06 November 2006

On the Eve of St. Nancy Pelosi Day

Tomorrow 100 million Americans or so will go to the polls in local, state and federal elections. The day after Nancy Pelosi stands to be the first woman Speaker of the House. I haven’t seen a poll out there that has the Republicans hold on to the House and only Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard among conservatives has predicted a strong showing of the Republicans.

It makes me wonder what kind of America we will wake up in on Wednesday. The unstinting enthusiasm of the Left and the media—a pleonasm if ever I saw one—seems to have a messianic outlook for Wednesday. They have done everything to reduce reality to one-liners. The election: It’s the War, stupid! (The one in Iraq, in case you’re wondering.) Or this one: It’s the War, stupid! Every time Howard Dean opened his mouth he sounded like he had a stick of dynamite up his rear end because he was much too careful in what he was saying. Could the same man who shouted “yaaaaaaaaaah!” so convincingly suddenly have turned into a sane politician? Doubt it. More likely, NARAL and the ACLU have their hands on the trigger to ignite that dynamite, if Mr Dean doesn’t do his best to steer clear of substantial topics such as abortion, gay marriage, constitutional rights. As long as he keeps bleating, “It’s the War, stupid!” he will live to see another edition of The Nation arrive in his mailbox.

Will America really be better off with a Democratic House (and, God forbid, Senate)? Will it really help to counterbalance the Bush White House? If there are still any conservatives out there who haven’t voted yet, anyone who believes in the Constitution as it was written, not as it is imagined by left-wing visionaries, consider well what you are doing on November 7. Split-ticket voting can seem like a good idea sometimes. And I certainly wouldn’t urge you to vote Republican if you’re more of a Constitution Party person. But you cannot, to my mind, justify strong conservative beliefs with a failure to vote. The two are mutually exclusive.

A Democratic win in Congress will lead to more bureaucracy, a leg-up for every anti-family policy Nancy Pelosi has jotted down in her little black book, more antagonism in politics (driven by the House’s sabotaging of every fart that tries to pass out of the White House) and more jobs for the likes of Joe Wilson at the expense of the American Taxpayer.

I’m quite pessimistic myself but I’m trying to tell myself that it’s just the liberal media’s hyping of these elections that’s making me a half-hearted believer in the opinion polls showing a 230 – 205 Democratic House and a 52 – 48 Democratic Senate. Personally, if I have to make a prediction, I would actually say that the House will be 220 – 215 Democratic (only a slight edge for the Dems) and that the Senate remains Republican by 51-49 seats.

As for Minnesota (where I’m located), I don’t think Mark Kennedy stands a chance to snatch Dayton’s senate seat from Amy Klobuchar. Emily’s List has done too much to bring this pro-abortion professional to the fore. Michele Bachman has a good shot at the congressional seat Mark Kennedy is vacating, though. That is a real toss-up and I sincerely hope that deluded woman Patty Wetterling does not prevail. I deplore the certain election of Nation of Islam minion Keith Ellison as the first Muslim Congressman for Minneapolis. It’s the bluest congressional district in the nation and so Alan Fine stands a chance like a snowball in H.E.7.7. I’m still putting my money (not really, pastor) on Tim Pawlenty for governor. Vote Jeff Johnson for Minnesota Attorney General.

We’ll see what kind of America we’ll wake up in on Wednesday. I hope I won’t feel too blue.

02 September 2006

Outing Joe Wilson, Liar

Talk to the average American on the street and ask them about Ambassador Joe Wilson. Most likely, if you don’t count those brain dead individuals who will be on Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking” segment on The Tonight Show, the comments you will hear about Mr Wilson is that he is the guy who discovered that President Bush lied in the State of the Union. Or something along those lines.

Of course, the popular opinion distributed by the mainstream media and anti-war groups is that Bush lied the country into war when he claimed falsely that Iraq had sought to buy uranium in Niger. Joe Wilson is thought of as the independent diplomacy expert who went to Africa and found this claim to be a complete lie. Never mind that Mr Wilson did no such thing and that Mr Bush’s statement was probably true.

Nevertheless, the much easier, dumbed-down version of reality that is summed up as “Bush lied, people died” remains the one that is promulgated by the mainstream media. Despite the fact that the Washington Post admitted that Mr Wilson was the real liar, you can still go to their website and find sponsored advertisements inviting you to meet Mr Wilson on a cruise in December.

The facts that President Bush is so impopular, that the war in Iraq is so impopular and that the editors of the mainstream media are so left-wing all do a pretty good job of explaining why people like Fred Barnes, who in the Weekly Standard this week—again—completely discredited the national Joe Wilson fairy tale, can simply be dismissed as right-wing extremists who do not dignify a response.

Perhaps it must then be up to the blogosphere to finally get through to the average American with the message that the whole CIA leak scandal had nothing to do with an X-Files-type White House conspiracy to undermine the president’s opponents and institute a right-wing theocracy in the United States. All that happened was that one stupid underling (Armitage) blabbed unthinkingly to a reporter or two and these reporters printed the blab in their papers. Nobody knew, nobody schemed.

And as for Mr Wilson, the Senate Intelligence Committee long ago declared him to be a sloppy and untruthful worker. His trip to Niger uncovered nothing because Mr Wilson basically spent his time in Niger enjoying the hotel jacuzzi without bothering with the actual fact-finding he was supposed to be doing. And oops, he completely missed the fact that in 1999 Iraq did send a trade mission to Niger, headed by Iraq’s top uranium expert. But I’m sure that was just a coincidence: the trade mission probably came to enjoy that hotel jacuzzi they had heard about.

10 August 2006

The Poster Boy of the Shallow Left

In a sense, I am not interested in the story that has dominated the media next to the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. After all, who cares what happens in a Democratic primary in a distant state? As a conservative one may well argue that Ned Lamont and Joe Lieberman are—to use a vernacular expression—“the same difference.” And they are for the most part. As Senator Lieberman reminded us in his appearance on PBS’s News Hour with Jim Lehrer after he lost the primary, he has a very liberal voting record on taxes, environmental policy and social security reform, to name but a few issues. In other words, Lamont or Lieberman will make little difference in many respects.

Yet, on the other hand, the fact that Connecticut Democrats selected Lamont, a prime representative of the Shallow Left, to represent their party on the November ballot indicates that the party as a whole is being tugged very much to the nutty left by what The Weekly Standard refers to as the “nutroots.” The involvement of organizations like The Daily Kos, popular stomping ground for left-wing pseudo-intellectuals, can hardly be overestimated.

The Connecticut primary was defaced by unfair and ad hominem attacks against Sen. Lieberman. Considering the heavy anti-Lieberman involvement from powerful liberal interest groups and their adept use of the always complicit liberal media, this primary was, as an election, much more of a sham than the last two general elections, which Democrats and other liberal movers love to refer to as a “stolen election.” Rather than a primary on the question which Democrat could best represent Connecticut, the Kos crowd turned it into a lynch party for Lieberman. Not the candidates’ platform counted, but the fact that Lieberman needed to be punished for his support for the War in Iraq.

Conservative commentators have been raising their eyebrows about this one for a while now. None of them—myself included—have a great liking for Lieberman. He is the wrong man to represent Connecticut because he goes in for what Senator Rick Santorum in his book It Takes a Family calls No-Fault Freedom.

Lamont is decidedly worse, even if only for the signal it sends to the national Democratic party. The selection of Ned Lamont is a coup by the Loonie Left which is finally trying to take the party. If even avowed liberals like Lieberman are considered too moderate by that crowd, one can only shudder what direction the Democratic Party is going in.

In addition, of course, Lamont represents the cut-and-run policy of those intellectually shallow Democrats who had rather win congressional seats by bringing back loved ones from the battlefield than listen to military experts and do what is necessary to extinguish a growing forest fire in the Middle East. Yes, Iraq is burning, but fires that are not put out tend to spread. Bringing the boys back now may be better for the boys and the families in the short run but will certainly—without a doubt—lead to more casualties in the medium and long-distance future.

So what are the consequences of Lieberman running as an Independent? Democratic Party officials are probably justified in their fears that Lieberman will take votes from Lamont and thus increase the chance that the Republican candidate will take Lieberman’s seat. But that is definitely not a given. The idea of a Republican carrying Connecticut is somewhat unlikely. Connecticut is firmly blue and will almost certainly stay blue.

Lieberman stands a chance, if those voters who did not go out to the primary show up and decide to prefer him over Lamont after all. Although I care for neither of these two, and would advise all conservatives to vote for the appropriate conservative candidate—even if he has no chance of being elected, such as third-party candidates—, it is imperative that Lamont not be elevated to a place where he can do great damage as the puppet of the Loonie Left. Even electing Lieberman would be a powerful rebuke to that dastardly group of conspirators.

02 August 2006

The Crucifixion of Mel Gibson

Hollywood is outraged over Mel Gibson’s behavior. The orthodox Roman Catholic actor, already ostracized for his independent production of The Passion of the Christ, was arrested this past week for drunk driving. But what outraged the politically correct Left Coast Hollywood establishment even more was Mr Gibson’s anti-Semitic statements during his arrest. Together with what they consider the anti-Semitic nature of The Passion, Mr Gibson is now branded an anti-Semite. The media are talking of serious repercussions for the actor, such as becoming ineligible for awards.

I am the last one in the world to condone either the drunk driving or the anti-Semitic remarks, but it seems that Hollywood is a little too trigger happy here. Mr Gibson admits his bad behavior and is repentant. He does not deny his anti-Semitic remarks but has given the very plausible remark that the booze was doing the talking and that he disgraced his family by “saying things he does not believe to be true.”

Mr Gibson will be punished for the drunk driving by the proper authorities. Let’s not call for the public crucifixion of a drunk man merely on basis of the incoherent statements made by him in that state of intoxication, no matter how offensive they may have been. I certainly do not believe that we can now somehow piece together evidence that proves Mel Gibson is a congenital anti-Semite. All the arguments I have heard in favor of that proposal were based on the notion that The Passion of the Christ was offensive to Jews because it portrayed the Jews as guilty for Christ’s crucifixion.

I have not seen the movie (out of principle: I consider visual portrayals of God the Son as a violation of the second commandment), but neither have most of Mr Gibson’s accusers. Yet reading the New Testament account, I can only come to the conclusion that while the Romans did the actual crucifying, the Jewish crowd forced Pontius Pilate’s hand even while he was ready to acquit Jesus. Surely, it would not be disingenuous to attach some guilt to that behavior? That means that Mr Gibson’s portrayal of the events—at least in this respect—is merely biblical and factual and can lead to no conclusions about his personal views. Unless one wanted to accuse all Christians of being anti-Semites? Ah, there’s the rub with Hollywood liberals.

26 July 2006

A Screaming (and False) NYT Headline on Abortion

I guess the Times article isn’t so bad, but the headline “Senate Removes Abortion Option for Young Girls” is a grave distortion of the facts. The law would not make abortions for young girls in any way illegal. In fact, the law has nothing to do with abortion as such. It is a law that protects the rights of parents not to have their children abducted across state lines. Considering that the real crime addressed is abduction, the proposed punishment for the kidnappers of up to one year in prison is lenient, since it is classified as a misdemeanor, rather than a felony.

But the New York Times thinks it is more important to pander to its extremist pro-abortion readership by producing such a screaming and patently false headline. Abortion remains legal—by judicial fiat—even for young girls for whom medical complications are much more likely. And NARAL can relax: these young girls can still go and have their babies killed, even if there are no truly medical complications because girls under 18 can always plead emotional or social hardship and have that declared a medical emergency. (Then again, so can women over 18.) They will then be rewarded by the general cheers of a bunch of crazy middle-aged feminists for this first step on feminist womanhood.

25 July 2006

We Must Stand with Israel

Let there be no doubt about it: in the current conflict between Israel and various Arab groups in Gaza and Lebanon the blame lands squarely and exclusively with the Arab thugs. This is no reflection on other Israeli policies with which I may or may not agree.

The current conflict was triggered by open terrorism by Hizb’allah (commonly known as Hezbollah), Hamas and the puppet masters in Syria and Iran who control these groups. Nor do I believe that Israel’s reaction to the Arab provocations has been disproportionate. Whereas Hezbollah is sending rockets indiscriminately into Israel, hoping to kill and maim as many innocent Israelis as possible, Israel has targeted the infrastructure in places where there would be maximum inconvenience for the terrorists and minimum chance of civilian casualties. One prime example of this Israeli strategy is the bombing of fuel depots at Beirut airport: little chance of innocent civilians being in the way but it immediately disrupted air traffic in Lebanon. It underscores Israel’s measured response.

The US and the West should stand with Israel unconditionally. After all, Israel’s demands are no new demands. They want Hezbollah to be dismantled and disarmed. And it is not like they are being unreasonable in demanding this. The United Nations passed a resolution (Security Council Resolution 1559) to this effect years ago and no one has ever done anything about it. So now that Israel is finally enforcing this UN resolution, it is Israel that is supposed to be the aggressor? Come off it. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and can be no partner in any conference or talk. It must be shunned by government leaders and its members should be hunted down and arrested or killed.

It is especially disheartening that many supposedly moderate regimes in the Middle East are supporting Hezbollah. Even Iraq’s fledgeling government has announced its support for Hezbollah and the Palestinians, blaming the Israelis for everything that is going on now. It is yet another dark cloud over the troubled attempts to set up a responsible democracy in a country wracked by internal strife and terrorism stirred up by foreign (read: Iranian and Syrian) agents.

There is no doubt in my mind that Israel will not solve the conflict “once and for all,” as many naive people phrase it. The Israelis will rattle many cages in the process and stir up trouble in new quarters. I refuse to accept this argument—which I acknowledge—as a reason for Israel to desist from its current actions. Israel has no choice but to stamp out this source of terrorism. Hezbollah’s only aim is to eradicate Israel and drive the Jews into the sea.

Though other anti-Semitic groups will undoubtedly be encouraged on other sides of the Israeli state by the determined military actions of the Israeli government, this brush fire must be extinguished before it becomes a forest fire. Conditions in the Middle East being as they are, this is the only sort of containment one can hope for. Any talk of “cease-fires” or “once and for all” solutions, and arguments based on these views are irresponsible, emotional slogans that will cost hundreds and thousands of lives. Secretary Rice is very correct in perceiving this and refusing to call Israel to stop fighting.

We must stand with Israel in its attempt to destroy Hezbollah, at least for the present. This hydra will return, no matter what, but it could take a while—even if only five or ten years—and this would buy the Middle East some important time to move forward with substantive peace negotiations. That should be the goal because only this route will lead to long-term containment of Islamo-fascist terrorism.

21 July 2006

Stem Cells and the Presidential Veto

The New York Times published a letter of mine about this subject (third letter down). It is clear that my opinion is in the minority here and that the Times seems to think I and the president are in the minority in the country, too. Ah well, we’ll throw in a gratuitous reference to the War in Iraq to discredit the president and ridicule this incomprehensible trait he has that he calls “morality.” Now, what’s that again?

17 July 2006

The Courts and Guantanamo

Well, I have been busy for a while. No time to update the blog. But here is a link to an article I penned on the recent Hamdan ruling by the Supreme Court (you'll need Acrobat Reader). A Dutch translation of it was published in the Dutch daily newspaper Nederlands Dagblad on July 5.

Needless to say, I was not too impressed by all the grandstanding by Democrats and their allies in the media over the way the Supreme Court "disciplined" the bad little boy of the class, George W. Bush. I have my own cavils with W.'s treatment of detainees in Guantanamo, but one cannot help but wonder what is worse: attack by terrorists from abroad or an underhanded power grab by unelected judges. The country will just as much cease to be democratic and turn into a dictatorship either way.

10 June 2006

Hillary Shrillary

Ever wanted to read a good summary of where Hillary Clinton stands politically? Then don’t read The Washington Post’s May 30 article by Dan Balz about Senator Clinton. Instead, go ahead and read the thoughtful article by L. Brent Bozel III. Nope, Hillary really is not the centrist Democrat the mainstream media have pretended she is. She is at least as much a left extremist as John Kerry, possibly as bad as Ted Kennedy. Or worse. She will vote against anything rational and reasonable and will support any cause advanced by NARAL and the ACLU. You may well call her a puppet senator. Bought and paid for and others are pulling the strings. And people talk about electing her to the White House? I wonder who is the ventriloquist doing the talking here.

It is really baffling how people refuse to see the rampant liberal bias in the nation’s media. I recently looked at my browser bookmarks and noticed that the internet thugs had sneaked in a few free bookmarks with my latest browser update, so that the always crazy alternet.org soap box is now listed as one my preferred media outlets. Don’t you believe it. However, I think I’ll leave the bookmark in my list. I can always do with a laugh.

To make a short story long, when, curious what had driven AlterNet into the meanstream, I visited their marbled halls, I noticed the special coverage section on the rampant conservative bias in the nation’s media. I’m still laughing. In a long, very shrill article about the anti-Democratic bias of the media, specifically about the maltreatment of John Murtha, no mention is made of the fact that Rep. Murtha appeared on CNN three times in one day, each time being treated as if he were still a respected veteran instead of a dribbling senile old man who has completely lost his marbles. Ah well.

05 June 2006

Gay Marriage Amendment

It is almost unbearable to watch the discussions on TV news shows about the same-sex marriage amendment which is being debated in the Senate today. One gay activist after the other is paraded on the nation’s liberal media platforms, with a ‘liberal’ sprinkling of so-called ‘actual gay families,’ to underscore the evil of discrimination against a ‘whole class of people.’ I had to switch CNN off this afternoon.

In the meantime, Democratic senators huff and puff that the whole discussion is a waste of time because other, more important concerns (that are more politically convenient for liberals) are not on the agenda: the war in Iraq, illegal wiretapping of US citizens, immigration reform, etc. Of course, all these senators make sure they use up the full allotted speaking time. Just to make a point about exactly how much of a waste of time this marriage amendment is.

I heard Senator Leahy complain that under US law the question of marriage is a state matter and could never be brought to a federal court anyway. So why are the Republicans suddenly abandoning federalism to ram a federal law through the voters’ throats? Besides, he said, if the amendment passed, the same “Republican judges” (his actual words) of whom the Republicans are so afraid would have to do the judicial mopping up of lawsuits arising out of the amendment. Of course, Leahy had argued that since the majority of federal judges have been appointed by Republican presidents, these judges themselves are Republicans too. In your dreams.

I believe a constitutional amendment against gay marriage is necessary. I am not sure whether this amendment is the one to go for because it does not go far enough and does not rule out civil unions. And that is quite apart from the fact that the amendment will not pass. For constitutional amendments 67 votes are needed. There are barely 55 votes in the Senate. Yet it is clear that within a few years, judges will rule in favor of gay activists and rule existing state bans unconstitutional. That is not so much because these bans are in fact unconstitutional but because many judges, who are on the bench already, believe in the “living Constitution” theory, which teaches that the Constitution means what the ACLU decrees it means. So, if the First Amendment talks about the government not passing any laws infringing on the freedom of religion, this living Constitution theory clarifies this text for the modern American (thanks to the ACLU) to read that Christians can only worship if they do so behind closed doors in their church building and do not profess their religious beliefs in public.

As we can see, with this sort of irrational philosophy being swallowed whole—because politically convenient—by scores and droves of jurists, even a constitutional amendment is not safe. But there is no better defense against the hallucinations of the gay rights movement. Leahy’s argument that the federal courts have no jurisdiction is absolutely laudable. I agree with him. But while the ACLU might agree that now outdated theories of the Constitution (theories that hold to the idea that the text means what it says it means) do also lead to this conclusion, more evolved human beings know innately that federal judges have the moral duty to ignore such narrow legalistic views and come to the aid of suppressed minorities. A higher law trumps petty rules such as the Constitution.

This state of affairs is pathetic. It means that the Democrats are in essence right when they say the amendment is superfluous. Yet the amendment is necessary just to bolt the door against activist judges. As the old Latin saying goes, “Who will guard the guards?” so the modern American saying goes, “Who will keep judges’ fingers out of the law?” If everyone played by the rules, such draconian measures would not be necessary. But Liberalism has long thrown out the rule book and plays only by its own rules.

13 May 2006

The Brewing Gay Power Grab

It is a sad time we live in when one has to start with this announcement: I know and have known quite a few gay people and get along with almost all of them.

I say this merely to forestall the accusation of homophobia from those on the loonie left fringe. Disagreeing with the gay rights’ movement is not a crime yet but it most likely will be soon, judging by recent developments in society. The thought police over at the Human Rights Campaign and their agents across the political establishment have now managed to squeeze Boston Catholic Charities out of the adoption business. Their method is as shocking as the headlines announcing the charity’s withdrawal as an adoption agency: by imposing pro-gay compliance laws on society.

A highly recommended feature article by Maggie Gallagher in the May 15 issue of Weekly Standard explains exactly how Boston Catholic Charities were forced to throw in the towel. Needless to say, the judicial tyranny that reigns in Massachussetts has much to do with it. When that state’s Supreme Court ruled that restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples was unconstitutional homophobia, it automatically granted gay couples the right to adopt. The Catholic charity, which excludes such couples from their adoption services, thereby came to be in violation of Massachussetts’ non-discrimination laws. Rather than wait for the first lawsuit to be brought against them, they decided to save the money and disband the adoption service altogether. A sad but wise move because already the gay rights’ movement is so powerful that a court case would have been a long drawn out affair and almost certainly have led to a gay victory in yet another court.

At the same time, gay rights activists elected to the California state Senate have managed to push a bill through the legislature that would make gay indoctrination mandatory in California’s schools. The state assembly is less likely to follow orders from the gay rights lobby, but chances that the bill is approved are not so slim as to laugh it off as another stunt. If it is approved and Gov. Schwarzenegger cannot find the backbone to veto it, children as young as primary school age could be taught the virtues of the same-sex lifestyle as soon as 2012—by government decree.

These are very scary developments. In the name of equality, the gay rights movement is twisting more and more political and judicial arms to impose dictatorial laws requiring compliance with the gay goose step on more and more parts of the country. Make no mistake, the California bill and the Massachussetts gay marriage ruling are as much symptoms of the breakdown of democracy as any other example of dictatorial repression you can think of.

Of course, what gay rights activists are saying is that gays are persecuted by unjust laws in the same way that black people were persecuted by Jim Crow. It’s a despicable accusation. African Americans were denied equal rights in equal situations. This is not the case with gay people. It is already illegal to discriminate against gay people in situations where sexual preference is irrelevant. Gay people already have the right to marry—just as soon as they find an opposite-sex partner they can go to any justice of the peace to get married, like any heterosexual person. Gay people are not denied anything that heterosexual people are not denied also.

It is important to realize that gay rights activists want extra and new rights specifically for them. Not only do they want to live together with their same-sex lover (against which there are no laws), they also want to have the state-recognized rights and benefits of heterosexual marriage, despite the fact that they do not qualify for the terms and conditions of marriage. Already many states and corporations award health benefits to unmarried couples of the same sex. Interestingly enough, these same institutions deny these same benefits to unmarried couples of the opposite sex. Special privileges for special people.

It seems that, in the words of George Orwell, the gay rights movement believes that “some animals are more equal than others” after all.

11 May 2006

‘Othercott’ the “Da Vinci Code” Movie: See “Over the Hedge”

I will be brief about this issue. On May 19 The Da Vinci Code movie opens in theaters across the United States. The book and the movie are a monument of America’s anti-Christian elite. Billed as a spy thriller, the story describes Christianity as one big conspiracy concocted in AD 325. For those of you who don’t worry about this (yet), let me inform you that the story is not considered fiction by most scholars on America’s campuses. In fact, the three prevailing theories used to interpret the New Testament rest on exactly the same premise as The Da Vinci Code. Scholars merely bicker and argue about what parts of the New Testament were written by whom and at what time—naturally ruling out a priori that the authors identified as such in the various Scriptures were the real authors. Anything to debunk the most powerful religion of America, because thumbnosing Christians is very important to the anti-Christian, pro-gay, pro-choice, pro-New Age spirituality liberal elite.

I believe the best way to sink this movie is not to boycott it but to ‘othercott’ it. That is to say, don’t stay home on May 19 and don’t merely protest the movie. Go out to the movie theater and see another movie. Highly recommended is “Over the Hedge,” an animated family movie. Or pick another acceptable movie, to make sure that the Da Vinci Code move does not rank high in the box office results.

Seventy four-year Old Jailed for Pro-Life ‘Activism’

I stumbled into this worrying story from Britain. Edward Atkinson, a 74-year old man, was convicted last week on charges of sending malicious mail and anti-social behavior. The man, described as a militant anti-abortion activist in the London Sunday Times, had sent pictures of aborted fetuses to the chief executive of Queen Elizabeth Hostpital in King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

Not only is it worrying that this man was jailed at all, but that the London newspaper described the incident as “evidence of the shock tactics being used by hardline anti-abortionists.” Americans especially must be somewhat amused by this description since this usually refers bomb-crazed loonies being dragged off by ATF agents from an abortion clinic. Mr. Atkinson’s most active part in his “shock tactics” was licking an envelope and putting a stamp on.

For those of you who had failed to realize that Britain is rapidly becoming a totalitarian country outlawing religion, or in fact, everything that cannot be proved ethical from Karl Marx’ Das Kapital, here is the evidence. Britain has a law that can send a 74-year old man to jail for “sending malicious mail.” The recipient of the mail, Ruth May, was in tears as she described the “very upsetting and offensive literature” Mr. Atkinson had sent her. Well, of course the mail was upsetting. But could it be more upsetting and offensive than the practices the literature depicted? After all, as the person in authority in the hostpital she is in charge of the abortions performed there. In other words, it is legal to abort babies, but illegal to tell people about it?

People of Britain, wake up!

17 February 2006

UN Report Calls It As It Is: Guantánamo Is Illegal

It would be easy as a conservative to deride the UN report on Guantánamo Bay as a piece of irrelevant foreign politicking. In a sense, it is, of course. The United Nations have no jurisdiction over the United States, and considering that the opinions in the report were reached without a visit to the prison facilities at Guantánamo, one might well wonder whether anyone should take notice of it at all. Also, the UN are rapidly becoming merely the international arm of the Democratic Party.

That, I say, would be easy. It would also be very unhelpful. Sadly, reputable conservative magazines like National Review have taken the stance that Guantánamo is a perfectly sane place. Deroy Murdock, in a contribution in the online version of the magazine, argued, in his opening sentence, no less:

“As a new United Nations Human Rights Commission report demands the closure of
the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, President Bush should
go in the exact opposite direction and announce a brand-new policy: None of Camp
Delta’s 490 enemy combatants shall be released until America wins the War on
Terror. ”

I must strenuously disagree. The prison facility at Guantánamo Bay is illegal, at least the way it is currently run. I take no position on the question whether prisoners are actively tortured there. However, I do vehemently oppose the very existence of this facility. Since Guantánamo Bay is considered foreign soil, the government can claim that US law does not apply and that, therefore, prisoners there do not have any rights.

Since this is the same type of reasoning that is applied to human fetuses by the liberal loonies of the country, it is eyebrow-raising, to say the least, that a Republican government can consider some humans to be ill-qualified to be treated fairly. If the phrase “equality under the law” is to mean anything, the government should allow detainees at Guantánamo access to judicial review of their case. I reiterate the position I have taken before, that some secrecy rules may be imposed, in the interest of national security. But a basic right to challenge one’s detention is an absolute must. There can be no compromise on this. US policy as it stands now is in violation of the Constitution, not to mention general (Judaeo-Christian) morality.

Whether the US close Guantánamo is not relevant; what matters is equality under the law. As long as the Bush government continues to hide behind “commander-in-chief authority” to deprive a whole class of people indiscriminately of basic human rights, the rule of law is impaired. Conservative or not, I must protest.

Alito Confirmed... But at What Price?

(Originally posted February 3, 2006 - recovered February 17, 2006)

Finally, on the last Tuesday in January, after an exceptionally long confirmation process, Samuel Alito was confirmed as the 110th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. The vote in the Senate followed pretty much the same pattern as the one in the Judiciary Committee, that is to say, almost perfectly along partisan lines.

This, I believe, is the true story. Not the so-called scandals the Democrats wouldn’t tire of dragging up out of the distant past of the candidate. That is not to say that Samuel Alito is perfect in every respect. I am sure that some of the ‘scandals’ in the man’s past turn out to have more than a grain of truth in them. Let’s face it: he probably made mistakes. But that should not stand in the way of concluding that now Justice Alito was eminently qualified for the Supreme Court. It is not as if you have to be perfect to make it to that court or that Supreme Court justices never make a mistake. After all, five justices made a most lamentable mistake when they ruled to enshrine Roe v. Wade in American law.

So, let’s make a clean breast of it: Samuel Alito has, like any other human being, some stupid mistakes in his past. His involvement in the racist Conservative Alumni of Princeton is reprehensible, as is the fact that in 1985 he chose to list this as an accomplishment on a job application. But the assertion that these incidents are indicative of a pattern of bad or even bigoted judgments is a bold-faced lie. They are individual exceptions on an otherwise exemplary record.

Thus, the real story is the irrational resistance put up by all but three Democrats. For what reasons did they oppose this nomination? Do we really believe those bogus statements about his judicial record showing a bias in favor of big corporations and the federal government and against the little guy and the oppressed minorities? I certainly do not. On the hot-button issue of abortion, Alito sided with the pro-choice argument more frequently than with the pro-life movement, simply because the laws as they exist left him no other room. Yet Planned Parenthood came out and said that the man would undoubtedly “turn back the clock” to the time of “illegal, back-alley abortions.”

The Democratic representation of the man’s failings is nothing short of a distortion, and totally—let me repeat: totally, one hundred percent—based on irrelevant, emotional or political arguments. That the man is a Roman Catholic and considers abortion murder nevertheless did not stop him from upholding the secular abortion laws of the country. In other words, in this and other matters, he has shown his ability to separate his private beliefs and political preferences from judging the law as it is.

And then there is that catchphrase that Democrats love to bandy about, that this man is “out of the mainstream.” What does that mean? Are liberal political ideas the mainstream? Surely, the phrase is a euphemism for “not in our looney liberal in-crowd.” It can hardly stand for “average American” since the party is dominated by wealthy New Englanders and Left Coast university professors. Every time Ted Kennedy opened his mouth to paint Alito “out of the mainstream,” I had to wonder: How do you know? You’re a spoiled, overweight, rich drunk who’s part of a famously dysfunctional family. I have one word for you: Chappaquiddick.

The sad thing is that all this posturing by the Democrats has sincerely cheapened the whole meaning of congressional democracy in the country. Since they have apparently thrown out the rule book, what is to keep the Republicans from ignoring all decorum and good manners when it suits them? It sets a scary precedent that may have actually brought the end of civilized political processes a lot closer than we think. The Democrats have resorted to arrogant temper tantrums, running around with their fingers in their ears rather than participating in the political system. By doing this they have given legitimacy to this kind of puerile contempt for dignified debate that is already rampant on the country’s university campuses where the leaders of the future are currently being bred. When they come to power, or maybe even before, a bunch of them might just, in a sort of righteous anger, decide to by-pass the elections and simply march to the Capitol to demand the power they believe is coming to them. That’s the kind of politics they were taught.

That is the truly scary upshot of the Alito confirmation. He won the seat but with a nation of spoiled teenagers stopping their ears with their fingers, whatever he says may not be that important after all.

16 January 2006

Devotional Blog Started

This New Year I have started a non-political devotional blog at calvinchristian.blogspot.com.