Thursday, December 29, 2005

Did you hear the one...

...about two Swedes, a Finn and a Somali, who walked into a bar raped a woman? Well, it's not very funny. And it's not really true. But it's how people talk when they're desperately trying to convince themselves that what they see happening before their eyes isn't really happening; or when they've got insane hate-speech laws that force them to pretend that what's happening isn't.

(H/T: Murray at Silent Running)

Finally, Some Sanity From the Courts

The grinch hasn't got his claws in everywhere. A panel of the 6th circuit recently issued a decision in ACLU v Mercer County, including this:
the ACLU makes repeated reference to “the separation of church and state.” This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state. See Lynch, 465 U.S. at 673; Lemon, 403 U.S. at 614; Zorach v. Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, 312 (1952); Brown v. Gilmore, 258 F.3d 265, 274 (4th Cir. 2001); Stark v. Indep. Sch. Dist., No. 640., 123 F.3d 1068, 1076 (8th Cir. 1997); see also Capitol Square, 243 F.3d at 300 (dismissing strict separatism as “a notion that simply perverts our history”). Our Nation’s history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and in some cases, accommodation of religion. See, e.g., Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983) (upholding legislative prayer); McGowan v. Maryland, 366 U.S. 420 (1961) (upholding Sunday closing laws); see also Lynch, 465 U.S. at 674 (“There is an unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life from at least 1789.”); Capitol Square, 243 F.3d at 293-99 (describing historical examples of governmental involvement with religion). After all, “[w]e are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Zorach, 343 U.S. at 313. Thus, state recognition of religion that falls short of endorsement is constitutionally permissible.
For an organisation that claims to hold the first amendment dear, it would behoove the ACLU to stick to its actual language, rather than drag in a phrase like “separation of church and state” that is more at home in KKK propaganda than in the constitution.

(H/T: Major Scarlet at Silent Running)

do-mes-tic

Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French domestique, from Latin domesticus, from domus
1: of or relating to the household or the family <domestic economy> <domestic violence>
2: of, relating to, or originating within a country and especially one's own country <domestic politics> <domestic wines> <domestic spying>
(slightly adapted from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

So how does spying on international calls and email come to be continually referred to as "domestic"? Heard it again on NPR this morning, hence this peeved post. Plus, I hadn't posted anything in a while...

Friday, December 23, 2005

How To Get Disbarred, In One Easy Lesson

Patterico has this story of a criminal defense laywer who suborned perjury - in writing!

To compound the stupidity, wait for him to claim that the emails are privileged, and his client had no right to turn them over to the authorities...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Bill Bradford RIP

I just learned that RW Bradford, founder and editor of Liberty magazine, died last week. I've been reading Liberty for about 15 years, and I've been a subscriber for nearly 12 years. I've found it mostly informative, somtimes infuriating, and nearly always interesting. I often found myself arguing with articles and editorials, and in fact when I started blogging here, I intended to write about each issue as it came out, especially the bits I strongly disagreed with (and every month there were always at least something in that category).

It was in Liberty that I read Ron Paul's justification, from a right-to-life perspective, of legalising RU428. And in Liberty I learned about what was going on inside the Libertarian Party in the late '90s and early '00s. Liberty taught me that there is no such species as the Northern Spotted Owl, that Rose Wilder Lane ghost-wrote The Little House on the Pairie for her mother, and how HL Mencken really felt about Jews.

Bradford took an extreme isolationist stand on foreign policy, opposing every USAn military action, it seemed, ever, but he also published pro-war articles and opinions, if they were well reasoned, and came from a libertarian perspective. And he published articles on the Israeli situation that took the side of the "Palestinians", including one by Dean Ahmad which almost led me to cancel my subscription, but I couldn't bring myself to do that.

For all that, thank you Mr Bradford, and wherever your new journey takes you, ride free!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Excuse me, I'm having a fanboy moment.

One of the coolest people in the world has just started a blog. Here are his reasons for "finally getting around to starting a blog". The purpose is to get feedback on new ideas, which can help spot errors before too much gets built on them.

Neo Warmonger isn't the first blog to link to it (I learned about it from Gary McGath), but it's got to be one of the first.

How to destroy a police force

Former NSW Police detective Tim Priest describes how to destroy a police force, and create a race riot.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

This is interesting...

Steven Hayes (via Instapundit):
Much of today's debate about the threat posed three years ago by Saddam Hussein's Iraq is based on past assessments by U.S. intelligence agencies that we now know had no real sources on the ground in Iraq. The Bush administration seems remarkably uninterested in discovering, now that we have reams of material from Saddam's regime, what the actual terror-related and WMD-related activities of that regime were. But as the political debate of recent weeks makes clear, answering these questions remains central to the debate over the war.
So let me get this straight. We thought we knew what was going on in there, but when we got there we found that everything we thought turned out to be wrong; black mark for us. But meanwhile we have also found out what really was going on, and that doesn't count for anything.

Time for the Airing of Grievances

Everyone who reads this site knows how fed up I am with the Republicans' spending habits. And they also know that all of us support the Club for Growth. So here's a link to the Club's Festivus Airing of Grievances with the spend-happy Congress. Remember, Festivus isn't over until you pin an Economic RINO!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

"The Panic Over Iraq"/Dongzhou

Norman Podhoretz 's must read. The chutzbah of Zbigniew Brzezinski & Brent Scowcroft critiquing this adminstrations' foreign policy is jaw dropping. Even reliable 'wingers in my circle of aquantance have to critize Bush (Is that you Monty?). It's the CW, the zeitgeist. The post war planning, disbanding of the police, etc. etc . Prima facia incompetence by an president that can't find Iraq on a map.

The conventional wisdom on Iraq/Bush is not just wrong, but the spasm of a failed worldview. The Dongzhou massacre won't fire up any demonstrations on the left. Andrew Sullivan will say the right things but won't match his fury against water-boarding terrorists because this really isn't about human rights violations. It's anti-western/anti-Americanism/anti-semitism circa 1933. Some portion of the 'left' would make common cause with head-hackers, for the enemy is us.

This is a media war. (Is there any way to understand Sharon but through this prism?). I can thus understand the McCain amendment, but's it's wrong headed and weak where we should be strong. A healthy culture at war would not concede such moral culpability. We would be (will be) attacked by the 'left' notwithstanding. Better to win big and keep advancing:
Onward to Iran. Who's with me?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

What do they teach them at these schools?

Australian university students have finally been freed from compulsory union membership, with the help of independent senator Steve Fielding. The student unions, which for decades have been controlled by extreme leftist "activists", and supported by the compulsory "contributions" of students who have no interest either in politics or in anything else the union has to offer, are understandably not impressed. Shortly after the vote, Senator Fielding's office was vandalised:
Monash University Student Association president Nick Richardson [...] said he did not know anything about the vandalism of Senator Fielding's office, but believed it would have been the work of students. Robert Nicholas, education officer for the Queensland branch of the National Student Union, said the vandalism of Senator Fielding's office was a legitimate expression of students' anger at the bill. "He has made himself a political target by voting for the legislation so he'll have to live with the consequences," he said.
To quote Professor Digory Kirke, "Bless me, what do they teach them at these schools?".

Friday, December 09, 2005

His Poor Mother

Tzachi Hanegbi, who took over as temporary Likud leader two weeks ago, after Sharon turned his coat, has decided to follow him into his new party.

My first and only thought is: His poor mother.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Blanco fiddled...

...while New Orleans drowned. The Junkyard Blogger hasn't forgotten about Katrina and its aftermath, even if the rest of the world has. He's still turning over rocks, and noting what scurries out.
The federal response wasn’t perfect, but at least it was a response to the actual storm that was killing and threatening others. Blanco’s response, at least as described in the internal communications, was primarily to the political storm that engulfed her personally. She put politics before responsibility; Bush put responsibility before politics.

Tell me again...

...about how the anti-war left "supports the troops"

"Communications Breakdown"

So Connecticut had a major bomb scare, and nobody bothered to tell Homeland Security, who had no clue it was happening until they saw it on the news. Just as the New Orleans city authorities started sending people to take shelter in the Convention Center, but didn't bother telling FEMA. Michael Brown was lambasted for not having known about the situation at the Convention Center before the networks reported it. Look, it's very simple. If you don't tell people, how are they supposed to know? And if they don't take control of a situation, because nobody bothered to tell them that it existed, whose fault is that? If your house is on fire and you don't call the fire brigade, don't blame them when they don't magically appear to put it out.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Omnibus Poll?

Isn't that when you ask commuters for their opinions?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

When It Comes to Spending, Most House Republicans are RINO'S

Milhouse recently posted an item about how some RINO's and the Dems blocked an earmark-less Labor-HHS-Spending bill. He pointed it out as an example of why we need more Republicans in the House and that we need to clear out the RINO's. We do indeed need to clear out the fiscal RINO's, but unfortunately, they're the one's who would benefit from an increase in the Republican majority. They're the ones who run the House. And they have been spending like mad. Despite the occasional good move, such as the non-earmarked bill and the anger over the "Bridge to Nowhere", there is still little fiscal sanity in either House of Congress, and no true fiscal conservative seems to have any source of power. With domestic spending rising as it has over the last 10 years, a non-earmarked bill seems like a quaint, if rare, gesture. It certainly won't make me change my mind that the current Republican's need a shake up, and I won't lose much sleep if they lose control of either the Senate or the House. The President hasn't shown much leadership in the fiscal realm either, so it makes little difference who is running Congress. When all the Republican's are fiscal RINO's, are the even Republican's anymore? My crisis of conscience continues unabated.