Thursday, March 31, 2005
..."This is a judge [Birch], and probably representing a whole bunch of judges, which are getting very sensitive to the charge that they are activists, very upset at the notion that they are activists, and that their authority is being challenged and so he took the occasion of the opinion he wrote in this case to chide everybody for criticizing judges and basically telling anybody who's criticizing judges that they're wrong, and if Congress and the president wants to get involved in judicial areas, that Congress is clearly allowed to get involved in, that they are somehow unconstitutional. You realize that while Judge Birch was writing this screed against the other branches of government he allowed hours to elapse when he could have been reviewing the facts of the case. Fifteen hours, ladies and gentlemen. Fifteen hours this court waited from the time they granted the appeal till they released this opinion, and in those 15 hours rather than reviewing the facts of the case -- which is what the two dissenting judges said didn't really happen -- this judge is writing this screed against the president, against Congress and against everybody else who has a little disagreement with what judges in this country are doing. He allowed hours to elapse. It just shows you how completely arrogant and out of touch these people are even to the end. I mean, he was more concerned about taking cheap shots [than]with the rights of this poor woman he could have helped. He was more concerned about that than her rights, than her life, than the concerns of her father and the concerns of her mother. There are also other interesting passages in this opinion, which I want to get to. He talks about judicial activism and other such things. In fact, here it is. Let me just read the whole thing.
"Another popular epithet directed by some members of society include," and this is where he lashes out at the American public. This is from the opinion. I can't recall an opinion that was so adamantly in response to the public rather than on the merits of the case."
""A popular epithet directed by some members of society including some members of Congress toward the judiciary, involves the denunciation of activist judges. Generally, the definition of an activist judge is one who decides the outcome of a controversy before him according to personal conviction even one sincerely held as opposed to the dictates of the law as constrained by legal precedent and ultimately our Constitution. In resolving the Schiavo controversy, it is my judgment that despite sincere and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers blueprint for the governance of a free people, our Constitution. Since I have sworn as have they to uphold and defend that covenant I must respectfully concur in the denial of the request for rehearing en banc. I conclude that this is unconstitutional, and therefore this court and this district court are without jurisdiction in this case under that special act and should refuse to exercise any jurisdiction that we may otherwise have in this case.""
In other words, "You called me names, and Congress has no right to butt in, so I'm going to help kill this woman to prove my point. Nah-nah!"
Why, we simply can't have the people's elected representatives talking back every time some county judge decides to starve a disabled person...or can we?
The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. ...
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;
--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;
--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;
--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;
--to Controversies between two or more States;
-- between a State and Citizens of another State (modified by Amendment 11: "The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.")
--between Citizens of different States;
--between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States,
and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction.
In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
Let me repeat that: "...with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."
Now consider this:
109th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 686
For the relief of the parents of Theresa Marie Schiavo.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. RELIEF OF THE PARENTS OF THERESA MARIE SCHIAVO.
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida shall have jurisdiction to hear, determine, and render judgment on a suit or claim by or on behalf of Theresa Marie Schiavo for the alleged violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution or laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life.
SEC. 2. PROCEDURE.
Any parent of Theresa Marie Schiavo shall have standing to bring a suit under this Act. The suit may be brought against any other person who was a party to State court proceedings relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain the life of Theresa Marie Schiavo, or who may act pursuant to a State court order authorizing or directing the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life. In such a suit, the District Court shall determine de novo any claim of a violation of any right of Theresa Marie Schiavo within the scope of this Act, notwithstanding any prior State court determination and regardless of whether such a claim has previously been raised, considered, or decided in State court proceedings. The District Court shall entertain and determine the suit without any delay or abstention in favor of State court proceedings, and regardless of whether remedies available in the State courts have been exhausted.
SEC. 3. RELIEF.
After a determination of the merits of a suit brought under this Act, the District Court shall issue such declaratory and injunctive relief as may be necessary to protect the rights of Theresa Marie Schiavo under the Constitution and laws of the United States relating to the withholding or withdrawal of food, fluids, or medical treatment necessary to sustain her life."
In short, "with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make."
In other words, you can hear the case, they can bring the case, if it has merit, issue relief. Congress didn't tell the courts what to decide--only that they had to reconsider Terri's rights.
And the judges, almost to a man said: "Screw this woman's rights. Screw the Congress. Screw the Constitution. And screw you. We are beholden to no one--We Are As Gods!"
Runaway courts now constitute the single greatest institutional threat to our liberties. They mean to rule us.
Say it with me:
Unto God's gracious mercy and protection we commend you, Terri. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his contenance upon you and give you peace, both now and evermore.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
A wish was granted just for me
It could be for anything
I didn't ask for money
Or a mansion in Malibu
I simply wished, for one more day with you...
One more day
One more time
One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you.
First thing I'd do, is pray for time to crawl
Then I'd unplug the telephone
And keep the TV off
I'd hold you every second
Say a million I love you's
That's what I'd do, with one more day with you...
One more day
One more time
One more sunset, maybe I'd be satisfied
But then againI know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you
Leave me wishing still, for one more day
Leave me wishing still, for one more day...
Remember what's important...and who.
(Hat-tip: Diamond Rio)
Monday, March 28, 2005
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Dear Governor Bush,
"We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civil and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this constitution.
Terri is a "We".
All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty... No person shall be deprived of any right because of...physical disability.
Terri is being deprived of EVERY right because of her disability.No person shall be deprived of life...without due process of law...
First, they came for her Due Process...and now we've come for her.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons...against unreasonable...seizures...shall not be violated.
This is not merely unreasonable, but anti-reasonable.
The courts shall be open to every person for redress of any injury, and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay.
Administer food and water without denial or delay--that IS justice.
Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person's private life except as otherwise provided herein.
Unless "herein" mentions "forced starvation", this is the very height of government intrusion.
The powers of the state government shall be divided into legislative, executive and judicial branches. No person belonging to one branch shall exercise any powers appertaining to either of the other branches...
The courts are acting as legislatures and executives...not to mention executioners.
Each state and county officer, before entering upon the duties of the office, shall give bond as required by law, and shall swear or affirm:
"I do solemnly swear that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution and Government of the United States and of the State of Florida; that I am duly qualified to hold office under the Constitution of the state; and that I will well and faithfully perform the duties of Governor on which I am now about to enter. So help me God."
God will help you. But will you help Him by doing your duty?
The supreme executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall be commander-in-chief of all military forces of the state not in active service of the United States. The governor shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed...
It say "laws"...not helpless women.The governor shall have power to call out the militia to..execute the laws of the state...
But shall he have the character and backbone to keep his oath?
SECTION 21. ...the people of the State of Florida hereby limit the cruel and inhumane confinement of pigs during pregnancy as provided herein.
We wouldn't treat a pregnant pig this way. By law.
SECTION 25. Patients' right to know about adverse medical incidents...The phrase "adverse medical incident" means medical negligence, intentional misconduct, and any other act, neglect, or default of a health care facility or health care provider that caused or could have caused injury to or death of a patient..."And this is why Terri should have had an ad litem guardian angel all along...not an Angel of Death "guardian".
Your duty is calling you, Governor.
And the more Terri slips into silence, the louder it calls.
Please, sir, answer it. Answer that call to the duty that you freely sought.
Or you'll never feel clean again.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
Why, then, do we have all officials and servicemen--even new citizens--swear an oath to the Constitution? Are they merely pledging to defend whatever ruling 5 out of 9 Justices hand down on any given day? That's like pledging allegience to the state of Sandra Day O'Connor's digestion or Justice Kennedy's choice of dinner entrees--what man could do it?
No, it must mean that the words of the Constitution have a reasonable and discernable meaning. And should the Courts themselves attack the Constitution, those who have so sworn shall come to its defense.
Jefferson, Madison, Jackson and Lincoln among others all held that the Court does not have the 'final word', and especially pertaining to the balance of powers between the branches.
For the sake of example, imagine the Court deciding that because Kofi "Got My Kojo Workin'" Annan declared the Iraq war "illegal", the United States, as a UN Charter signatory must leave Iraq tomorrow. The Justices order the military to pack up and leave.
Now, you've said the Court has the 'last word' on the Constitution. The President is the Commander-in-Chief. The Congress has authorized the use of force. All troops and officers have taken an oath to that Constitution.
Must the Executive and Legislature stand down and must the troops leave in the morning?
No. Excuse me; Hell, No.
Let's posit further that the Democrats in the Senate will not impeach the Justices and the closest election is two years away. What then? Does the Chief Justice become the Commander-in-Chief Justice? Still, no.
Or say the Senate does impeach. But the Court rules that they did not meet the standard. Remember, you've posited that the Court is the absolute 'last word' on the Constitution--and the standard for impeachment is in the Constitution. What then?
This example is not as far-fetched as you might think. The courts are trying to tell the Executive how to conduct POW policy. And just the other day in 'Roper', they in essence ratified a treaty that the elected branches had rejected, arrogating OUR power unto themselves. Not to mention usurping the centuries-old authority of twenty elected state governments. And stealing the right to chose from thirty more.
Either and both the Governor and the President clearly and unequivocally have the authority--and, yes, the DUTY--under both Constitutions to intervene to stop this extra-constitutional killing and should do so yesterday.
Then who has the 'final word' on the Constitution?
Ask not for whom that bell tolls--it tolls for thee.
Those who ordained and established it...We, the People, have the final word on OUR Constitution.
Never forget that. And never, never let them forget that.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Today, it's judges who make bad law. And they do it repeatedly, shamelessly and arrogantly.
They act not just as judges, but judge, jury and executioner. And as judge, legislator and executive. For example, in 'Roper', they just ratified a treaty that the Senate had rejected, in order to "harmonize" our Constitution with foreign law. Now, they're trying to tell the Commander-in-Chief how to run the war. And why shouldn't they? No one will stand up to them.
They consider themselves First among Equals, if not First, period. In reality, as a derivative, unelected, appointed and reactionary branch, they are, in fact, last among equals.
And let me take a moment here to thank the Supreme Court of Florida; finally, we know what a left-wing death squad looks like. You've got everything but the little black Che berets.
Just today, in violation of the Constitution, federal courts defied the will of the elected Branches to grant de novo review. They denied, ignored and violated Miss Terri Schindler's Due Process rights yet again--also in violation of the Constitution. And all this in service to a killer hoping to finish the job he began so long ago; a perfect 'three-fer' of modern jurisprudence.
No, they mean to see this woman dead for their own personal, political and professional reasons. If Terri sat up tonight and asked for a ham sandwich and a Coke, they'd still insist she be starved to death--"Sorry, Miss; we're a country of laws, don'tcha know. Can I get you a magazine instead?"
Let's talk about Due Process. First promulgated in the Fifth Amendment it says: "No person shall be...deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."
It was reiterated and expanded to the States after the Civil War in the 14th Amendment: "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'
Then in 'Griswold', the precursor to 'Roe', the courts created "substantive Due Process", a legal phrase that was used because, frankly, it sounds better than "That's the way--uh-huh uh-huh--I like it--uh-huh uh-huh".
They insisted that not only did the process have to be fair, but also the outcome. Everything about a case had to be fair...and look fair, smell fair, taste fair and feel fair or the Courts could keep making stuff up until it was. Okay; fair enough. Evidently, Due Process is so wonderful that we need three different kinds of it. So can't we spare at least one of them for Terri?
In 'Lawrence', the Court took a look at the Constitution and discovered that we have an iron-clad, "transcendant and spatial" Due Process Right to sodomize one another. Under its famous "Sweet Mystery of Life" proviso, the Court held that consenting adults have the Right to, well, everything. In short, society can't inflict its values on society--no, that's the job of courts. This is the "logic" by which they plan to force same-sex "marriage" on non-consenting adult voters. But it is also the logic of legalized polygamy, bigamy, drug use, suicide, assisted suicide, prostitution and, what the hell, necrophila, too.
Just one of the almost countless ways Terri's Due Process rights were violated was when a husband was appointed her "guardian"--the husband of another woman. Presumably, if Klaus von Schiavo's common-law wife fell into this same condition, he would be her "guardian" as well. How can this be?
Ironically, the Court may someday rule that he has a Due Process Right to his bigamy. But worse, by the "logic" of their recent jurisprudence, Terri has a Due Process "Right to Die"...yet somehow, no "Right to Live"!
That's insane. These judges wouldn't know Due Process from a process hair-do.
I've lived all my life in this country, and I've never seen a person starve to death...until now. And by court order, no less.
We're told that Casey Martin has a Constitutional Right to a golf cart under the Americans with Disabilities Act...but Terri can't have ice chips placed on her tongue.
We're even told that starvation is dignified and humane. If this is so, then let's simply stop feeding death row inmates--we're not executing them, you see; we're merely allowing them to "die with dignity".
We're told that we should kill her because Republicans are hypocritical; my parents lied to me about the Easter Bunny--can I rob liquor stores?
We're told that this is about states' rights; that's what they told Rosa Parks.
We're told this is about Big Government; a government that can order you starved is as big as it gets.
We're told everything...everything except the truth.
If this is justice...
then Justice be damned.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?”
He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."
Sunday, March 20, 2005
If she were a corporation, we'd indict the Chief Financial Officer--her HINO (husband-in-name-only).
If she were a killer, she'd be protected under the supreme court's ban on executing the retarded.
If she were a terrorist, Teddy Kennedy would be making blistering speeches on the Senate floor condemning her torture-by-starvation.
If she were a teen-aged murderer, she'd be spared execution under the 'Cruel & Unusual' clause.
If she were Scott Peterson, she'd get an automatic appeal...and 20 more years of life.
If she were a beached dolphin, we'd demand not just her feeding, but that heroic measures be taken.
If she were in Guantanamo, we'd see to it that she had appropriate meals and medical care.
If she were on another Death Row, her parents and her priest would be allowed visitation.
If she were the truly brain-dead Ward Churchill, we'd riot at the attempt to silence her.
If we do this, then let's Free Dr. Kevorkian; he's in jail for less.
If she were Nicole Brown Simpson, would we let OJ and the 9th Circuit decide her fate? Did I say "If"?
And if we hadn't been desensitized by three decades of the Death Culture...
would we even ask "If"?
Sunday, March 13, 2005
THE HARRIS AND KLEBOLD PROTECTION ACT of 2005
"The Democrats' standard complaint is that nominees are out of the jurisprudential "mainstream." If Kennedy represents the mainstream, it is time to change the shape of the river. His opinion is an intellectual train wreck, but useful as a timely warning about what happens when judicial offices are filled with injudicious people."
"The Supreme Court's judicial activists are cutting off the branch on which they sit. By rejecting the law and putting their personal opinions in its place, the justices invite the people to imitate them and disregard their decrees with the same willfulness they disregard the Constitution. If Anthony Kennedy isn't bound by the framers' words, why are the people bound by his?"
John Hinderaker: A Government of Men:
"IN REALITY, the difference between Stanford and Roper does not lie in the number of states that, at the relevant time, permitted the execution of juveniles--25 versus 20--but rather in the composition of the Supreme Court itself. What made the difference in the outcome was that Justice Kennedy changed his mind. In 1989 he voted with the majority, holding that execution of juveniles was not Constitutionally prohibited. Last week, he voted the opposite way. The Constitution didn't change; Anthony Kennedy did."
The very first thing that must be said about Roper v. Simmons is this: the only person who suffered cruel and unusual punishment was the victim. 46 yr.-old Shirley Crook was hog-tied, dragged in terror from her home and tossed off a bridge into a river to drown.
If we fail to use the death penalty in even the most heinous and clear-cut cases, it is not a sign of moral courage; it is moral cowardice. It says "Sorry; for all our talk about justice and the value of innocent life, we'd rather feel good about ourselves than get our hands dirty."
Justice Kennedy says that 17 yr.-olds are not generally capable of forming adult thoughts, but the defendant Simmons bragged about getting away with it because of his age. He sounds like Pre-Law material to me--he certainly had this Court pegged.
Judge Tony was no doubt tired of being lectured about the juvenile death penalty by his continental peers during the Court's annual European Summer Vacation. We should pass a non-reviewable law preventing Supreme Court justices from leaving the country. Want a French vacation, your Honors? Here; have a round-trip Greyhound ticket to Des Moines.
Of course the justices would complain that this would be an outrageous usurpation of their liberties and that they are fully capable of making these kinds of decisions for themselves.
Yeah--we know exactly how you feel.
The danger in citing foreign law and opinion is not just that it creates precedent for our judges, but that it also encourages foreigners to believe they can legislate for Americans without our Consent. Where is this Court's sense of history? Don't they remember the last time we were ruled by elite European opinion without our Consent?
It was called "The American Revolution."
Been there, done that. Yet this Court seems hell-bent on provoking another one.
The Constitution--the Actual Constitution-- is not some Magic Talisman that, when waved around and invoked with the appropriate legal mumbo-jumbo, produces All Things Good. It is not an Aladdin's Lamp, that when rubbed, always conjures up Robin Williams' favorite policy preferences, the "Correct Result".
It is a set of principles and specific rules that we've all agreed to live by. And judges are umpires, whose job is not to side with their favorite team, but to side with the rules.
Anything else is tyranny, however gussied-up.
Our Constitution may not be perfect...
but it's better than what we've got.
Hockey season may be cancelled, but Matt Labash takes on the Mighty Canuckistanis:
"In 1996, when Canadians were asked to name both the greatest living and the all-time greatest Canadian, 76 percent said "no one comes to mind.""
He shoots...he scooooooooooores!
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
About 24 hrs. after the November election, we started seeing scenes like these:
Reporters: "Senator Clinton, Senator Clinton! How was your breakfast?"
Hillary (wearing nun's habit) : "'Tis funny you should asketh; it was sufficient unto the day. Now, let us pray."
I had no idea they even MADE 50-pound Bibles.
Just the other day, Hillary was thumbing through all the Hollywood checks dumped on her kitchen table by her now-indicted campaign-cash consigliere, when suddenly it struck her; "Gosh, there sure is a lot of trash on TV."
So she called up her show-biz pals, and amazingly, they all agreed: all this gratuitous sex, violence and gore in movies such as Mel Gibson's "Braveheart", Mel Gibson's "Lethal Weapon" and Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" must be reined-in...immediately!
(By the way, if it were, say, Jeb Bush's campaign finance director under indictment instead of Hillary's, would we be reading about it in screaming banner headlines...or just in 72-pica screaming red banner headlines? It's almost enough to make one suspect the existence of liberal media bias.)
Many of her liberal and leftist supporters are now claiming Hillary has always been a moderate; but if they don't believe it, why should I?
"She's pro-war!", they say.
First, had she been President, none of this would be happening; that makes her a follower, not a leader. Secondly, what she has done is the bare minimum that should be expected from any decent, patriotic legislator. Admittedly, this does make her stand out in the Democrat Party--but is it really progress when a cannibal uses a fork? And if the phrase "When it comes to defending America, I did the bare minimum!" stirs you to your very soul...you may BE David Gergen.
Hillary Clinton is not "pro-war"; she's pro-Hillary Clinton--never forget it.
Well, then what about her brand new--yet life-long--'moderation' on abortion?
...limit abortions to cases of rape or incest? No.
...limit them to the first trimester? No. Or the second or third? No.
...ban Partial-Birth abortions? No.
...back parental consent? No. Even parental notification? No.
...ban the baby pesticide, RU-486 (Finally, a pesticide that even Liberals can love!)? No.
...de-fund the Planned Parenthood Camps? Nope. Or programs that provide for foreign abortions? Again, no.
Would she nominate any judges that would reconsider Roe v. Wade in light of, you know, that pesky 'Constitution' thing? Not a chance.
So of what, then, does this 'moderation' consist?
Well, she supports some abstinence education--as long as the Amazing Mr. Randy can still come to class and show the boys and girls his magical magic tricks, including balloon animals made from many diverse and flavorful condoms...and the ever-popular show-stopper, "The Disappearing Cucumber".
And she will also continue to support adoption.
Wow!--what a moral breakthrough!! Never in recorded history has someone had the moral clarity and vision to support adoption--until Hillary!
Is there any allegedly decent person who doesn't support adoption? Well, as a matter of fact, there is; New York's Atty. General Eliot Spitzer.
Several years ago, on NARAL's orders, he cracked down on perhaps the greatest threat ever faced by the good citizens of New York: adoption centers. It seems there were just too many babies escaping from Stalag Planned Parenthood.
You may recall that Hillary very publicly told him to knock it off--you may, but I don't. (Spitzer has since gone on to prosecute many high-profile Wall Street cases--but now that he's running for governor and needs Wall Street money, the rent-a-prosecutor has announced there is no need for more white-collar collars.)
In other words, Hillary's position is to make the occasional agreeable noises, while again doing the barest of bare minimums.
But it's not all bad; Hillary should be given credit for her bold stance on Social Security Reform. Her plan would work like this:
An average twenty-five year-old female worker takes a thousand dollars of her own money and places it in a Rose Law Firm briefcase, leaving it on the front steps after dark. Around midnight, a family friend gets into a state patrol car and leaves the strip-club where he's been partying with the worker's husband. He retrieves the briefcase and invests the money in no-risk, high-yield cattle futures...and in less than thirty days, that thousand dollars miraculously becomes $100k!
Hillary's "It's the Futures, Cattle!" plan would not only solve the Social Security-funding problem, it would also eliminate the entire federal deficit by, oh, Thursday after next.
The downside is that the government would of course have to outlaw all foods...except beef.
"Beef...It's What's For Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner...or Else!"
Hillary recently made the weasel-ishly transparent and self-serving claim that governmental ethics were improved by having women in office. Sure it does...if by "ethics", you mean "stealing the furniture with a definite color scheme in mind". Women do indeed exert a moralizing force on society--but Madame Ceausescu and Lady Thatcher do not have equal claims to it.
Hillary Clinton is in full "All the People, All the Time" campaign-mode. By portraying her as a moderate, her supporters are working overtime to create an air of inevitability about her nomination--sort of a "Death, Taxes & Hillary" zeitgeist.
Even President Bill's recent bizarre claim that he "identifies with" the "progressive" mullahs in Iran was oriented toward this goal. It was meant to say:
a.) there is no need for regime change since Iran is already ruled by benevolent "progressives", and:
b.) if Democrats identify with the "moderate, progressive" mullahs, Republicans must therefore identify with those mean, "conservative", right-wing mullahs.
Yeah; everybody knows how tight George Bush is with the Ayotollahs. Whatever. Dick Morris, phone home.
But not all is well; in addition to her campaign bag-man being under indictment, she's lost control of that Chinese Money-Laundry known as the DNC to her rival, Howard Dean.
As usual, Democrats picked the wrong chairman.
There was one candidate who could have reached out to conservatives. A man with strong communications skills who can raise money, yet keep his mouth shut when necessary. A man with strong law-enforcement credibility, yet sympathetic to restoring the voting rights of felons. And he knows his way around the DNC--even in the dark! Ladies & Gentlemen, I give you the next Chairman of the DNC...G. Gordon Liddy!
Let's cut to the chase:
Q: Is Hillary a 'Moderate'?
A: Wrong question. Forget all that policy stuff; here's the right question:
"Who is Billy Dale?"
Billy Dale was a certified Normal American who happened to work at the White House Travel Office. By all accounts, he did a good job, making arrangements for the press to travel with the Clintons and other officials.
But one day, Hillary decided she wanted to give Mr. Dale's job to her Hollywood pals.
Now, as a patronage position, the Clintons would have been well within their rights to simply ask for Mr. Dale's resignation and award the position to their cronies. But cronyism is a strictly Republican sin, you see. And rather than confront her own closeted Republican tendencies and take a 2-second p.r.-hit that wouldn't have amounted to a footnote to a footnote to a footnote in the catalogue of crimes we call the Clinton Administration, Hillary made the call: "Billy Dale must be found guilty!"
She brought the full weight of the Federal Government down on his head, fully content to see an innocent man rot in jail for years, simply so she wouldn't look bad. Billy Dale spent his life savings defending himself, and although innocent, was forced to agonize over whether to plea-bargain or take the chance of getting an even stiffer sentence.
The jury took mere minutes to acquit. And for her trouble, Hillary was rewarded with a Senate seat.
Believe it or not, I'm not a close-minded, reflexive Hillary-basher. No, those are terms used by liberals who simply can't believe that someone could have actually thought about the issues--and come out on the other side. In fact, I bought in to the whole Co-Presidents thing and voted for the Clintons back when I was young, liberal and stupid.
But now that I'm older, conservative and stupid, I've come to realize one thing:
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, with Hillary Clinton's raw, single-minded, amoral lust-for-power should be allowed within fifty miles of the White House--except possibly handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser driving by on its way to Allenwood.
And I want those handcuffs tight.
All this clumsy, tone-deaf, tin-eared phony political posturing is just more evidence of her mad, overweening obsession--but I don't really care if you are liberal, "moderate" or so damn conservative you make Jesse Helms look like a nattily-dressed Drum-Major leading a Gay Rights parade:
If you want--NEED--to weild power that badly, we need to stop you even more so.
Q: So, who is Billy Dale?
A: You are.
To Hillary, you are Billy Dale. As a member in good standing of the Normal American community, you are but a serf to Hillary. A peasant. A worm who may be trampled upon by her size 7 hob-nail pump, the very latest in ethical footwear. A mere plebe, unworthy of notice. You are the wind beneath her pant-suit. As far a she's concerned, you may be discarded, prosecuted, your children re-educated, your property confiscated and your liberty truncated.
P.J. O'Rourke got it right:
Hillary Clinton has "the mind of a prison matron and the soul of an East German border guard."
And a "moderate"?
Yeah. That's what Stalin said.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
"When his battalion took charge here in mid-February, Lt. Col. Roger Cloutier made a vow to himself and his soldiers: If one of them was attacked, the entire battalion would respond swiftly and violently.
"We will hunt down the enemy if he attacks us," the colonel told his staff. "I don't want to give him any rest or refuge. I want to haunt his dreams.""
"A week later, Cpl. Jacob Palmatier, a 29-year-old administrative clerk, asked to be relieved of desk duty to man a grenade launcher on a convoy headed south. He was in the turret of a 5-ton truck when two slivers of shrapnel from a roadside bomb tore into his midsection."
"Minutes into one of his first combat missions, Palmatier bled to death on the side of the road, the 1,481st American troop to die in Iraq."
"It was the first combat death in Iraq for the Battle Boars of the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, and it set in motion a series of events that transformed the battalion's very presence here."
"It triggered a manhunt that penetrated an insurgent cell, leading to the capture of eight suspected cell leaders. It precipitated a showdown that redefined the relationship between Cloutier and local sheiks and mayors. It forged tighter bonds between the Battle Boars and the local Iraqi army battalion, energizing an investigation into that unit's infiltration by insurgents."
"But more than anything, the repercussions of that single American death fulfilled a commander's promise in a way that gave his soldiers a measure of grim satisfaction and a sense that they were somehow more secure."
""It was the catalyst," Cloutier said, red-eyed and weary after two days of round-the-clock raids and firefights after Palmatier's death. "It was like pulling out the one log that breaks the logjam. Everything just started flowing.""
"The colonel confronted the local political establishment, threatening villages with an invasion of tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles."
""This will not stand," he told tribal sheiks and village mayors, demanding that they divulge the names of the insurgents who were responsible for the bombing.".....
That's what I'm talkin' 'bout.
Every day of my life I stand humbled, awed and in gratitude of these American men & women, our fellow citizen-soldiers who put it all on the line for the rest of us.
It doesn't even come close, but thanks, guys.
(via Brothers Judd)
Thursday, March 03, 2005
The Honorable Justice Scalia:
"...Though the views of our own citizens are essentially irrelevant to the Court's decision today, the views of other countries and the so-called international community take center stage.
The Court begins by noting that "Article 37 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, entered into force Sept. 2, 1990, which every country in the world has ratified save for the United States and Somalia, contains an express prohibition on capital punishment for crimes committed by juveniles under 18." The Court also discusses the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Senate ratified only subject to a reservation that reads:
"The United States reserves the right, subject to its Constitutional restraints, to impose capital punishment on any person (other than a pregnant woman) duly convicted under existing or future laws permitting the imposition of capital punishment, including such punishment for crime committed by persons below eighteen years of age."-- Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, (1992).
Unless the Court has added to its arsenal the power to join and ratify treaties on behalf of the United States, I cannot see how this evidence favors, rather than refutes, its position. That the Senate and the President--those actors our Constitution empowers to enter into treaties--have declined to join and ratify treaties prohibiting execution of under-18 offenders can only suggest that our country has either not reached a national consensus on the question, or has reached a consensus contrary to what the Court announces. That the reservation to the ICCPR was made in 1992 does not suggest otherwise, since the reservation still remains in place today. It is also worth noting that, in addition to barring the execution of under-18 offenders, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child prohibits punishing them with life in prison without the possibility of release. If we are truly going to get in line with the international community, then the Court's reassurance that the death penalty is really not needed, since "the punishment of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is itself a severe sanction," gives little comfort.
It is interesting that whereas the Court is not content to accept what the States of our Federal Union say, but insists on inquiring into what they do (specifically, whether they in fact apply the juvenile death penalty that their laws allow), the Court is quite willing to believe that every foreign nation--of whatever tyrannical political makeup and with however subservient or incompetent a court system--in fact adheres to a rule of no death penalty for offenders under 18. Nor does the Court inquire into how many of the countries that have the death penalty, but have forsworn (on paper at least) imposing that penalty on offenders under 18, have what no State of this country can constitutionally have: a mandatory death penalty for certain crimes, with no possibility of mitigation by the sentencing authority, for youth or any other reason. I suspect it is most of them. To forbid the death penalty for juveniles under such a system may be a good idea, but it says nothing about our system, in which the sentencing authority, typically a jury, always can, and almost always does, withhold the death penalty from an under-18 offender except, after considering all the circumstances, in the rare cases where it is warranted. The foreign authorities, in other words, do not even speak to the issue before us here.
More fundamentally, however, the basic premise of the Court's argument--that American law should conform to the laws of the rest of the world--ought to be rejected out of hand. In fact the Court itself does not believe it. In many significant respects the laws of most other countries differ from our law--including not only such explicit provisions of our Constitution as the right to jury trial and grand jury indictment, but even many interpretations of the Constitution prescribed by this Court itself. The Court-pronounced exclusionary rule, for example, is distinctively American. When we adopted that rule in Mapp v. Ohio, (1961), it was "unique to American Jurisprudence." Bivens v. Six Unknown Fed. Narcotics Agents, (1971). Since then a categorical exclusionary rule has been "universally rejected" by other countries, including those with rules prohibiting illegal searches and police misconduct, despite the fact that none of these countries "appears to have any alternative form of discipline for police that is effective in preventing search violations." England, for example, rarely excludes evidence found during an illegal search or seizure and has only recently begun excluding evidence from illegally obtained confessions. Canada rarely excludes evidence and will only do so if admission will "bring the administration of justice into disrepute." The European Court of Human Rights has held that introduction of illegally seized evidence does not violate the "fair trial" requirement in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Court has been oblivious to the views of other countries when deciding how to interpret our Constitution's requirement that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion... ." Most other countries--including those committed to religious neutrality--do not insist on the degree of separation between church and state that this Court requires. For example, whereas "we have recognized special Establishment Clause dangers where the government makes direct money payments to sectarian institutions," Rosenberger v. Rector (1995), countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, and Australia allow direct government funding of religious schools on the ground that "the state can only be truly neutral between secular and religious perspectives if it does not dominate the provision of so key a service as education, and makes it possible for people to exercise their right of religious expression within the context of public funding." England permits the teaching of religion in state schools. Even in France, which is considered "America's only rival in strictness of church-state separation," "the practice of contracting for educational services provided by Catholic schools is very widespread." C. Glenn, The Ambiguous Embrace.
And let us not forget the Court's abortion jurisprudence, which makes us one of only six countries that allow abortion on demand until the point of viability. Though the Government and amici in cases following Roe v. Wade (1973), urged the Court to follow the international community's lead, these arguments fell on deaf ears.
The Court's special reliance on the laws of the United Kingdom is perhaps the most indefensible part of its opinion. It is of course true that we share a common history with the United Kingdom, and that we often consult English sources when asked to discern the meaning of a constitutional text written against the backdrop of 18th-century English law and legal thought. If we applied that approach today, our task would be an easy one. As we explained in Harmelin (1991), the "Cruell and Unusuall Punishments" provision of the English Declaration of Rights was originally meant to describe those punishments " 'out of the Judges' Power' "--that is, those punishments that were not authorized by common law or statute, but that were nonetheless administered by the Crown or the Crown's judges. Under that reasoning, the death penalty for under-18 offenders would easily survive this challenge. The Court has, however--I think wrongly--long rejected a purely originalist approach to our Eighth Amendment, and that is certainly not the approach the Court takes today. Instead, the Court undertakes the majestic task of determining (and thereby prescribing) our Nation's current standards of decency. It is beyond comprehension why we should look, for that purpose, to a country that has developed, in the centuries since the Revolutionary War--and with increasing speed since the United Kingdom's recent submission to the jurisprudence of European courts dominated by continental jurists--a legal, political, and social culture quite different from our own. If we took the Court's directive seriously, we would also consider relaxing our double jeopardy prohibition, since the British Law Commission recently published a report that would significantly extend the rights of the prosecution to appeal cases where an acquittal was the result of a judge's ruling that was legally incorrect. We would also curtail our right to jury trial in criminal cases since, despite the jury system's deep roots in our shared common law, England now permits all but the most serious offenders to be tried by magistrates without a jury.
The Court should either profess its willingness to reconsider all these matters in light of the views of foreigners, or else it should cease putting forth foreigners' views as part of the reasoned basis of its decisions. To invoke alien law when it agrees with one's own thinking, and ignore it otherwise, is not reasoned decisionmaking, but sophistry.
The Court responds that "it does not lessen our fidelity to the Constitution or our pride in its origins to acknowledge that the express affirmation of certain fundamental rights by other nations and peoples simply underscores the centrality of those same rights within our own heritage of freedom." To begin with, I do not believe that approval by "other nations and peoples" should buttress our commitment to American principles any more than (what should logically follow) disapproval by "other nations and peoples" should weaken that commitment. More importantly, however, the Court's statement flatly misdescribes what is going on here. Foreign sources are cited today, not to underscore our "fidelity" to the Constitution, our "pride in its origins," and "our own [American] heritage." To the contrary, they are cited to set aside the centuries-old American practice--a practice still engaged in by a large majority of the relevant States--of letting a jury of 12 citizens decide whether, in the particular case, youth should be the basis for withholding the death penalty. What these foreign sources "affirm," rather than repudiate, is the Justices' own notion of how the world ought to be, and their diktat that it shall be so henceforth in America. The Court's parting attempt to downplay the significance of its extensive discussion of foreign law is unconvincing. "Acknowledgment" of foreign approval has no place in the legal opinion of this Court unless it is part of the basis for the Court's judgment--which is surely what it parades as today.
To add insult to injury, the Court affirms the Missouri Supreme Court without even admonishing that court for its flagrant disregard of our precedent in Stanford. Until today, we have always held that "it is this Court's prerogative alone to overrule one of its precedents."--State Oil Co. v. Khan (1997). That has been true even where " 'changes in judicial doctrine' have significantly undermined" our prior holding--United States v. Hatter (2001), and even where our prior holding "appears to rest on reasons rejected in some other line of decisions,"--Rodriguez de Quijas v. Shearson (1989). Today, however, the Court silently approves a state-court decision that blatantly rejected controlling precedent.
One must admit that the Missouri Supreme Court's action, and this Court's indulgent reaction, are, in a way, understandable. In a system based upon constitutional and statutory text democratically adopted, the concept of "law" ordinarily signifies that particular words have a fixed meaning. Such law does not change, and this Court's pronouncement of it therefore remains authoritative until (confessing our prior error) we overrule. The Court has purported to make of the Eighth Amendment, however, a mirror of the passing and changing sentiment of American society regarding penology. The lower courts can look into that mirror as well as we can; and what we saw 15 years ago bears no necessary relationship to what they see today. Since they are not looking at the same text, but at a different scene, why should our earlier decision control their judgment?
However sound philosophically, this is no way to run a legal system. We must disregard the new reality that, to the extent our Eighth Amendment decisions constitute something more than a show of hands on the current Justices' current personal views about penology, they purport to be nothing more than a snapshot of American public opinion at a particular point in time (with the timeframes now shortened to a mere 15 years). We must treat these decisions just as though they represented real law, real prescriptions democratically adopted by the American people, as conclusively (rather than sequentially) construed by this Court. Allowing lower courts to reinterpret the Eighth Amendment whenever they decide enough time has passed for a new snapshot leaves this Court's decisions without any force--especially since the "evolution" of our Eighth Amendment is no longer determined by objective criteria. To allow lower courts to behave as we do, "updating" the Eighth Amendment as needed, destroys stability and makes our case law an unreliable basis for the designing of laws by citizens and their representatives, and for action by public officials. The result will be to crown arbitrariness with chaos."
The Court is a Rogue Branch of government, and an enemy of our Liberties, operating in seditious contempt of the Constitution.*
(*The American Constitution, that is; the Court is however in full compliance with the new European Constitution, which it has 'taken the liberty' (heh) of ratifying before the Europeans have even ratified it themselves.)