" this constitutional revisionism STINKS! The Senate has a long and sorry history of interfering with the constitutional role of the Executive branch. A good size chunk of the members in that body think they could do a better job than the President, even though most of them couldn't get elected dogcatcher outside of the comfort of their home-state's political machine.

The last bit of good news in this shabby deal is that the President is perfectly free to totally ignore this suggestion by the gang of fourteen. It has no weight in law whatsoever. As for the rest of the deal: only time will tell.

The Fallout

I found some comfort in the statements of my Senator, Lindsey Graham that this deal means that a nominee being conservative would not constitute extraordinary circumstances. It's interesting that the most respected newspaper in South Carolina: The State, which endorsed his opponent, now endorses his participation in the deal.

Will Senator Graham pay a political price in 2008 when his first term expires? There is talk of a well funded challenge by a respected SC conservative... Again, time will tell. I imagine that Senator Graham will continue to cultivate the local party officials who no doubt receive special consideration of their needs. But what about the huge numbers of conservative voters who are not part of that gravy train?

We certainly do not want Lindsey Graham to be known as the "John McCain" of South Carolina. He was after all, John McCain's campaign chairman in 2000. Readers may recall in 2000 when John McCain and his "Straight Talk Express" hit the conservative political firewall in SC like a rotten tomato tossed onto a brick wall. A note to McCain: come on down here in 2008 and that firewall will look like a picnic!

Senator George Allen of Virgina may reap the greatest political windfall from this imbroglio in South Carolina. A solid conservative, Allen calmly and firmly supported the "Bryd option" which would have put a stop to the Democrat's filibuster nonsense once and for all. His position here was immeasurably strengthend and he will likely find a willing audience for his message should he care to pay us a visit and discuss a prospective presidential bid in 2008.

The Last Word

If Senator Graham and others dismiss the opposition to this deal as nothing more than an orchestrated campaign from the religious right... They are wrong. Speaking for myself and many, MANY other conservatives, we are no tools of James Dobson and groups like Focus on the Family. The outrage over this sham deal, which weakens the Constitution, is not the sole intellectual property of the religious right. It is a matter that concerns each of us who hold traditionalist views of the Constitution.

Airborne Combat Engineer: Secret US space laser test vaporizes Russian lake

Be warned... This post contains graphic images of mud wrestlers.....

Airborne Combat Engineer: Secret US space laser test vaporizes Russian lake: "Secret US space laser test vaporizes Russian lake"

You've got to love Cox and Forkum.

Need a Good Laugh? PBS Says It's Not Biased

After the heated discussions of judicial filibusters, we all need a good laugh... Thanks to Pat Mitchell, Presdident of the Public Broadcasting System we have one:

NewsMax.com: Inside Cover Story: "PBS Boss: No Liberal Bias Here
The president of the Public Broadcasting System on Tuesday rejected criticism by conservatives that public TV is guilty of liberal bias, and she offered a strong defense of PBS' Bill Moyers, a target of right-wing wrath.

'PBS does not belong to any one political party,' Pat Mitchell said.

Mitchell's remarks at the National Press Club follow the disclosure that Kenneth Y.Tomlinson, the Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, hired a consultant to keep track of guests' political views on a program hosted by Moyers, who was White House press secretary during the Johnson administration.

"The facts do not support the case he makes" for political bias, Mitchell said of Tomlinson. Surveys show that the overwhelming majority of the public does not perceive bias in public broadcasting, she said.

The CPB gets appropriations from Congress for public broadcasting and is supposed to shield PBS from political influence. About 15 percent of PBS' budget is federal money.

I wonder if that survey Mitchell cites is another example of "fake but accurate?"

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Extremist, Radical Right Wing Judges to be Confirmed: Theocracy to be Established

"Radical judges","Extremists" ,"Out of the mainstream", "Representing the religious right" ,"Imposing their values on America" ,"Packing the courts" "Creating a theocracy"

Judge Owens

Judge Brown

Justice Pryor

Do a Google search on extremist judges and you'll get about 270,000 hits, many of which will take you directly to the centers of liberal hysteria, hate and disinformation. Can you believe if these three judges and the others nominated by President Bush were such examples of outright evil that Democrats in the Senate could ever agree to a deal allowing their confirmation? Well, we all knew their objections were transparently political and partisan. Yet, unmasking that reality won't alter their use of "extreme" tactics next time.

ScrappleFace: Republicans Redefine 'Majority' to Fit Current Usage

I thought about posting this when it was first published in April. But I had high hopes that we might actually have the guts to use the majority that the voters gave to the Republicans in the Senate... That appears not to be the case.
ScrappleFace: Republicans Redefine 'Majority' to Fit Current Usage: "Republicans Redefine 'Majority' to Fit Current Usage
by Scott Ott

(2005-04-28) -- Republicans in the House and Senate today introduced bills which would redefine the word 'majority' to mean 'a group compelled to do the will of a smaller group.'
The change in definition is designed to bring the word back in line with current usage and practice, according to an unnamed Senate source.
The new definition of majority should help Republicans 'deflect criticism from staunch conservatives who believe the antiquated, intolerant concept that 'majority rule' requires the more numerous group to prevail,' the source said.
'When Republicans go to the polls in 2006,' he added, 'they must understand that victory for conservatives consists of getting the privilege to serve in the federal government which our Democrat colleagues created, not in changing that government to suit our own narrow ideology.'
In the short term, experts said, the redefinition of 'majority' should clear up controversies about judicial confirmations, Rep. Tom DeLay's alleged ethics breaches and John Bolton's nomination as U.N. Ambassador.
'Republicans value results,' said the Senate source. 'If that means we have to adopt the Democrat agenda to get things done, then so be it. At least we'll get results.'"

This Blog Rated as 90% Good

My recent post When Dems Nuke the Senate was rated as 90% good:

This post is certified 90% GOOD by the Gematriculator

Thanks Grizzly Mama for digging up this little gem.

Monday, May 23, 2005

A Liberal No More: A San Francisco Liberal Comes Out of the Darkness and Into The Light

Before moving to San Francisco, this recovering liberal was a native Ohioan, and worked for Senator Meztenbaum, who was opposed by Congressman Ashbrook, for whom I worked.

Read the full text and compare it with the remarks below of Judge Janice Rogers Brown to the Federalist Society. You will notice remarkable parallels. I'd nominate him for a federal judgeship!

I'm glad to see he's come to his senses... Welcome Home!

Thompson at Large - Leaving the Left: "Nightfall: January 30, 2005. Eight million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos.

I'm leaving the left more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.

I choose today because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere reciting all the ways Iraq's democratic experiment might yet implode.

My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades; yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's peace movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World people because it hates George W. Bush more than it loves freedom.

Like many others who came of age politically in the 1960s, I became adept at not taking the measure of the left's mounting incoherence. To face it directly posed the danger that I would have to describe it accurately, first to myself and then to others. That could only give aid and comfort to Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and all the other Usual Suspects the left so regularly employs to keep from seeing its own reflection in the mirror.

Now, I find myself in a swirling metamorphosis. Think Kafka, without the bug. Think Kuhnian paradigm shift, without the buzz. Every anomaly that didn’t fit my perceptual set is suddenly back, all the more glaring for so long ignored. The insistent inner voice I learned to suppress now has my rapt attention. “Something strange – something approaching pathological – something entirely of its own making – has the left in its grip,� the voice whispers. “How did this happen?�

The Iraqi election is my tipping point. The time has come to walk in a different direction — just as I did many years earlier.

I grew up in a northwest Ohio town where conservative was a polite term for reactionary. When Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of Mississippi “sweltering in the heat of oppression,� he could have been describing my community, where blacks knew to keep their heads down and animosity toward Catholics and Jews was unapologetic.
Liberal and conservative, like left and right, wouldn’t be part of my lexicon for a while, but when King proclaimed, “I have a dream,� I instinctively cast my lot with those I later found out were liberals (then synonymous with “the left� and “progressive thought�).

The people on the other side were dedicated to preserving my hometown’s backward-looking status quo. This was all that my ten-year-old psyche needed to know. The knowledge carried me for a long time. Mythologies are helpful that way.

I began my activist career championing the 1968 presidential candidacies of Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, because both promised to end America’s misadventure in Vietnam. I marched for peace and farm worker justice, lobbied for women’s right to choose and environmental protections, signed up with George McGovern in ‘72 and got elected as the youngest delegate ever to a Democratic Convention.

Eventually I joined the staff of U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio.
In short, I became a card-carrying liberal, though I never actually got a card. (Bookkeeping has never been the left’s strong suit.) All my commitments centered on belief in equal opportunity, due process, respect for the dignity of the individual and solidarity with people in trouble. To my mind, Americans who had joined the resistance to Franco’s fascist dystopia captured the progressive spirit at its finest.

A turning point came at a dinner party on the day Ronald Reagan famously described the Soviet Union as the preeminent source of evil in the modern world. The general tenor of the evening was that Reagan’s use of the word “evil� had moved the world closer to annihilation. There was a palpable sense that we might not make it to dessert.

When I casually offered that the surviving relatives of the more than 20 million people murdered on orders of Joseph Stalin might not find “evil’� too strong a word, the room took on a collective bemused smile of the sort you might expect if someone had casually mentioned taking up child molestation for sport.

My progressive companions had a point. It was rude to bring a word like “gulag� to the dinner table.

I look back on that experience as the beginning of my departure from a left already well on its way to losing its bearings. Two decades later, I watched with astonishment as leading left intellectuals launched a telethon-like body count of civilian deaths caused by American soldiers in Afghanistan. Their premise was straightforward, almost giddily so: When the number of civilian Afghani deaths surpassed the carnage of September 11, the war would be unjust, irrespective of other considerations.

Stated simply: The force wielded by democracies in self-defense was declared morally equivalent to the nihilistic aggression perpetuated by Muslim fanatics.

Susan Sontag cleared her throat for the “courage� of the Al Qaeda pilots. Norman Mailer pronounced the dead of September 11 comparable to “automobile statistics.� The events of that day were likely premeditated by the White House, Gore Vidal insinuated. Noam Chomsky insisted that Al Qaeda at its most atrocious generated no terror greater than American foreign policy on a mediocre day.

All of this came back to me as I watched the left’s anemic, smirking response to Iraq’s election on January. Didn’t many of these same people stand up in the sixties for self-rule for oppressed people and against fascism in any guise? Yes, and to their lasting credit. But many had since made clear that they had also changed their minds about the virtues of Dr. King’s call for equal of opportunity.

These days the postmodern left demands that government and private institutions guarantee equality of outcomes. Any racial or gender “disparities� are to be considered evidence of culpable bias, regardless of factors such as personal motivation, training, and skill. This goal is neither liberal nor progressive; but it is what the left has chosen. In a very real sense it may be the last card held by a movement increasingly ensnared in resentful questing for group-specific rights and the subordination of citizenship to group identity. There’s a word for this: pathetic.

I smile when friends tell me I’ve “moved right.� I laugh out loud at what now passes for progressive on the main lines of the cultural left.

In the name of “diversity,� the University of Arizona has forbidden discrimination based on “individual style.� The University of Connecticut has banned “inappropriately directed laughter.� Brown University, sensing unacceptable gray areas, warns that harassment “may be intentional or unintentional and still constitute harassment.� (Yes, we’re talking “subconscious harassment� here. We’re watching your thoughts…)

Wait, it gets better. When actor Bill Cosby called on black parents to explain to their kids why they are not likely to get into medical school speaking English like “Why you ain’t� and “Where you is,� Jesse Jackson countered that the time was not yet right to “level the playing field.� Why not? Because "drunk people can’t do that … illiterate people can’t do that."

When self-styled pragmatic feminist Camille Paglia mocked young coeds who believe “I should be able to get drunk at a fraternity party and go upstairs to a guy’s room without anything happening,� Susan Estrich spoke up for gender-focused feminists who “would argue that so long as women are powerless relative to men, viewing ‘yes’ as a sign of true consent is misguided.�

I’ll admit my politics have shifted in recent years, as have America’s political landscape and cultural horizon. Who would have guessed that the U.S. senator with today’s best voting record on human rights would be not Ted Kennedy or Barbara Boxer but Kansas Republican Sam Brownback?

He is also by most measures one of the most conservative senators. Brownback speaks openly about how his horror at the genocide in the Sudan is shaped by his Christian faith, as Dr. King did when he insisted on justice for “all of God's children.�

My larger point is rather simple. Just as a body needs different medicines at different times for different reasons, this also holds for the body politic.

In the sixties, America correctly focused on bringing down walls that prevented equal access and due process. It was time to walk the Founders’ talk – and we did. With barriers to opportunity no longer written into law, today the body politic is crying for different remedies.

America must now focus on creating healthy, self-actualizing individuals committed to taking responsibility for their lives, developing their talents, honing their skills and intellects, fostering emotional and moral intelligence, all in all contributing to the advancement of the human condition.

At the heart of authentic liberalism lies the recognition, in the words of John Gardner, “that the ever renewing society will be a free society [whose] capacity for renewal depends on the individuals who make it up.� A continuously renewing society, Gardner believed, is one that seeks to “foster innovative, versatile, and self-renewing men and women and give them room to breathe.�

One aspect of my politics hasn’t changed a bit. I became a liberal in the first place to break from the repressive group orthodoxies of my reactionary hometown.

This past January, my liberalism was in full throttle when I bid the cultural left goodbye to escape a new version of that oppressiveness. I departed with new clarity about the brilliance of liberal democracy and the value system it entails; the quest for freedom as an intrinsically human affair; and the dangers of demands for conformity and adherence to any point of view through silence, fear, or coercion.

True, it took a while to see what was right before my eyes. A certain misplaced loyalty kept me from grasping that a view of individuals as morally capable of and responsible for making the principle decisions that shape their lives is decisively at odds with the contemporary left’s entrance-level view of people as passive and helpless victims of powerful external forces, hence political wards who require the continuous shepherding of caretaker elites.

Leftists who no longer speak of the duties of citizens, but only of the rights of clients, cannot be expected to grasp the importance (not least to our survival) of fostering in the Middle East the crucial developmental advances that gave rise to our own capacity for pluralism, self-reflection, and equality. A left averse to making common cause with competent, self-determining individuals – people who guide their lives on the basis of received values, everyday moral understandings, traditional wisdom, and plain common sense – is a faction that deserves the marginalization it has pursued with such tenacity for so many years.

All of which is why I have come to believe, and gladly join with others who have discovered for themselves, that the single most important thing a genuinely liberal person can do now is walk away from the house the left has built. The renewal of any tradition that deserves the name “progressive� becomes more likely with each step in a better direction.

(San Francisco Chronicle May 22, 2005.)

A Veteran Endorses Iraq Opinion

Thanks to Curt of Flopping Aces for pointing me towards Bill Whittle and this excellent, though LONG commentary. Now, since tie-dyed hippie tree worshipping neosocialists out to impose their views on the world insist that we cannot permit anyone to express military opinions unless they have actually served in the military, I must point out that Curt was in the Marine Corps. So his endorsement of these opinions is all the validation required. Of course we all know that these limits on free speech imposed by that tie-dyed hippie tree worshipping neosocialist set are only to be applied to conservative opinion, just as ethics rules for congress are openly to be applied to Republicans.

Eject! Eject! Eject!: "Throughout the insurgency, and especially in places like Fallujah, enemy fighters with real or feigned wounds have called for aid. Not often does a soldier who has been in combat look down upon the wounded of either side without horror and sympathy. In places like Fallujah and Iwo Jima and Antietam it is an easy thing to see one's own reflection in that grimace and that agony.
So when a soldier out of uniform, who may have faked surrender to kill unsuspecting Americans, calls for aid and then willfully kills medics with a concealed grenade where does that leave us? What unplumbed depths remain? When mercy is used as a weapon against the merciful, what horrors and abominations remain unplayed?
THAT, dear left-wing Citadels of Conscience, is what we are up against. That is what you support against the decency, honor and kindness you mock in your own countrymen as they build schools and hospitals and, indeed, an entire democracy. That is the definition of Unlawful Combatant. It is not a legal nicety, and it is not a rhetorical flourish. It is a pattern of ruthlessness, deception and murder. And regardless of your motive, it is the side you find yourself taking.
These are the kind of men in Guantanamo. Who controls such men? And when busloads of men from Afghanistan and Syria and Jordan and Egypt and Iran, men without uniforms, men not under the control of any officer, men who follow no code of conduct other than an oath to kill any American, anywhere who among us with a gram of understanding and perspective can be surprised when such men are hooded and shackled on air transports? And being left to sleep in the open air is one thing in Northern Germany in the winter of '44, and something else entirely in the middle of the goddam Caribbean! I mean, for the love of God, some of the people screaming themselves into a lather.
There is one final layer of atrocity, a violation of the very core idea of Sanctuary as a place of safe haven that the insurgents in Iraq practice with abandon.

These religious fanatics, who will form a mob and tear a person limb from limb if he (or especially she) so much as looks askance at a copy of the Quran, routinely and methodically have used mosques – even their most sacred mosques – as ammunition dumps, staging areas and firing positions, viewing our decency and
restraint as foolishness and weakness.

These acts have been recorded so many times that it has become banal. It’s just a fact. It’s what they do.

If they had genuine respect for their own religions and holy places they would give them the widest berth available, not turn them into command bunkers, ambush sites and staging areas.

Here is a violation of Sanctuary written as plainly as the eye can see. They use safe havens -- hospitals, hotels and places of worship -- as military fortresses because they are counting on our decency and honor to spare them from retaliation.

Actually, it is deeper than that. I suspect what they are really counting on is that sooner or later, such provocations have to be answered. And then there will be armies of useful idiots with television cameras and microphones and Expensive Hair, who will rally the full weight of recrimination and guilt and defeatism and accomplish for a few bearded lunatics what entire armored divisions could not achieve for them on the battlefield: Victory over the Americans.
But what has shocked and dismayed me, way beyond the sadness and regret of our losses, has been the willingness, even the eagerness, among many on the left who
want nothing more than to see our side lose.

Our soldiers are fighting and dying to install what any sane person can see is a widely-representative democracy, heroically elected at great personal risk. Opposing them are a shadow army of former secret policemen, state torturers, and foreign invaders of every stripe who kill Iraqi policemen, behead innocent Iraqi cabdrivers, and detonate car bombs at the opening of new schools and children’s centers. There may be an explanation for this support I am not seeing. I, for one, can not get past the idea that millions of Western Progressives would rather see a nation re-enslaved, or erupt in civil war, or have twenty thousand of their countrymen come home in boxes than admit that they were wrong.

And they have the audacity, the unmitigated gall, to claim the moral high ground?
But when things are this good – and relative to human history, life in 21st Century America is far, far better than it has ever been, anywhere or at anytime – then merely being very good is, well, kind of disappointing to some people. There was a time when the voices of dissent came from the poorest and most downtrodden. Not any more. America has gotten so rich and successful that our poor and downtrodden live like kings relative to most of the rest of the world. The standard of living for the poorest American states are de facto better than those in Sweden, to say nothing of Egypt or Somalia or Haiti. No, today the loudest criticisms of the West come not from the bottom, but from the top: millionaire filmmakers and Harvard University professors and columnists who live in luxury skyscrapers. These people have never met real savagery, but they’ve seen it on Hogan’s Heroes! Anyone who can compare the US Marine Corps with the German SS has obviously never had to deal with either. There are millions of photos of people protesting President Bush. There is not a single photo of people in the street protesting Hitler. This tells me something. This should tell the Bush=Hitler crowd something, too. But it doesn’t.

Reality has left their building.

The inability of external reality to become perfect is a profound disappointment for people who live in their own fantasy worlds where everything is perfect. Such people expect the external world, the world beyond the boundaries of our Sanctuary, to behave like a celebrity awards show dinner or a faculty lounge. Of course, only very, very small areas of the world behave like a celebrity award show dinner or a faculty lounge. But when enough people experience nothing else, and when those pampered, bored, hollow and guilty elites control the way information is reported, run the schools and universities in which reality-free theories are taught, and hold the keys to the manufacture of a society’s myths and stories and culture – well, then the disconnect between the Civilization and reality becomes so acute that the wing stalls and what was once a soaring airplane becomes a few tons of metal plummeting earthward.
This awful and necessary war has done a lot more than show us the nature of the barbarism we face when confronting this death cult…and make no mistake, the men we face now in Iraq – not the poor regular army conscripts, but these beheading, civilian-murdering bastards -- are cut from precisely the same cloth as the 9/11 hijackers, and hail from the same places, too. I, for one, would rather face these people in Fallujah and Mosul with the U.S. Army and Marine Corps than deal with them in Times Square and the Rose Bowl with Firemen and Paramedics.

But this war has done much more. It has shown us just how many people here inside the walls of our Sanctuary wish for – work for – its destruction.

And we just simply can’t let that happen.

But as we continue this circuitous journey, we might take a moment to observe that those who call themselves “Progressives� have indeed progressed, all right: they have left irony far behind at the gate and are deep into full-blown hi-larity when they claim to be members of “the reality-based community.� These deep-thinking elites, whose political philosophy seems to be limited to what can be fit onto a bumper sticker, telegraphed with giant paper-mache’ puppets or expressed in nude street dancing, are a long, long way from reality. For these highly nuanced deep-thinkers like Ward Churchill and Kos and Howard Dean and all the others, the world is divided into Progressive People Who Naturally Agree With Me on one hand and Jesusland on the other.

Reality has not been kind to far leftists, historically, as we shall soon see. Like many in the deepest, most pleasant and safe confines of our Sanctuary, they have never had a chance to see – or have chosen not to see -- the reality of human nature up close and personal. Reality told them it was just going to the bathroom, when in point of fact Reality left these Leftists alone at the table without paying the check, and it hasn’t returned their phone calls, either.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

When Dems Nuke the Senate

In 1988, Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, the former Kleagle (recruiter) of the West Virginia Ku Klux Klan, then Senate Majority Leader forced an end to a filibuster by the Minority. He ordered the Sergeant at Arms to arrest Republicans and physically place them on the Senate floor. Did this nuclear option destory the Senate? No...

Republicans have a choice: allow an increasingly shrill, bitter, highly partisan minority to overturn the will of the people as expressed in the past two elections or use the power of their majority to restore the Senate tradition of prohibiting filibusters on judicial nominees.

We voted for President Bush and expect him to nominate judges in line with OUR conservative views. We voted for senators and expect them to represent US by confirming those judges. Anyone who thinks that not implementing the constitutional power of the majority will encourage the Democrats to be nice to Republicans should we return to minority status (GOD FORBID...oops... sorry... I meant oh great earth mother) is fooling themselves.

This post is certified 90% GOOD by the Gematriculator

Senator Graham: The "John McCain of South Carolina?"

I'm sending the following letter to my Senator:

The Honorable Lindsey Graham
United States Senate
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Dear Senator Graham:

You ran for office on a platform of supporting President Bush, including his constitutional authority to appoint judges to the federal bench.

I am alarmed by stories in the press suggesting you may be developing a compromise to appease Senate Democrats that would undermine the President and his constitutional power to appoint.

Even your opponent, Mr. Sanders, claimed to respect the President’s prerogative in this manner.

As you know, this fight over judicial nominations is merely a prelude to a confrontation over a nomination by President Bush to the Supreme Court. Appeasing Senate Democrats now will embolden them at that crucial time. Reports are that Democrats would promise not to filibuster a Supreme Court nomination unless there were “extraordinary circumstances.� With Senators like Boxer, Kennedy and Reid still struggling with the meaning of the word “is� you can imagine how easily they might redefine those circumstances.

Senator, I respect the work you are doing on behalf of our state. However, I would not want you to become known as the John McCain of South Carolina. I strongly urge you to fully support the President’s constitutional authority to nominate judges and perform your duty to advise and consent by voting FOR confirmation of the President’s appointees.

Ann Coulter: The Problem with Newsweak

AnnCoulter.com: "When ace reporter Michael Isikoff had the scoop of the decade, a thoroughly sourced story about the president of the United States having an affair with an intern and then pressuring her to lie about it under oath, Newsweek decided not to run the story. Matt Drudge scooped Newsweek, followed by The Washington Post.

When Isikoff had a detailed account of Kathleen Willey's nasty sexual encounter with the president in the Oval Office, backed up with eyewitness and documentary evidence, Newsweek decided not to run it. Again, Matt Drudge got the story.

When Isikoff was the first with detailed reporting on Paula Jones' accusations against a sitting president, Isikoff's then-employer The Washington Post � which owns Newsweek � decided not to run it. The American Spectator got the story, followed by the Los Angeles Times.

So apparently it's possible for Michael Isikoff to have a story that actually is true, but for his editors not to run it.

Why no pause for reflection when Isikoff had a story about American interrogators at Guantanamo flushing the Quran down the toilet? Why not sit on this story for, say, even half as long as NBC News sat on Lisa Meyers' highly credible account of Bill Clinton raping Juanita Broaddrick?

Newsweek seems to have very different responses to the same reporter's scoops. Who's deciding which of Isikoff's stories to run and which to hold? I note that the ones that Matt Drudge runs have turned out to be more accurate � and interesting! � than the ones Newsweek runs. Maybe Newsweek should start running everything past Matt Drudge. "

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Why The Left Must Stop Judge Brown

The left is pulling out all the stops to defeat Judge Janice Rogers Brown from becoming a federal judge. Why?

It's bad enough that she's an attractive, well spoken black woman who rose up from a poor Alabama background. She's a threat because she is also a conservative, and one who understands all too well the real danger of the political struggle we face today.

In April of 2000, she delivered a speech to the Federalist Society at the University of Chicago Law School. The speech, delivered long before the poisonous partisan atmosphere that envelopes her nomination today, demonstrates a profound understanding of political philosophy and the true aspirations of the conservative movement.

Here's a sample:

There are so few true conservatives left in America that we probably should be included on the endangered species list. That would serve two purposes: Demonstrating the great compassion of our government and relegating us to some remote wetlands habitat where — out of sight and out of mind — we will cease being a dissonance in collectivist concerto of the liberal body politic.
We are living in a world where words have lost their meaning. This is certainly not a new phenomenon. It seems to be an inevitable artifact of cultural disintegration.
Suffice it to say that this phenomenon accounts for much of the near hysterical tone of current political discourse. Our problems, however, seem to go even deeper. It is not simply that the same words don't have the same meanings; in our lifetime, words are ceasing to have any meaning. The culture of the word is being extinguished by the culture of the camera. Politicians no longer have positions they have photo-ops. To be or not to be is no longer the question. The question is: how do you feel.
Big government is not just the opiate of the masses. It is the opiate. The drug of choice for multinational corporations and single moms; for regulated industries and rugged Midwestern farmers and militant senior citizens.

It is my thesis today that the sheer tenacity of the collectivist impulse — whether you call it socialism or communism or altruism — has changed not only the meaning of our words, but the meaning of the Constitution, and the character of our people.
The great innovation of this millennium was equality before the law. The greatest fiasco — the attempt to guarantee equal outcomes for all people. Tom Bethell notes that the security of property — a security our Constitution sought to ensure — had to be devalued in order for collectivism to come of age. The founders viewed private property as "the guardian of every other right."9 But, "by 1890 we find Alfred Marshall, the teacher of John Maynard Keynes making the astounding claim that the need for private property reaches no deeper than the qualities of human nature."10 A hundred years later came Milton Friedman's laconic reply: " 'I would say that goes pretty deep.'"11

In between, came the reign of socialism. "Starting with the formation of the Fabian Society and ending with the fall of the Berlin Wall, its ambitious project was the reformation of human nature. Intellectuals visualized a planned life without private property, mediated by the New Man."12 He never arrived. As John McGinnis persuasively argues: "There is simply a mismatch between collectivism on any large and enduring scale and our evolved nature. As Edward O. Wilson, the world's foremost expert on ants, remarked about Marxism, 'Wonderful theory. Wrong species.'"13

Ayn Rand similarly attributes the collectivist impulse to what she calls the "tribal view of man."14 She notes, "[t]he American philosophy of the Rights of Man was never fully grasped by European intellectuals. Europe's predominant idea of emancipation consisted of changing the concept of man as a slave to the absolute state embodied by the king, to the concept of man as the slave of the absolute state as embodied by 'the people' — i.e., switching from slavery to a tribal chieftain into slavery to the tribe."15

Democracy and capitalism seem to have triumphed. But, appearances can be deceiving. Instead of celebrating capitalism's virtues, we offer it grudging acceptance, contemptuous tolerance but only for its capacity to feed the insatiable maw of socialism. We do not conclude that socialism suffers from a fundamental and profound flaw. We conclude instead that its ends are worthy of any sacrifice — including our freedom. Revel notes that Marxism has been "shamed and ridiculed everywhere except American universities" but only after totalitarian systems "reached the limits of their wickedness."16

"Socialism concentrated all the wealth in the hands of an oligarchy in the name of social justice, reduced peoples to misery in the name of shar[ed] resources, to ignorance in the name of science.It created the modern world's most inegalitarian societies in the name of equality, the most vast network of concentration camps ever built [for] the defense of liberty."
Jean Francois Revel, Democracy Against itself
I have argued that collectivism was (and is) fundamentally incompatible with the vision that undergirded this country's founding. The New Deal, however, inoculated the federal Constitution with a kind of underground collectivist mentality. The Constitution itself was transmuted into a significantly different document.

For complex reasons, attempts to impose a collectivist political solution in the United States failed. But, the political failure was of little practical concern, in a way that is oddly unappreciated, that same impulse succeeded within the judiciary, especially in the federal high court. The idea of abstract rights, government entitlements as the most significant form of property, is well suited to conditions of economic distress and the emergence of a propertyless class. But the economic convulsions of the late 1920's and early 1930's passed away; the doctrinal underpinnings of West Coast Hotel and the "switch in time" did not. Indeed, over the next half century it consumed much of the classical conception of the Constitution.
In the New Deal/Great Society era, a rule that was the polar opposite of the classical era of American law reigned. A judicial subjectivity whose very purpose was to do away with objective gauges of constitutionality, with universal principles, the better to give the judicial priesthood a free hand to remake the Constitution.
Protection of property was a major casualty of the Revolution of 1937. The paradigmatic case, written by that premiere constitutional operative, William O. Douglas, is Williamson v. Lee Optical.23 The court drew a line between personal rights and property rights or economic interests, and applied two different constitutional tests. Rights were reordered and property acquired a second class status.24 If the right asserted was economic, the court held the Legislature could do anything it pleased. Judicial review for alleged constitutional infirmities under the due process clause was virtually nonexistent. On the other hand, if the right was personal and "fundamental," review was intolerably strict. "From the Progressive era to the New Deal, property was by degrees ostracized from the company of rights.25 Something new, called economic rights, began to supplant the old property rights. This change, which occurred with remarkably little fanfare, was staggeringly significant. With the advent of "economic rights," the original meaning of rights was effectively destroyed. These new "rights" imposed obligations, not limits, on the state.

It thus became government's job not to protect property but, rather, to regulate and redistribute it. And, the epic proportions of the disaster which has befallen millions of people during the ensuing decades has not altered our fervent commitment to statism. The words of Judge Alex Kozinski, written in 1991, are not very encouraging." 'What we have learned from the experience of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union ... is that you need capitalism to make socialism work.' In other words, capitalism must produce what socialism is to distribute."26 Are the signs and portents any better at the beginning of a new century?
The arcs of history, culture, philosophy, and science all seem to be converging on this temporal instant. Familiar arrangements are coming apart; valuable things are torn from our hands, snatched away by the decompression of our fragile ark of culture. But, it is too soon to despair. The collapse of the old system may be the crucible of a new vision. We must get a grip on what we can and hold on. Hold on with all the energy and imagination and ferocity we possess. Hold on even while we accept the darkness. We know not what miracles may happen; what heroic possibilities exist. We may be only moments away from a new dawn.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Christian Jihad?

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today: "By way of comparison to the riots over unfounded rumors of Koran abuse, recall that three years ago Palestinian Arab terrorists occupied the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Priests reported that 'gunmen tore up Bibles for toilet paper,' according to the Daily Camera of Boulder, Colo. The Chicago Tribune noted after the siege that 'altars had been turned into cooking and eating tables, a sacrilege to the religious faithful.'
Christians in the U.S. responded by declining to riot and refraining from killing anyone. They had the same response 15 or so years ago when the National Endowment for the Arts was subsidizing the scatological desecration of a crucifix and other Christian symbols. This should also put to rest the oft-heard calumny that America's 'religious right' is somehow a Christian equivalent of our jihadi enemies."

Why NewsWeak Failed

OpinionJournal - Featured Article: "The more consequential question here, it seems to us, is why Newsweek was so ready to believe the story was true. The allegation after all repudiated explicit U.S. and Army policy to treat Muslim detainees with religious respect, including time to pray, honoring dietary preferences and access to the Koran. Yet the magazine readily printed a story suggesting that what our enemies claim about Guantanamo is essentially true. Why?

Our own answer is that this is part of a basic media mistrust of the military that goes back to Vietnam and has shown itself with a vengeance during the Iraq conflict and the war on terror.
We aren't saying that reporters shouldn't be skeptical, and they certainly have a duty to report when a war is going badly. Where the press corps goes wrong is in always assuming the worst about military and government motives. Thus U.S. intelligence wasn't merely wrong about Saddam Hussein's WMD, it intentionally "lied" about it to sell an illegitimate war. Thus, too, an antiwar partisan named Joe Wilson with a basically unimportant story about uranium and Niger is hailed as a truth-telling whistle-blower. And reports from Seymour Hersh in late 2001 that the U.S was losing in Afghanistan set off a "quagmire" theme only days before the fall of the Taliban. The readiness of Newsweek to believe a thinly sourced allegation about the Koran at Guantanamo is part of the same mindset.

We have all been reading a great deal lately about both the decline of media credibility, and the decline of both TV news viewership and newspaper circulation. Any other industry looking at such trends would conclude that perhaps there is a connection. Certainly a press corps that wants readers to forgive its own mistakes might start by showing a little more respect and understanding for the men and women who risk their lives to defend the country.

The Rossi Children Get a Dog: Thanks Mr. President!

Dino Rossi, who had his election as governor in Washington State stolen by Democrats got his children a dog... Here's the story:

My name is Juliauna Rossi and I am 13 years old. I have two brothers: Jake is 10 and Joseph is 7. My sister Jillian is only 3 years old.
A while ago we lost our family cat. So my brothers and sister and I asked our mom if we could get a dog. She told us we had to convince our dad. He kept telling us we had to prove we would be responsible. We told him we would be, but I don't think he was convinced, so we kept asking him over and over and over again. Finally he said, "If the President calls and tells me to get you a dog, I'll get you a dog."
I think he forgot what he said about the President but we didn't. My brothers and sister and I and my mom and dad were planning a trip to Washington, D.C. later that summer. My dad was able to get us a tour of the West Wing of the White House and I was very excited for one reason. I wanted to get the President to help my brothers and I with our plan."

What do you suppose happened? Read here.

Penguin Terrorists?

God forbid some Islamo-fascist would train penguins to take control of aircraft in flight. Aren't you glad the Transportation Safety Administration is on the job? Don't you feel safer? Here's the full story. This and many other good things came by way of Michelle Malkin.

Return California to Mexico?

Want to know why illegal immigration is such a big deal? Here's a billboard from Los Angeles, advertising a Spanish language newscast as taking place in Los Angeles, MEXICO. If you think that's just clever advertising you would be wrong. There is a political movement by radical hispanic groups to "take back" what they consider to be their homeland. Here you are seeing just another mainstream overt expression of that extremist sentiment.

I'd toss the New York Times in too, but I don't know where my plunger is.

Mexico, Immigration and Jesse Jackson Shakedown

You've got to hand it to Vicente Fox, President of Mexico. In one stroke he put the immigration issue into perspective. Complaining about the development of a fence to keep illegal Mexicans out of the United States and U.S. efforts to catch and deport those who get through he highlighted Mexico's own effort to prevent illegal aliens from Central America from getting into Mexico.

He went even further than that; stating that Mexicans in the United States will do work that not even Blacks will do. I knew it was just a matter of time before the race-baiting shakedown artisists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton got into the act. Well here it is:

My Way News: "After a scolding from north of the border, President Vicente Fox said he regretted any hurt feelings over a comment he made about blacks in the United States. But many Mexicans insist Americans overreacted.
At first the Mexican president refused, saying his remark had been misinterpreted. But on Monday, after a weekend of mounting criticism, he seemed eager to make amends.

In telephone conversations with Jackson and Sharpton, Fox said he "regretted any hurt feelings" and has great respect "for the African-American community in the United States," according to a statement from his administration.

He also invited the two leaders to Mexico for talks aimed at improving the sometimes tense relationship between blacks and Hispanics in the United States.

What usually happens after one of these encounters is that friends of Jesse suddenly receive sweetheart business deals and contracts from the offending party to demonstrate their commitment to racial equality. I'm not sure how this would work in the case of Mexico, but Jesse's pretty creative when it comes to this kind of operation, so time will tell. On the other hand, Mexicans know a thing or two about corruption, where do you think all that oil wealth disappeared to? Did it go to help the poor that crawl over our border? NOT!

Mexican Voting Standards: Democrats Would Protest

As former Mayor of San Diego, Californina, Roger Hedgecock, is well aware of the problem of illegal immigration from Mexico. He points out that in Mexico, voters are required to show photo identification with a fingerprint in order to vote. There are numerous stories in this country about Democrats objecting to ANY form of identification required for voting (see below and more here).

The identification problem is heating up as illegal immigrants recently protested plans to tighten requirements for driver's licenses, the basic form of identification in most states.

Adopting the Mexican Standard is the answer to our immigration, identification and voter fraud problems. The next Presidents Bush and Fox meet, the conversation might go something like this:
President Bush: "Hey amigo, nice to see you again. I'm really impressed with the reforms you've initiated in Mexico regarding immigration and we've decided to adopt many of your proven strategies for use in the United States. So we're going to build a fence just like you did along the border with Guatemala, and we're going to use the army to help secure it. We're also going to follow your lead and have a massive roundup of illegals and return them to their country of origin. And your idea to require a photo I.D. with a fingerprint for voters would really solve alot of the problems here... I can't thank you enough for the great work you've done in this field."
President Fox: "But, but, but, but........"
President Bush: Oh, sorry you had to get the treatment from Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton... now you know what I have to put up with."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Dems Protect PBS Lefty Propaganda

Well here's a surprise: Dems want to protect the Public Broadcasting System from any kind of accountability in return for it's massive taxpayer subsidy. Yes, PBS should be free to promote anti- Bush, anti-conservative viewpoints morning, noon and night without interference.

And some people say there is no left wing theocracy imposing their views on the rest of us?

NewsMax.com: Inside Cover Story: "The Corporation for Public Broadcasting will begin an internal review of political monitoring of PBS programming in response to Democratic complaints, the CPB's inspector general said Thursday.

Reps. David Obey and John Dingell have asked for the review into several actions by CPB board chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, a Republican, including the hiring of a consultant to review the guests on the show 'Now With Bill Moyers.'
Story Continues Below

The New York Times reported last week that the consultant kept track of 'anti-Bush,' 'anti-business' and 'anti-Tom DeLay' guests on the show. Moyers has left the show and now hosts 'Wide Angle' on PBS.

In their letter to Konz on Wednesday, Obey, D-Wis., and Dingell, D-Mich., said Tomlinson's actions may have violated the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which bans interference by federal officials over public programming. The CPB, a private, nonprofit corporation funded by Congress, provides funds for PBS.

"Congress intended that the CPB serve as a shield rather than a source of political interference into public broadcasting," they wrote.

The lawmakers also questioned Tomlinson's decision to secure corporate money to fund the "Journal Editorial Report," hosted by the editor of The Wall Street Journal editorial page, and pressing PBS into distributing it.

Condi Rice: "Back Off, I'm Packing Heat"

I apologize in advance to Secretary of State Rice for the headline, but it got your attention didn't it... Read on...

Imagine the day when President Hillary outlaws all guns, except those used by her government storm troopers to enforce the absolute domination of her vision for a socialist Amerikan utopia...When we live in a world where only neosocialists have guns, we live in tyranny.

Condi Rice gets it:

Print Story: Rice: Gun Rights Important As Free Speech on Yahoo! News: "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recalling how her father took up arms to defend fellow blacks from racist whites in the segregated South, said Wednesday the constitutional right of Americans to own guns is as important as their rights to free speech and religion.
In an interview on CNN's 'Larry King Live,' Rice said she came to that view from personal experience. She said her father, a black minister, and his friends armed themselves to defended the black community in Birmingham, Ala., against the White Knight Riders in 1962 and 1963. She said if local authorities had had lists of registered weapons, she did not think her father and other blacks would have been able to defend themselves.
Birmingham, where Rice was born in 1954, was a focal point of racial tension. Four black girls were killed when a bomb exploded at a Birmingham church in 1963, a galvanizing moment in the fight for civil rights.
Rice said she favored background checks and controls at gun shows. However, she added, 'we have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that the Founding Fathers thought very important.'
Rice said the Founding Fathers understood 'there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Ala., when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you.'
'I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution,' she said in the interview, which was taped for airing Wednesday night. 'The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment.'
The First Amendment protects religious, press and speech freedoms as well as the rights to assemble and petition the government. The Second Amendment guarantees 'a well-regulated militia' and 'the right of the people to keep"

Ohioans Can "Do Better" Than Senator Voinovich

George Voinvoich, Republican Senator from Ohio announced today that he will vote to send the nomination of John Bolton to be our ambassador to the United Nations to the floor of the Senate, but he will vote against the nominee.

Saying: “I have come to the determination that the United States can do better than John Bolton," Senator Voinovich plays directly into the hands of Democrats who offer nothing but bitter opposition to anything and everything that President Bush proposes.

Is it better to allow this poisoned partisan atmosphere to continue unchecked Senator?

I'm sorry to say that as a White House Political Aide in the 80's I invited then Cleveland Mayor George Voinovich to join President Reagan at an event held in my hometown of Bowling Green, Ohio.

Had I any clue that he would turn on the voters of Ohio who support conservative presidents and their nominees I never would have done so.

The emcee for that event was Jamie Farr, or Corporal Klinger of MASH fame. Klinger in drag would make a much better Senator than Voinovich and would certainly be more stylish than Barabara Boxer.

I urge my friends in Ohio to seek a viable conservative alternative to Senator Voinovich. Ohio can do better than Senator Voinovich.

Is Enough Enough Already?

Will the GOP finally get a spine? I'm not holding my breath:

An awkward GOP spring - The Washington Times: Editorials/OP-ED - May 11, 2005: "It was a sorry picture indeed: A city full of large, ivory-tusked, bull battle elephants driven to fear, distraction and goring each other by the braying of a pack of mangy jackasses.
But the Democrats appear to have overplayed their hand. "

A picture that paints a thousand words...

Labeling Conservatives in the News

Next time some lefty says that media bias doesn't exist, wave this chart in their face. Can it be that there were just so FEW stories about liberals? Nope...But if you identify House MAJORITY Leader Tom Delay as a "conservative Republican" shouldn't you also identify Senator Ted Kennedy as a "liberal Democrat?" Well not if you think that being a liberal is just so mainstream that it does not require a label....

See the full report here from the Media Research Center.

If you haven't read former CBS News reporter Bernie Goldberg's book "Bias" there's a great excerpt here.

More Vote Fraud Evidence

Election fraud is a problem that is getting worse, not better. The following story from Wisconsin is one of the worst examples of the problem, but far from the only example (just ask anyone who voted for Rossi as Governor of Washington state).

John Kerry won Wisconsin by 11,384 votes. The following report documents that 4,609 MORE ballots were cast than actual voters in Milwaukee alone.

Efforts to insist on some form of photo identification is met with screeches of "voter disenfranshisement" by Democrats, who are apparently so bereft of any good ideas, that the only way they can hope to win elections is by stealing them.

JS Online: Inquiry finds evidence of fraud in election: "Investigators said Tuesday they found clear evidence of fraud in the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee, including more than 200 cases of felons voting illegally and more than 100 people who voted twice, used fake names or false addresses or voted in the name of a dead person.

U.S. Attorney Steven M. Biskupic (left), with Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann, delivers the preliminary findings of a task force examining possible election fraud at the Federal Courthouse on Tuesday.

More than 200 felons voted illegally, while still on probation or parole. Although the cases will be hard to prosecute, investigators are now looking at Milwaukee suburbs for similar problems.
More than 100 people voted twice or used false addresses, fake names or voted as a dead person. Charges will be filed against some of these people.
4,609 more ballots were cast than voters listed. Investigators have not been able to locate about 100 same-day registration cards.
U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic likened it to trying to prove "a bank embezzlement if the bank cannot tell how much money was there in the first place."
Tuesday's announcement could breathe new life into the Republican-backed photo ID debate, which did not survive a veto from Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and might instead eventually go to voters as a proposed constitutional amendment.

A photo ID requirement might have caught some of the problems highlighted in Tuesday's preliminary report. It notes cases of people voting in the name of a dead person or as someone else. Investigators located some people listed as voting who said they did not vote.

In other cases, according to Tuesday's report, people "registered and voted with identities and addresses that cannot in any way be linked to a real person."
The fraud investigation has focused on the more than 70,000 people who registered to vote on election day, not the other 200,000-plus voters. That is because registration cards provide a paper trail, which officials said would be stronger in court than computerized records.

It is unclear what identification these 100-plus people provided at the polls to register. State law allows utility bills and leases to be used or for one voter to vouch for another.

Well there you go... just drag a busload of illegal aliens to the polls with you, tell the poll worker "Jose here is my neighbor, I'll vouch for him" and while you are at it, pull the Democrat lever for Jose....Sure... anything but have real solutions for real problems, why bother when you can just steal the election.
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