Friday, July 29, 2005

Terrorists and Moral Equivalence

In an interview with ABC, Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev - said through an interpreter that he was "a bad guy, a bandit".

"Ok, so I'm a terrorist, but what would you call them (the Russians)?"
Let's review.

Do the Russians make it their Modus Operandi to kidnap civillians and threaten to, and indeed, kill them if their demands aren't met? Do they attack civilians in order to strike fear into other civilians to affect policy?


Conclusion: the Russians are not terrorists.

You can be wrong and not be a terrorist (not saying the Russians are right or wrong here, just leaving that judgement open). You can even kill civilians and not be a terrorist. Terrorists mean to kill civilians, and the more the better.

As long as people buy the moral equivalence argument that a death = a death, we, the civilized people of the world, will never win "The War on Terror".

Party A being wrong does not justify terrorism on the part of Party B. Nothing does.

Terrorism is always wrong, even if your cause is just.

Well, there you have it

It's all about the abortion rights, as everyone knew, but nobody would say --- until now.

A group of female Democratic senators said they will vote against Judge Roberts unless he vows to uphold abortion rights.

This directly translates into: We can't depend on the popular support for, or the constitutionality of current abortion laws. Therefore, unless you agree not to review them and continue to rubber-stamp them, we will vote against you.

The Pro-Choice lobby points to the famous "back alley abortion" argument, completely ignoring the other major moral issue the Pro-Life lobby stands on.

The former lobby is afraid someone will not ignore it.

By refusing to allow their position to come under question from anyone, they relegate it to the ranks of religious belief -- one of the major dismissive arguments against the Pro-Life lobby. According to the Pro-Choice side, Pro-Life people are either religious zealots trying to force their religion upon the population, or sexists -- or both.

Religious beliefs are generally beliefs that are to be held without question.

Tell me how it is somehow forbidden to apply the same rules to the beliefs of the opposite side?

Before Roe v Wade, abortion was illegal. It was "settled law". Now Senator Leahey complains that someone might "overturn settled law".

Closing, I'd like the reader to note that I am not arguing for or against Roe v Wade. I am simply saying it is hypocritical to cry "Question Authority -- unless it's my authority".

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Question Authority

Timothy Leary. Believe it or not, the man and I see eye to eye on some things.

Authority should be questioned. After all, Hitler was an authority. Saddam Hussein was an authority. Stalin -- authority.

If you don't question authority, you don't keep it honest.

On the other hand...

"Question Authority" does not mean "Defy Authority". If you question authority, and honestly analyze the answer and the answer checks out... you should go along with the authority.

For all of the anarchists on the left protesting that "might makes right" -- there's no better way to guarantee that than anarchy. And if everyone defies any authority on the sole basis that it is an authority -- you get anarchy. Under anarchy, the guy who can kill you before you kill him gets whatever he wants.

So sure, question authority. Just remember, most of the time there is a good reason for that authority. Maybe you just haven't really thought about it yet.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Some very good and simple reading on the Supreme Court and its role

And it's 3 years old.

From the Independent Womens' Forum with examples given that any lay person can get his or her head around.

Here are a few quotes from the article:

"Under our constitutional system, courts are required to police the boundaries established by the Constitution."

"Federalism acts as a constraint on government — preventing the national bureaucracy from becoming all powerful, and preserving individual liberty by keeping government power close to the people."

"“Federalism” has recently become a term that some activists use with hostility and contempt."

"Judicial activists may use their authority to achieve either conservative or liberal results. As such, the terms “judicial restraint” and “judicial activism” are neither inherently “conservative” nor inherently “liberal.”"

"If judges refuse to abide by the elementary principle of restraint, and operate as philosopher kings, our constitutional system becomes both unpredictable and unstable."

"Fearing that they might fail to persuade a majority of the public or elected legislators to adopt their views, some special interest groups turn to the courts to enact their agenda by judicial fiat."

"Special interest groups hope to stall the confirmation process until the election of a more sympathetic administration - one that may be willing to appoint judges who will legislate a particular social agenda from the bench."

"If our Constitution is to mean anything at all, the boundaries between state and national power must be respected."

Hear, hear, ladies!

Reason #673 why Kerry lost

Because he threw in with people like this:

Lt. Gov Crashed Marine's Funeral

Yup, Pennsylvania Lt. Governer Catherine Baker Knoll showed up at a Marine's funeral, unanounced and uninvited, sat down next to someone in the Marine's family (during the service, no less) and handed her business card to that person.

Rhonda Goodrich, the Marine's sister-in-law, quotes Knoll as going on to say, 'I want you to know our government is against this war.'

This woman is vile. Not only did she apparently miscalculate how the family felt about the war, she, in her miscalculation, felt it appropriate to prey on their emotions in their time of grief and garner political support for herself and her party.

Nina Totenberg, NPR News

Nina Totenberg's story on NPR this morning had the kind of slant to it that press members probably find hard to see -- partially because it was what she didn't say along with how she said what she did say that biased the story. These are things you don't think about if the bias happens to run parallel to your own beliefs.

"The documents released [on Judge Roberts] is an indication of why the Democrats want to see more from Roberts' years at the Reagan years in the White House, and from his tenure as a political deputy to Solicitor General Kenneth Starr during the administration of George H.W. Bush.

Roberts, in a memo on his role in the preparation of Sandra O'Connor for her Senate hearings:

"The approach was to give specific responses to any direct questions on legal issues likely to come before the court while at the same time demonstrating a firm command of the subject matter and the arguments on both sides."

Now this should come as no surprise to anyone in politics. I'm not sure why this would be of concern to Democrats to begin with. A nominee put up by a Democratic president would certainly do the same thing. The implication is, of course, that Sandra, and by proxy Roberts, had something to hide. In fact, to my sensibilities, this is the only logical approach by a justice nominee. A judge should not make decisions outside of the context of a specific challenge -- and should not say how he would rule ahead of time. That would indicate an activist judge, in my book. One who already knows how he/she would rule on an issue before it even comes up in court. If Democrats are concerned with that approach, then I have concerns about theirs. I like Roberts approach.

During his tenure as deputy Solicitor General Kenneth Starr, Nina goes on to point out, he wrote briefs that argued, among other things, for the reversal of Roe v Wade.

Never mind that a lawyer's job is to argue one side of the case -- the one he's being paid to argue. The implication here, by omission of any mention of the context in which those briefs were written, is that it is self-evident that there could be no argument for such a reversal, and that anyone who did make arguments for it must be one of them thar radical religious right freaks.

And everyone knows that that is what this is really mostly about. The Pro-Choicers do not even want the decision questioned, much less reviewed. To even have questioned Roe v. Wade in any context is an abhorent thought to them. Now if you ask me, that makes it no different than a religious point of view. And it's the one issue guaranteed to charge up the Left. Which is why it is specifically pointed out in this story.

Nina goes on to say that the White House won't release memos from the Starr period for fear of chilling lawyers who advise the president on issues in the future from giving candid advice.

"But Democrats aren't buying that argument", she segues.
The choice of words along with the tone in her voice betray a skeptical "harumph!" on the part of the reporter. The language and tone suggest that the reporter herself believes the argument is a sham and so should you. If she said "Democrats say they aren't buying that argument", it would be different, or if she said "Democrats argue that..." it would be better.

But that's relatively small peanuts. She goes on to say

Time after time, Roberts takes the hardest of hard lines...

her voice taking on a disaproving, "tsk-tsk" tone. And there's some of that famous "fact based" NPR reporting.

He repeatedly butted heads with... [other conservatives]
Then she goes into detail about a particular case involving Theodore Olson -- going out of her way to show you just how conservative he was (he later had the audacity to argue the Bush side in Bush vs Gore) and a legal opinon Olson was asked for on the constitutionality of various bills in congress that would limiting the powers of the Supreme Court over the States' Jurisdictions (as outlined by the Constitution) on certain issues. Olson concluded that

While scholarly opionon was divided on the constitutionality, opinion among scholars, judges, and lawyers overwhelmingly opposed the idea as bad policy, and a threat to the American system of checks and balances. Were the President to oppose the legislation as unconstitutional, that position would be viewed by the press and public as a courageous and principled decision.
Ok, never mind that that's political advice, not a legal opinion, Nina uses this to set up Roberts' response to this as radical and suspect (an acid rejoinder, she says -- clearly an adjective chosen to cast a negative light on Roberts) Roberts wrote:

"Real courage would be to read the constitution as it should be read and not to cowtow to liberal thinkers."
Well, it would be. There he goes again, doing what a judge should do and look at laws or potential laws in light of the Constitution rather than in the light of public opinon. Man, the nerve!

Congress (being elected) is supposed to take care of public opinion. The Supreme Court is supposed to check it with the Constitution. That's the checks and balances as they were designed. Roberts gets it.

She then brings up the fact that he argued for a narrow interpretation of a sex discrimination law in intercollegiate athletics. He allied himself with the department's head of the Civil Rights Division, William Bradford Reynolds.

(I guess Nina's saying, "see, I said something nice about him -- so that's balanced") BUT....

In some cases Roberts even butted heads with Reynolds (God forbid you back different issues on both sides of the political fence case by case on their merits -- I mean, what kind of a judge would do that????)

She goes on to illustrate, I guess, that many of his memos address Civil Rights and Affirmative Action issues and that these writings have an "edge" to their tone not typically found in other memos, writing about a report from the Commission on Civil Rights advocating affirmative action,

"The logic of the report is - perfectly circular."
And her point is????????? Do we get to hear or see the report? Was the logic in the report, in fact, circular? Or, is anything coming out of the Commission on Civil Rights Sacrosanct, and not to be questioned or criticized? Is the point, "Roberts criticized a report from the Commission on Civil Rights, therefore, he is against Civil Rights."?

Roberts, it seems, is for Judicial Restraint on the part of the Supreme Court. It's not because Roberts opposes Civil Rights or any other pet issues of the Left, it's that he (*GASP*) SUPPORTS THE UPHOLDING OF THE CONSTITUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh --- my -- GOD!!!! We can't have THAT!!!!!!! That's .... RADICAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Schumer: "The Supreme Court Makes Law"

"This, the Supreme Court, is far different than the court of appeals. The Supreme Court makes law. We hope they do it by interpreting precedent and following the legislature.

But they make law."

- Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D) New York

Gee, that's not what I was taught. I was taught that Congress makes law. The Supreme Court decides how it applies to certain cases, and whether or not the law is in line with the Constitution of the United States of America (if it isn't they "break" law, or invalidate it -- strike it down -- but they don't "make" it.).

To graduate from High School, I was required to pass a test on the US Constitution. It was so important that when they thought they lost my test results, I almost had to take it again.

I think to be elected to Congress, you ought to have to pass a test on the US Constitution. You should be aware of the framers intentions and state of mind when they wrote it. These were bright men. Their ideals should not be brushed aside lightly. They put a lot of thought in to it.

Shumer's thinking is in line with what activist groups want. A Supreme Court that can make law. If a Supreme Court can make law, activist groups can bypass the democratic process (Congress) and lobby the defacto dictators of it instead.

In the same press conference, Sen. Leahy (D), Vermont says

We have, right now, the most activist Supreme Court in my lifetime. No Supreme Court of my lifetime has overturned or undercut more laws passed by Congress than this Court has, everything from Violence Against Women on through, environmental laws, employment laws, all of these things.

This is a very, very activist court. I want to know whether he's going to be like that, somebody who would eagerly and willingly overturn settled law.

-- Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D), Vermont

Hmmm.... my definition of an activist court is a court that makes laws. The Senator from Vermont believes that a court that rules that laws, or parts of laws are unconstitutional is an activist court. Senator Leahy, that IS a large part of the job of the Supreme Court. Just because a law is passed for a politically enshrined good cause (violence against women, environmental laws, employment laws, etc) doesn't mean it's a good law or is in line with the Constitution of the United States.

It's one of the things that irks me most about the left. If you are against a bad environmental law, then you are labled as "Anti-Environment". If you are against a bad domestic violence law, then you are "Anti-Woman". If you are against a bad civil rights law, you are "Racist".

You are not even allowed to consider that the law might have some serious flaws. What happened to the favorite Liberal rallying cry -- "Question Authority!"? (one which I happen to agree with, but more on that in another post)

What I want in a Supreme Court Justice is someone who understands and embraces the Constitution of the United States of America, not an "Environmental", or a "Pro/Anti-Life" judge, or a "Pro/Anti-Buisiness" judge, or a "Pro/Anti-Gun" judge. I want a judge who knows what his or her job is, and perhaps more importantly, what it isn't.

From what I can gather, Judge John Roberts is just such a Judge.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Swear him in NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey, if Roberts was in any way associated with the Federalist Society, I say swear the man in NOW! Anyone associated with a group of people that are for Judges interpreting laws in light of the constitution rather than legislating from the bench is OK by me. Leave the legislating to the legislature.

We have a three-pronged government for a reason.

Authorities BAD!!!!

Mr Menezes' cousin, Alex Pereira, who is based in London, said the police would "kill thousands of people" if they were not held accountable for what had happened at Stockwell on Friday.

Alex is, of course, a known authority on what the police would do, and merits an unchallenged quote in the article.

He said: "They just kill the first person they see, that's what they did. They killed my cousin, they could kill anyone."

I'm sure they've seen hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of people since 7/7. And true, they COULD kill anyone. But they wouldn't.

Same old story. Authorities bad. Morally equivalent to the terrorists (except the "sassy" terrorists are "freedom fighters".)

Why Kerry Lost

Kerry lost because these people supported him.

Ok, it's not QUITE that simple. But it's pretty close.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Man Shot was a Brazilian

Well, that sucks. A lot.

I'm sure the terrorists are happy.

I still think it would be a mistake to withdraw the shoot-to-kill policy. The police certainly need to be careful, and learn from this enormously painful mistake. I'm certain they were sure they were killing a killer.

Let's see... can't racially profile suspects. Man in big jacket leaving from suspect location being checked out by police to see if he was a threat... he runs from them... on to a bus (a favorite target of suicide bombers... )

If you're innocent, don't run from the police. And even if you're not, don't run in to a bus.

BBC Credibility Self Destructs

From this article at the BBC

It will not come as much of a surprise [ that Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that it could take up to 12 years to defeat the Iraqi insurgency ] to the Iraqis either. Even the optimists here in Iraq - and there are surprisingly many - do not expect life to improve for many years.

The problem is with the American public. They have simply not been prepared for this sort of long-term commitment.

Which American Public is he talking about? The majority, that voted for Bush -- because they knew he would carry out our responsibility to the Iraqis, or the minority (of whom at least 80% of the press are card-carrying members) that voted for Kerry, who for all of his pre-election posturing would surely have long ago put forth a timeline for withdrawal thus insuring defeat. Most of the Leftists even agree that pulling out now would be a mistake. People calling for withdrawal are a freakish minority.

The White House can either prepare Americans for a very long haul - or it could start work on an exit strategy, with all the humiliation that would entail, [em. mine] and the very real danger of an Iraqi civil war.

For all President Bush's recent expressions of resolve, it is still not entirely clear which option he is going to choose.

What planet have you been living on? It's entirely clear to me. The White House has been very clear from the beginning that this was a long haul committment. Bush has always said "As long as it takes." And he refuses to lay down a timeline for withdrawal in the face of demands from the left that he do so. He won't do it because it would be wrong, and dispite the slanders of & Michael Moore, the man has too good a moral center to do it.

I love the little freudian interjection of "and all the humiliation that would entail" because that's excactly what the columnist and his peers are salivating to see, never mind the horrible suffering of the Iraqis for generations to come if that happened. No, far more important to skewer Bush at every opportunity.

George W. Bush:

"We are there to complete a mission, and it's an important mission." "A democratic Iraq is in the interests of the United States, and it's in the interests of laying the foundation for peace."

"The way ahead is not going to be easy."

''I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I. We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed -- and not a day longer."

I've been hearing and reading him say things to this effect since before we went in to Iraq. I simply don't understand how anyone can dismiss so cavalierly that the president has repeated this message again and again -- unless that person is knowingly trying to paint a different picture to continue grinding a political axe that has already worn very thin.

It is the press that is the the willing mouthpiece of the resistance(s), stressing the negative and largely ignoring any positive with headlines of terror and fear, and gloom and doom at every attack by the enemy. If there is demand for withdrawal it is coming from the very political sector to which most members of the press lay their allegiance, not from the White House. The only people demanding withdrawal are mindless peace-at-all-cost-nicks and people whose highest goal is to damage Bush politically over the lives of Iraqis and Americans and others.

I can see it now... the press's daily blow by blow coverage of the building of the Empire State building.

"397 bolts were dropped or broken today on the construction of the new building, a monument to American Corporate Greed. 40 welds were re-done when it was found they didn't meet the standards of the welders. A fourth builder fell to his death today, plunging the project further into quagmire. There were 3 bruised fingers, and 14 scrapes and cuts. It is doubtful as to whether this project will ever successfully completed. And if it is it will take a very long time."

Or how about this for England during WWII?

"Another bomb exploded today killing 17 Londoners. Parliament was warned that bombing the Germans in response to attacks would only bring more attacks. Protesters are urging the Prime Minister to stop the cycle of violence."

In their world, continuing=increasing, and repetition=truth .

And don't they love the word "Quagmire"?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Oh, the Horror!

I read this article on the BBC website this morning:

I thought I might find out a little bit about what happened, but instead was paragraph after paragraph about how scared people were and how horrified they were to see 1) a policeman wielding a gun, and 2) seeing the suspect killed before their eyes by the big, bad Police.

The story leaves a taste not of justice being served and order being enforced, but almost an indignance that anyone died or that anyone had to see it.

Never mind the fact that its likely that the guy was suspected of attempting to blow a few dozen of the horrified citizens up himself.

This just in: the new story is much more balanced.

Perhaps they should have waited for facts to come out first before publishing the "Terror and Fear are Working" version of the article.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Well Halle-freakin'-luia!!!

Or whatever the equivalent Muslim phrase is. The closest I can come is "Praise be to Allah".

This is a welcome gesture.

UK Muslim Leaders/Scholars Issue Fatwa Against Suicide Bombings

A litte more of this around the world would would help.

I was reading in a story this morning about Sunni's threatening death to Shiite families in Baghdad -- going out of its way to explain why it was OK with Allah for them to issue such threats and back them up with death.

Apparently, this kind of thing is par for the course in the Middle East. Hopefully, a little dose of backbone will cure the timid and folks over there will stop standing for it and not comply.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Flipped past the public access channel last night, and there was some Kennedy offspring, giving a speech on how the eeeeeeeeeevil conservatives, ever pandering to the Corrupt Corporate Conglomerate (my phrase, like it?) are robbing from the poor and giving to the rich while destroying the environment -- pretty much how the Left frames conservatives in the world.

Well, this particular conservative counts himself as an environmentalist, but not a kum-ba-ya-singing, swaying counter-culture environmentalist. Any sensible human being wants a healthy and attractive environment. But I think we have to be reasonable about it. And I don't believe in robbing anybody and giving to anybody else -- this is why I'm a conservative.

I don't buy into the Leftist view that the rich are rich because they oppress the poor and take their money. Not that it doesn't happen. But by and large the rich are rich because somebody worked hard and took risks and it all payed off for them and, for some of them, their relatives.

Now I listened to a particular part of this Kennedy's speech in which he was trying to express the need for the Democratic Party to "take back" the monicre of "champions of the working class" from the Republicans -- who get their votes. And it struck me when he said something to the effect of "... and they get them to vote against their own economic interests" what is wrong with the Democratic Party (not that Zell Miller didn't hit the nail largely on the head last fall).

What they're basically saying about the poor (amongst themselves -- their favorite audience) is "They're too stupid to vote for us. They don't know what they want."

Yeah, that'll get me to vote for ya. Call me stupid. You're in, buddy!

It's because they believe that "the people" don't know what they want, but they (the Democrats) do. Just put them in power and they'll show you what you want, and if you don't they'll force it down your throat anyway. Remember -- Hitler was a Socialist. And Stalin.

At any rate, I don't know if its an actual plan or not, but basically it goes like this -- the kind of social engineering being advocated here is one which places a significant bit of the population in the position of being dependent on the government. This is good for parties that promote the social engineering -- because once you start letting a part of the population depend on the government, that part will continue to grow. The incentive to work (produce) drops, less gets produced -- and it is production of goods and services that makes the world go 'round, economically speaking. The people who are dependent on the government will vote to keep that structure in place (AARP, for instance) -- and in the long run, few are producing, the government has little to tax and can no longer support its dependent population, and it all collapses in a dusty implosion.

Conservatives understand this.

I suppose the Left counts on an endless supply of rich to plunder and re-distribute the wealth.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Blasts in London

A friend asked me if I could believe what happened in London this morning.

My answer? "Yes."

Since the first WTC bombing in 1993, I have been aware of terrorist designs on the west. As embassies and ships were attacked over the next several years, it was clear that this was not going to stop. When I heard about the first plane hitting the WTC in 2001, I knew immediately what it was and who was behind it without even turning on the news.

I see already that apologists are playing the "blame ourselves" game. God, what easy targets the west are. Kill a bunch of innocent civillians -- and we ask ourselves how we could behave differently to appease people with no respect for human life. We bend over backwards to accept people from all beliefs into our societies -- but what if one of those belief systems is hell-bent on destroying our society in the first place? This clearly is where "tolerence" needs to end.

We tolerate everyone but ourselves.

from the BBC site:

Respect MP George Galloway said the attacks were "despicable but not remotely unpredictable".

Mr Galloway said Londoners had "paid the price" of the government failing to heed warnings from the security services that attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan would increase the threat of a terrorist attack in the UK.

I agree with the first part of the statement, but what the hell does he mean by the second part? That going in to Afghanistan, especially, after the heads of the perps who doing these deeds shouldn't have been done .... because we might make them mad?

For the most part, terrorism is pretty much unstoppable. Anybody who thinks that if we just increase our security laws and expenditures enough we can be "safe" needs to pull their head out of the sand. We really, in the end, can't control the terrorists as long as they are willing to die or get caught after the act. The only control we have is in our response to it.

We can "be nice to them". But we lose that one, in the end. "Being nice" only works with people with a conscience and an ability to empathize with you, and these people clearly have neither. On top of that, "being nice to them" is what allows them to live in our midst in the first place.

If you give a dog a biscuit every time he barks, what do you think the dog will be doing more of in the future?

"Stay out of their countries" -- again, a reward, and again, a huge misunderstanding of their goals. They want control of the countries they live in, too. And a majority of the people who live in "their" countries don't want those people in control, either. In addition, most of the people who THINK they want them in control would quickly change their minds once they gained that control.

Remember Afghanistan? Remember the Taliban? Forget the wonton destruction of ancient artifacts and mandatory head covering -- hell, BODY covering for women. How about football stadium executions, public dismemberments, torture (real torture, not cheerleader piles of naked bodies of enemy fighters and common criminals or Koran kicking)? Systemic, openly sanctioned torture for simply saying the wrong thing.

Such are the values of these people. They believe they have the word of God, and they believe it is up to them to enforce their interpretation of His Will.

Or -- we can go after their butts and refuse to give in to their will. This way we don't reward them, we don't encourage them to "bark" again for another biscuit, and we actually do our best to punish the behavior. Can we stop them from blowing us up at random? No. If we fight back will we piss them off? Yes -- but they're already pissed off. Will their numbers grow? Perhaps, unless we can act as some sort of deterrent.

So we must fight on, like antibodies against the disease that is this fanatic breed of Islamist.

I noted this from the BBC article:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, said he had joined with Muslim
leaders in condemning the attacks during a visit to West Yorkshire.
My question is, who are the anonymous "Muslim Leaders" and what did they say, and why aren't they and their words in the story instead of the Archbishop of Canterbury's?

Where is the outrage from these peaceful Muslims? Actions speak much louder than anonymous words, but I'd just settle for some substantive words from identifiable clerics. If Islam really is a religion of peace, how about a little help from the rest of Islam?