Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Mere Kelo-Insanity 

"It is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects --military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub,a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden --that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time."--C.S. Lewis

Friday, June 24, 2005

"Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house."--God. 


"The Tenth Commandment sends a message to socialists, to egalitarians, to people obsessed with fairness, to American presidential candidates, to everyone who believes that wealth should be redistributed. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell."-- P.J. O'Rourke

EVERY TIME the the gavel comes down on a new session of the Supreme Court, our old liberties come under assault.

Only a court operating in seditious contempt of the Actual Constitution could take a phrase from the Bill of Rights limiting government's power against individuals and turn it into a Bill of Government's Rights over individuals.

The Fifth Amendment: ..."nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

If stealing property from its lawful owner and fencing to a new owner because that new owner will give you a larger cut of the booty constitutes a 'public use', then our bathrooms are public pay-toilets. And why would a predatory buyer offer "just" compensation if he knows he can get the city council to take your property anyway?

And have you noticed how the Fifth Amendment's protections for criminal defendants are always being expanded, multiplied and enlarged--we're now told they even apply to bin Laden...and yet the Amendment's protections for law-abiding property-owners are always being contracted, divided and shrunk?

Timothy Sandefur:

"In one especially notorious case, billionaire Donald Trump convinced the government of Atlantic City, N.J., to condemn the home of an elderly widow so that he could build a limousine parking lot. As attorney Jennifer Kruckeberg puts it, "Whether you know it or not, your house is for sale. Corporations, using cities as their personal real estate agents, are proposing the following assignment: 'Find me your most prominent location, get rid of what is on it, help me pay for it, and maybe you will be lucky enough to have me move to your city.' Such is the state of the current eminent domain power."

That elderly widow prevailed against Trump. But the Supreme Court just threw the widow's suitcases out on the lawn.

This is not a good deal even for corporations--after all, if the government can steal your home and sell it to a corporation, it can later re-steal it from that company and sell it to another. There is no honor among thieves.

Help is on the way. Harold Johnson and Timothy Sandefur quote Judge Janice Rogers Brown:

"Private property, already an endangered species in California, is now entirely extinct in San Francisco," she observed. The City had become a "neo-feudal regime." She reprimanded fellow jurists who automatically give a pass to confiscatory land-use restrictions. "Once again a majority of this court has proved that 'if enough people get together and act in concert, they can take something and not pay for it.' But theft is theft. Theft is theft even when the government approves of the thievery."

"In one of the few uses of the word, ever, in the history of American case law, Brown called San Francisco a "kleptocracy." She excoriated the city's refusal to acknowledge that "the free use of private property is just as important as ... speech, the press, or the free exercise of religion.""

Judge Brown is exactly right. This is the 'Road to Serfdom'...without the road!

According to Justice Stevens, there's just no end to the good that government can do if we'd just get the hell out of their way. And no, it's not enough just to re-sculpt neighborhoods--they also wish to re-sculpt entire societies.

After a busy morning of crushing our actual, enumerated and ancient rights, there's still plenty of time left in the day to discover new ones, such as Voting Rights for Undocumented Transgendered Snail Darters. For example, those same five "Justices" who voted for 'Kelo' are also hoping to invent and impose same-sex 'marriage' on an unwilling country.

In the final analysis, this is not about corporations or federalism or even private property.

It's about whether words mean what they mean...or whether they mean the opposite of what they mean.

Essentially, it's about whether we are going to rule or be ruled.

The Supreme Court has just promulgated the Reverse O'Rourke Doctrine; its clear and concise message to ordinary citizens: "Go to Hell".

But don't get too comfy there, John Q.;

...someone might offer them a better price.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Confirm John Bolton 


Q: What's wrong with this sentence:

"He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, provided three fifths of the Senators present concur..." ?

A: I inserted the phrase "provided three fifths of the Senators present concur".

And so did the United States Senate.

According to the Constitution, Ambassador John Bolton was confirmed yesterday in 54-38 vote. But the Senate isn't operating under the Constitution, but rather under its anti-constitutional 60-vote filibuster rule.

This is the same sentence in our Constitution that also demands an up or down vote for judicial nominees--thanks, Senator McCain. And this is the second time he has received enough votes. And is it just me or does the statement " The Yeas are 54, the Nays are 38...the motion fails" create cognitive dissonance?

So why do we need John Bolton?

Mike Krempasky :

"When Bolton was an intern in the Nixon White House, John Erlichman gathered the interns to tell them they had to work for Nixon’s re-election. The young Bolton responded, “Work for him? Hell, I don’t even know if I’m going to vote for him!”...the reason we have the much-praised Proliferation Security Iniative and intercepted the shipment of centrifuges that brought Libya to its knees is simple: John Bolton is a better bureaucrat than most bureaucrats. So not only will he be an effective spokesman against the cesspool that is the UN, he will surely effect some actual reform.

Ion Mihai Pacepa explains further:

"I know the United Nations like the back of my hand. And I have good reasons to believe we badly need a tough guy like John Bolton to handle the rudderless bureaucracy that has turned against the very country that wrote the logo of its Charter: “We the People of the United Nations."

I spent two decades of my other life as a Communist spy chief, struggling to transform the U.N. into a kind of international socialist republic. The Communist bloc threw millions of dollars and thousands of people into that gigantic project. ... The U.N. became our petri dish, in which we nurtured a virulent strain of hatred for America, grown from the bacteria of Communism, anti-Semitism, nationalism, jingoism, and victimology. ...

John Bolton not only acts forcefully, he also gets results. He singlehandedly brought about the repeal of U.N. Resolution 3379 of 1975, which stigmatized Zionism as “a form of racism and racial discrimination.” That resolution was the Soviet bloc’s first major “victory” at the U.N. ...U.N. Resolution 3379 lasted 16 years--until Bolton came along. In December 1991, this unknown undersecretary of State had the guts to tell the General Assembly of the U.N. that it had been manipulated by the Communists, and to ask its members to wake up. Bolton was so well-armed with documentation, so bold, and so straightforward that he forced the U.N. to repeal its own resolution by the great margin of 111 to 25. Even my native Romania, until then the epitome of Communism, voted with Bolton."

But before this successful act of public diplomacy, Bolton lobbied quietly, diligently, persuasively and, well, diplomatically behind the scenes for years to achieve this result. Giving lie to the Democrats' claim that he's just a bull in a china shop.

Mike Krempasky lists some of the stakes:

"Not only will the careers of promising young conservatives be snuffed out earlier, there could be a chilling effect on conservatives with any career ambition. The Bolton Lesson could be devastating: don’t rock the boat, and don’t stand on principle, or else."

John Bolton stood up against the Nixon White House. He stood up against anti-semitism and corruption at the UN. He stood up against weapons-proliferating dictators. He stood up against appeasement and for the march of freedom.

In the old days, this would have garnered him about 110 Senate votes. But that was before the Democrats became the desperate, purely reactionary Blame-America-First obstructionist party we see today. A party that puts itself before country.

Democrats are now the Impacted Bowel of the Body Politic. President Bush has called this do-nothingism "the philosophy of the stop sign". True enough. But a stop sign actually denotes a desire for regular order and bespeaks a respect for property & life. Democrats have abandoned regular order, don't much care for property rights...and almost all major Democrats are willing--some even openly eager--to undermine our national security in order to regain power. It's no longer a glitch--it's a feature. A heavily-advertised feature, with mail-in rebates, product tie-ins and celebrity endorsements.

I'm so pissed at my former party, I'm considering joining it again, just so I can quit again. They want a fellow-appeaser at the UN. They want to discredit our foreign policy, which is bringing freedom to millions and making the world a safer place. But above all, they wish to defeat President Bush, make him a lame-duck and regain power in order to reinstitute the Statist Project that was interrupted by 9-11.

We need a strong pro-American voice for reform at the UN, not someone who will endlessly apologize for all of America's alleged sins.

And that voice belongs to John Bolton.

"True Americanism" 

..." It may be, that in ages so remote that we cannot now understand any of the feelings of those who will dwell in them, patriotism will no longer be regarded as a virtue, exactly as it may be that in those remote ages people will look down upon and disregard monogamic marriage; but as things now are and have been for two or three thousand years past, and are likely to be for two or three thousand years to come, the words "home" and "country" mean a great deal. Nor do they show any tendency to lose their significance. At present, treason, like adultery, ranks as one of the worst of all possible crimes."

"One may fall very far short of treason and yet be an undesirable citizen in the community. The man who becomes Europeanized, who loses his power of doing good work on this side of the water, and who loses his love for his native land, is not a traitor; but he is a silly and undesirable citizen. He is as emphatically a noxious element in our body politic as is the man who comes here from abroad and remains a foreigner. Nothing will more quickly or more surely disqualify a man from doing good work in the world than the acquirement of that flaccid habit of mind which its possessors style 'cosmopolitanism'."

"It is not only necessary to Americanize the immigrants of foreign birth who settle among us, but it is even more necessary for those among us who are by birth and descent already Americans not to throw away our birthright, and, with incredible and contemptible folly, wander back to bow down before the alien gods whom our forefathers forsook. It is hard to believe that there is any necessity to warn Americans that, when they seek to model themselves on the lines of other civilizations, they make themselves the butts of all right-thinking men; and yet the necessity certainly exists to give this warning to many of our citizens who pride themselves on their standing in the world of art and letters, or, perchance, on what they would style their social leadership in the community. It is always better to be an original than an imitation, even when the imitation is of something better than the original; but what shall we say of the fool who is content to be an imitation of something worse? Even if the weaklings who seek to be other than Americans were right in deeming other nations to be better than their own, the fact yet remains that to be a first-class American is fifty-fold better than to be a second-class imitation of a Frenchman or Englishman. As 'a matter of fact, however, those of our countrymen who do believe in American inferiority are always individuals who, however cultivated, have some organic weakness in their moral or mental make-up; and the great mass of our people, who are robustly patriotic, and who have sound, healthy minds, are justified in regarding these feeble renegades with a half-impatient and half-amused scorn." --Teddy Roosevelt, 1894

Friday, June 17, 2005

Terri's Test 


And you don't want to know.

Terri Schindler's autopsy and medical tests have been released. But the most important results are not the ones listed therein.

We were told that her meaningless life was not worthy of life. That she was unable to contribute. That she was but a silent vegetable.

Yet she was teaching us the value of human life, and what it means to be truly human and humane. What's that worth?

We tested her, but in reality, it was she who was testing us.

And we failed the test.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


To all the soldiers, sailors. airmen & Marines at Guantanamo:

Thank you all for your service. We owe you big time, and we certainly owe you much better than you're getting.This American is grateful and proud of each and every one of you.

Let me take a moment to apologize for the likes of CBS' Bob Scheiffer, who thinks you are the moral equivalent of North Vietnamese prison guards. And Senators Durbin & Leahy, who call you Nazi concentration-campers. I can't really describe how I feel about these low-life bastards without resorting to the foulest kind of language imaginable, so I guess I'll refrain. Honorless Commie c*ck-suckers. Oops.

But I can say how I feel about your service and your devotion to duty and the sacrifices you make, that, ironically, make it possible for those pond-scum politicians and media whores to second, third and fouth-guess you from the comfort & safety of their plush offices and studios.

Thanks again for what you do everyday. And know that you are supported by millions of Americans who may not have access to a microphone, but do have access to the Author of our Liberties, the liberties that you defend so well. God bless you all.

Rock on.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

And speaking of speaking of 


Mark Steyn on China: "If a blogger attempts to use the words "freedom" or "democracy" or "Taiwan independence" on Microsoft's new Chinese internet portal, he gets the message: "This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech." How pathetic is that? Not just for the Microsoft-spined Corporation, which should be ashamed of itself, but for the Chinese government, which pretends to be a world power but is terrified of words."

Lileks on the Gender Wars: ""We are watching the birth of a hybrid man. ... Why not put on a pink-flowered shirt and try out a partner-swapping club?" asked Le Louet.

Perhaps because you’ll look like a florist ad and contract the clap? There’s your modern lap: FTDs and STDs. I hate to break it to these theorists, but it does not take guts for a young man to want to have multiple sex partners. It takes guts to settle down and have a family and rein in the roaming libido."

P.J. O'Rourke reads the Euro-Constitution so you don't have to: "There was nothing in the stores but European stuff at European prices, and, anyway, the stores were, in European fashion, closed most of the time. I began to get American thoughts about jet skis, water park slides, and vast air-conditioned malls. Guadeloupe is lovely. However, there isn't much to do but eat. Every third building seems to be a restaurant. I chose one of the most prepossessing establishments. The Big Mac was delicious."

Steve H. channels Hunter Thompson : "They’re going to pack my ashes in a giant cannon and shoot them over my ranch. Where’s the fun in that? Have you ever tried to throw cremation ashes? The ballistics are pathetic. I’ll blow back in their faces and choke them in front of the TV cameras.

I learned that little lesson from paying to have Jerry Garcia removed from a brand-new Cardigan."

One can only hope Sonny Barger shows up at the First Annual Pitkin County Death-Fest & Vicious Swine Roast, commandeers the microphone while Johnny Depp cowers in the Pineal Gland Sno-Cone booth, and reads aloud the entire volume of "The Collected Speeches of Hubert H. Humphrey". In Samoan.

Bring the kids!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

And speaking of 

great writing, James Lileks has created a screedblog so as not to scare the children and horses, a place "where polarizing grumpy reactionary drivel can be placed in a cordon sanitaire".

Let's go have a look:

"...it surely hurts to see the head of the party jam his foot so far in his mouth that the tassels of his loafers dangle from this buttocks."

Yep. That's a Screedblog.

More Lee Harris 

Mr. Harris of course gained a lot of attention a while back with his essay "Al Qaeda’s Fantasy Ideology". An excerpt:

..."My first encounter with this particular kind of fantasy occurred when I was in college in the late sixties. A friend of mine and I got into a heated argument. Although we were both opposed to the Vietnam War, we discovered that we differed considerably on what counted as permissible forms of anti-war protest. To me the point of such protest was simple — to turn people against the war. Hence anything that was counterproductive to this purpose was politically irresponsible and should be severely censured. My friend thought otherwise; in fact, he was planning to join what by all accounts was to be a massively disruptive demonstration in Washington, and which in fact became one.

My friend did not disagree with me as to the likely counterproductive effects of such a demonstration. Instead, he argued that this simply did not matter. His answer was that even if it was counterproductive, even if it turned people against war protesters, indeed even if it made them more likely to support the continuation of the war, he would still participate in the demonstration and he would do so for one simple reason — because it was, in his words, good for his soul.

What I saw as a political act was not, for my friend, any such thing. It was not aimed at altering the minds of other people or persuading them to act differently. Its whole point was what it did for him."...

Here are excerpts from one of my favorite columns, "Providence and Al Gore":

..."I had admired Gore's father, one of the south's most distinguished Senators, and, like many southerners, I assumed that the apple could not have fallen too far from the tree -- and certainly it never occurred to me that it could have landed and rolled all the way across town.

But it did -- a fact that I learned about three o'clock in the morning after the Election of 2000, when I woke up to hear that Gore had conceded the election to Bush, and then had called him back to tell him, Gosh, gee-wiz, he had changed his mind.

My first thought was: You simply don't do that. It is a violation of the code of a gentleman -- as corny as that might sound nowadays. And it disturbed me greatly, though in this case, as in many others, it was not at once clear to me why the retraction struck me as so intuitively wrong; and I went back to sleep naively thinking the media would slaughter Gore the next day for having done such a thing the night before.

I was soon disabused of my illusions about the media. None of the pleasant faces I saw on CNN or the other news channels seemed to suggest the slightest hint of disapproval for Gore's conduct. (I did not then know that FOX news even existed.) What could be more natural, these pleasant faces seemed to suggest, than retracting one's concession in a Presidential Election?

So I started to ask myself, Was I crazy? Certainly my response was not due to any partisan bias, since I had voted for Gore myself -- voted, I hasten to add, for the image of Gore that I had developed prior to the retraction. In which case, why was I so deeply troubled by what he had done?
To concede to an opponent is to make a promise to him -- the promise that, on my word of honor, I will do nothing to challenge your position as the winner. It is not to make a prediction, such as, "It looks like you will get more electoral votes than I." After all, Gov. Bush could have figured this out quite easily on his own, and did not need a call from Gore to see what any fool could see by watching TV. But what no TV could have declared to Bush is that Al Gore had, after suitable deliberation and reflection, conceded the election to him, thereby bringing to a formal and even ritualistic conclusion yet another American election.

You cannot unconcede an election, just as you cannot take back your marriage vows, or unmake a promise. These are all acts that, once performed, create a wholly novel state-of-affairs, one in which Do-overs are no longer possible -- at least not for grown ups.

This accounts for Gov. Bush's shock at Gore's second phone call -- what Gore, in his ethical oblivion, referred to as Bush's "getting snippy" with him. From Bush's point of view, Gore's retraction was simply unthinkable -- it was a violation of the gentleman's code that he quite naturally assumed must have been instilled into Gore."...

Well said, sir.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

With this ring... 

Lee Harris, excellent as always:

..."The high solemnity of marriage has been transgenerationally wired into our visceral system. We must take it seriously and treat it solemnly, and this “must” must appear to us at the level of second nature; it must possess the quality of being ethically obvious. Marriage must not be mocked or ridiculed. But can marriage keep its solemnity now? Who will tell the rising generation that there are standards they must not fail to meet if they wish to live in a way that their grandfathers could respect?

This is how those fond of abstract reasoning can destroy the ethical foundations of a society without anyone’s noticing it. They throw up for debate that which no one before ever thought about debating. They take the collective visceral code that has bound parents to grandchildren from time immemorial, in every culture known to man, and make of it a topic for fashionable intellectual chatter.

Ask yourself what is so secure about the ethical baseline of our current level of civilization that it might not be opened up for question, or what deeply cherished way of doing things will suddenly be cast in the role of a “residual personal prejudice.”
We are witnessing the triumph of a Newspeak in which those who simply wish to preserve their own way of life, to pass their core values down to their grandchildren more or less intact, no longer even have a language in which they can address their grievances. In this essay I have tried to produce the roughest sketch of what such language might look like and how it could be used to defend those values that represent what Hegel called the substantive class of community — the class that represents the ethical baseline of the society and whose ethical solidity and unimaginativeness permit the high-spirited experimentation of the reflective class to go forward without the risk of complete societal collapse.

If the reflective class, represented by intellectuals in the media and the academic world, continues to undermine the ideological superstructure of the visceral code operative among the “culturally backward,” it may eventually succeed in subverting and even destroying the visceral code that has established the common high ethical baseline of the average American — and it will have done all of this out of the insane belief that abstract maxims concerning justice and tolerance can take the place of a visceral code that is the outcome of the accumulated cultural revolution of our long human past.

The intelligentsia have no idea of the consequences that would ensue if middle America lost its simple faith in God and its equally simple trust in its fellow men. Their plain virtues and homespun beliefs are the bedrock of decency and integrity in our nation and in the world. These are the people who give their sons and daughters to defend the good and to defeat the evil. If in their eyes this clear and simple distinction is blurred through the dissemination of moral relativism and an aesthetic of ethical frivolity, where else will human decency find such willing and able defenders?

Even the most sophisticated of us have something to learn from the fundamentalism of middle America. For stripped of its quaint and antiquated ideological superstructure, there is a hard and solid kernel of wisdom embodied in the visceral code by which fundamentalists raise their children, and many of us, including many gay men like myself, are thankful to have been raised by parents who were so unshakably committed to the values of decency, and honesty, and integrity, and all those other homespun and corny principles. Reject the theology if you wish, but respect the ethical fundamentalism by which these people live: It is not a weakness of intellect, but a strength of character.

Middle Americans have increasingly tolerated the experiments in living of people like myself not out of stupidity, but out of the trustful magnanimity that is one of the great gifts of the Protestant ethos to our country and to the world. It is time for us all to begin tolerating back. The first step would be a rapid retreat from even the slightest whisper that marriage ever was or ever could be anything other than the shining example that most Americans still hold so sacred within their hearts, as they have every right to do. They have let us imagine the world as we wish; it is time we begin to let them imagine it as they wish."...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Just Another June 6th 

President Reagan:

..."And behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there. These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. And these are the heroes who helped end a war. Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your "lives fought for life and left the vivid air signed with your honor."

I think I know what you may be thinking right now -- thinking "we were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day." Well everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.

Lord Lovat was with him -- Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, "Sorry, I'm a few minutes late," as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.

There was the impossible valor of the Poles, who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold; and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.

All of these men were part of a roll call of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore; The Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots' Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's "Matchbox Fleet," and you, the American Rangers.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief. It was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead, or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt."...

Right then. Right now.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

True North 

Ollie's no potted plant, either:

...."Now that they are back from their five-day "Memorial Day Weekend," they have just 30 days left on their legislative calendar (meaning, "work") before they "recess" until after Labor Day! Hopefully, the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry don't get wind of this "grueling" schedule. They are on a 13-month tour in Iraq, having reported to the war from a 13-month tour of duty in Korea. Unlike members of Congress, these soldiers don't have the option of shirking their duties, arguing over procedural technicalities, throwing tantrums when things don't go their way, blaming others for failures then proclaiming it all "successful," while collecting their paychecks."...

Finger-lickin' good, Colonel.

(via Grim.)

McCain v. Hamilton, Redux 


Sen. McCain and his "Gang of 14":

"A. Future Nominations. Signatories will exercise their responsibilities under the Advice and Consent Clause of the United States Constitution in good faith. Nominees should only be filibustered under extraordinary circumstances, and each signatory must use his or her own discretion and judgment in determining whether such circumstances exist.

B. Rules Changes. In light of the spirit and continuing commitments made in this agreement, we commit to oppose the rules changes in the 109th Congress, which we understand to be any amendment to or interpretation of the Rules of the Senate that would force a vote on a judicial nomination by means other than unanimous consent or Rule XXII.

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.

Such a return to the early practices of our government may well serve to reduce the rancor that unfortunately accompanies the advice and consent process in the Senate.

We firmly believe this agreement is consistent with the traditions of the United States Senate that we as Senators seek to uphold."

Sec. Hamilton and his gang of "Founders & Framers":

"It will be the office of the President to NOMINATE, and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to APPOINT. There will, of course, be no exertion of CHOICE on the part of the Senate. They may defeat one choice of the Executive, and oblige him to make another; but they cannot themselves CHOOSE, they can only ratify or reject the choice of the President. They might even entertain a preference to some other person, at the very moment they were assenting to the one proposed, because there might be no positive ground of opposition to him; and they could not be sure, if they withheld their assent, that the subsequent nomination would fall upon their own favorite, or upon any other person in their estimation more meritorious than the one rejected. Thus it could hardly happen, that the majority of the Senate would feel any other complacency towards the object of an appointment than such as the appearances of merit might inspire, and the proofs of the want of it destroy."

Advatage, as always: Mr. Hamilton.

(Tip o' the Tri-corner: Mr. Cohen.)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

If Guantanamo is a "Gulag", 


Two can play at "emotive" hyperbole, you see.

In reality, Gitmo is a picnic compared to prisoner camps throughout history. Medical care. Dental care. Korans to read. Exercise. "Culturally-appropriate meals". Now, scumbag lawyers, too. Amnesty won't be happy until Gitmo is transformed into a "Stalag 13", where their precious little "Hogan's Jihadis" are able to conduct war from behind bars.

In fact, Amnesty International is a group of America-hating leftists and borderline Communists, who are at best neutrals in the War For Civilization. Like the ACLU, they occasionally get one right--but they both seem to be working overtime to fix that. On the theory that "The enemy of my enemy is my client."

Did I say "borderline"?

The real "gulag", of course, is on the other side of Guantanamo's barbed wire; the captive nation of Cuba under Castro. The promiscuous use of the word robs us of moral vocabulary needed to recognize, confront and then defeat the truly evil.

Such as the press corps:

ABC's Terry Moran: "Mr. President..."

President Bushwhocriticssaid: "Terry."

ABC's Terry Moran: "Thank you, sir. Mr. President, recently, Amnesty International said you have established "a new gulag" of prisons around the world, beyond the reach of the law and decency. I'd like your reaction to that, and also your assessment of how it came to this, that that is a view not just held by extremists and anti-Americans, but by groups that have allied themselves with the United States government in the past -- and what the strategic impact is that in many places of the world, the United States these days, under your leadership, is no longer seen as the good guy."

President Bushwhocriticssaid: "'How did it come to this', Terry? Well, a long, long time ago in the Garden of Eden, there was a man named "Adam". Adam Clymer. And his help-mate--we'll call her "Maureen". There was also a serpent named "Satan"--but his friends called him "Pinch". So one day, 'Pinch' says to Adam and Maureen: "Ye are as journalists--let's go manufacture Bush a 'crisis'!..."

Okay. I made that last part up. Sorta'.

By the way, Republican presidents do not hold "press conferences"; they participate in giant Gotcha'!-sessions, in which aspiring editorialists called "reporters" representing leading News Manufacturing organizations present their own liberal talking points in the form of "questions".

While we're looking at words, what about the words 'Amnesty' and 'International'?

I don't want some international amnesty for common murderers and 7th-century death-cultists, as Amnesty seems to. I want not just amnesty, but freedom for true political prisoners whose only crime is wanting to vote or live in a peaceful democracy. And who are the only ones actually liberating people and creating freedom around the world?

Hint: rhymes with 'None-Hundred and First Nairborne'. And 'Resident Push'.

Calling Gitmo a "new gulag" is a statement that gives lie to itself by its very utterance. True gulag-sponsoring nations don't allow themselves to be described as such by dissenting groups. Yet no member of Amnesty is being sent to any camp.

It's like a ditzy, know-it-all Hollywood actress appearing on the 'Today Show' in the morning, 'Oprah' in the afternoon and 'Charlie Rose' at night--all to claim that she's being silenced. Yeah, I'm lookin' at you, Sarandon--unsurprisingly, another Amnesty spokesperson.

The prison is in your minds, people;

Amnesty yourselves.

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