Monday, February 13, 2006

I knew I'd regret this....

I said I was going to stop reading Andrew Sullivan but I couldn't help it and checked him out after reading a couple of items from Mickey Kaus.

Well, Andrew hasn't changed. He's off the deep end about Brokeback Mountain, Donald Rumsfeld and of course, King George.

What really annoyed me was his comparison of anti-miscegenation laws and prohibitions against 'gay marriage'. I know this is an issue of enormous personal importance to Andrew but come-on they aren't the same. Race is not an elemental part of marriage but the sex of the participants is. You can support 'gay marriage' but you need to be intellectually honest. If you pretend that the sex of the participants isn't part of the definition of marriage you are an idiot or lying. Up until about 20 minutes ago everyone for thousands of years knew marriage meant men and women, not some other combination. That's the reason I use quote marks around 'gay marriage'. We can decide as a society to recognize gay relationships (and there are reasonable cases on both sides) but they aren't marriage unless we are just going to redefine the word.

Cheney Shoots...He...oh no.....

So, Vice President Dick Cheney shot someone while hunting. Okay, it's a big, legitimate and since the guy is going to be fine, funny story. It's not the end of the world like the press is trying to make it out to be.

That said, it seems one element is missing to the coverage...what is the VP doing in proximity to guys with guns? I know they are all 'old, dear friends' who wouldn't hurt the VP but as this shows, accidents happen. Do we really want the VP to be in that position? I know people in positions need relaxation and to enjoy their hobbies but there's also an obligation to not put yourself in compromising positions.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I am outraged at the White House!

It turns out that the life of a Congressman isn't that busy after all. Apparently, they have 3 hours to stake out a seat at the State of the Union. In fairness, the Representative in question is Cynthia McKinney (D- Georgia Mental Health Ward) and the Republic is much safer when she is doing nothing.

The outrage comes later in the story. According to Congressman Jessie Jackson III, the Congressional Black Caucus has only been invited to the White House twice since President Bush took office.

I am outraged at the President over this. Twice? In 5 years? What the hell is he thinking letting those racist,
demagogues anywhere near the White House even once? To allow those people any where near that hallowed ground even once is an abomination!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Say it ain't so Nino!

I am big fan of Justice Scalia but his dissent in the Oregon assisted suicide case was actually kind of sad. It represented to kind of results oriented jurisprudence and pro-federalist opinion that Scalia is supposed to stand against.

Much of the decision was technical administrative law stuff that I, as a non lawyer, don't really know or understand but reading the opinion (here) and Scalia's dissent (here) it's clear that Scalia gets the worst of it.

He tries to expand the meaning of the term "legitimate medical practices" to the point where the Attorney General becomes the sole national arbiter of that term. There's no way that that is the meaning or intent of the Controlled Substance Act. That's dangerous on federalism and separation of powers grounds.

And then there was this:

The fact that many in Oregon believe that the boundaries of "legitimate medicine"
should be extended to include assisted suicide does not change the fact that the overwhelming weight of authority (including the 47 States that condemn physician-assisted suicide) confirms that they have not yet been so extended.
Nino, Nino, Nino! That's the language of Kennedy and Souter in Lawrence v. Kansas and the juvenal death penalty cases. That's not the language of Scalia the Great!

Congress can pass a law outlawing physician assisted suicide tomorrow if it wishes (and only Justice Thomas and I would dissent) but they didn't. And as much as Scalia wants to prohibit this morally abhorrant practice, the law doesn't allow for it.

My idol has fallen. A sad, sad day.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Brave new world...

Sometimes I really, really favor the death penalty (Tookie Williams for example) but most of the time I think it's a necessary evil. So when I saw this story I initially thought clemency might be the way to go:

California's oldest death row inmate — a 75-year-old who is legally blind and nearly deaf — is asking the Supreme Court to do something it has never done before: block an execution because of the condemned man's advanced age and infirmity.

I thought maybe Arnold was being a little harsh here but then consider this:

Allen, who turns 76 on the eve of his execution, has been on death row for more than 23 years. He often uses a wheelchair and had to be resuscitated after suffering a heart attack last year at San Quentin Prison.
23 years of appeals? That's absolutely outrageous. Oh, and he was 50 years old when he committed the crimes (arranging a murder for higher while in prison. He had witnesses killed).

Yeah, he's a bad guy who's gamed the system. I have ZERO sympathy for him.

Now that's the clemency issue. His attorneys are absolute morons. They are going to argue that killing an old killer violates the 8th Amendment. More proof that substantive due process sucks.

May God have mercy on the soul of Clarence Ray Allen, the state of California shouldn't.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Greatest Hockey Player Ever....

The Captain...Mark Messier

Wayne Gretzky was by far the most talented and prolific player of all time but for the complete package...skill, physical play and leadership it's Moose. Yes, Gretzky was phenomenally talented and holds every record of consequence (well, not penalty minutes!) but here's the thing, the game is played to win the Stanley Cup. Gretzky won 4 cups (all with Messier, none after he left Edmonton). Messier won 2 more cups, one in Edmonton and one in New York.

Tonight The Captain had his number raised to the rafters at MSG and the joint was jumpin. If you've never been to a big time hockey game at The Garden, then you haven't been to a big time hockey game. The place shakes.

When I was growing up in NYC the joke was sure The Garden was sold out 40+ nights a year but that's because there were only 18,000 hockey fans in the city, they just went to every game. Well, when the 1994 Rangers brought the Cup back the joke was on the doubters. 3 million people turned out for the parade through the Canyon of Heroes.

1994 was a magical season. The playoff run was exhilarating. From sweeping the hated Islanders in the first round (1940 my ass!) to Matteau! Matteau! Matteau! to The Guarantee against the Devils and finally Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks there's never been a more thrilling playoff season.

I didn't have tickets to tonight's game and that stinks but I will have tickets the next two times a number is raised to the rafters....#2 Brian Leetch and #9 Adam Graves.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Liberals are stupid

Really, there's no other explanation for these things:

WASHINGTON, D.C.--In the first hours of Samuel Alito's Senate confirmation hearings on Monday, Judiciary Committee member Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, may very well have irreparably compromised himself.

At the hearing, Graham told Alito, nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, that he had already decided in Alito's favor. "I don't know what kind of vote you're going to get, but you'll make it through. It's possible you could talk me out of voting for you, but I doubt it. So I won't even try to challenge you along those lines."

That certainly ought to be the case. Graham is one of a group of Republicans who have been coaching Alito behind the scenes. The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire reported before the hearings began:

The article then reaches this conclusion:

If this is true, how can Graham make an impartial decision about Alito based on what he learns at the Alito hearings? Graham has already made up his mind.

Memo to the left...a confirmation hearing isn't a trial and Senators are not jurrors. Graham has no obligation to keep and open mind, he has no obligation to be a neutral observer. This is a political issue. Politicians take sides, it's what they do.

Saying stupid's what the left does.

Ted Kennedy is a loathsome turd....

I've been watching the Alito hearing and the was very disappointed by the performance of the Democrats yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I want Alito confirmed but I'd like the Democrats to show up and other than Chuck Shumer they didn't yesterday.

Right now Ted Kennedy is berating Alito over the 'Vanguard matter'. You know, the one that Joe Biden termed "malarkey'. I think from now on Alito and every Republican nominee should answer every one of Kennedy's questions thusly..."Mary Jo Kopechne".

Abortion (sorry, 'choice')? Mary Jo Kopechne
Voting rights? Mary Jo Kopechne
CAP? Mary Jo Kopechne

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Regulations Uber Alles!

I think one of the most dangerous things in the modern world is the reliance on the state. This article about the mining tragedy in W. Virgina is a wonderful example:

Hatfield said tests found that carbon monoxide levels far exceed federal regulatory limits in the Sago Mine.
Right, that's the problem...federal regulatory limits. Only later in the article do we find out:

Carbon monoxide levels measured 1,300 parts per million, exceeding the 400 parts per million maximum level that sustains life, Hatfield said.
So, it turns out it's not federal regulations at issue but another, lesser force...the laws of nature.

Aside from the media studipity (Hello Anderson Cooper!) this is a terrible story and one can only wish for the best for these men and thier families.

Krauthammer is right but incomplete...

Rich Lowry of National Review approvingly quotes Charles Krauthammer on Fox news. I agree that Krauthamer is spot on in his assessment of the Bush Administration's success in defending this country from terrorist attacks.

I think both Krauthammer and Lowry miss one important point...Bush has done all of this without damaging civil liberties or creating a police state. Does anyone thing that dissent has been chilled? Have you read Kos lately? Or listened to Howard Dean or Nancy Pelosi?

No we've beaten the terrorists at every turn and kept this country safe. It's a credit to the President, the brave men and women of our security services and the armed forces. It's certainly not because the terrorists aren't trying or because of the whining of the left.

Here's what Krauthammer said:

There's a great irony here. Everybody has been asking of themselves for the last four years why haven't we had a second attack, which everybody expected within weeks or months, certainly years. It didn't happen.

And we knew about the external story. The war in Afghanistan obviously had an effect on Al Qaida. The war in Iraq has diverted terrorists and jihadists into Iraq as opposed to attacking America.

But what we've heard over the last six months with these revelations, these so-called scandals, of the secret prisons where high-level Al Qaida have been held, the coercive interrogation which is under attack in the McCain amendment, and now the NSA eavesdropping -- we have the untold story which the administration could not tell. It knew why we had been protected.

All these defensive measures of gathering intelligence -- we were always weak on human intelligence, and that's why we had 9/11. And we don't have good spies inside Al Qaida. But we had a means, technological, in the NSA eavesdropping, and also other means in capturing these terrorists, of getting information.

It's worked. It's held us safe. And that's why I think in the end the president's going to win the whole argument on presidential power.

Now I can stop reading Andrew Sullivan

I used to read Sullivan's blog because it was smart and thought provoking. When he veered left on issues of war and security I kept reading because it was useful to challenge my conclusions against someone who thought differently. But now, he's just gone 'round the bend and I don't need to read his blog anymore.

What was the straw that broke this particular camel’s back? How about these entries: Don't think Sullivan is preening on torture, well check this out from today:

In my view, this could turn out to be the big question of the new year: Do we have a president who refuses, in any matter tangentially related to the war on terror, to obey the law? We know he broke the FISA law and lied about it. We know he broke U.S. law against torturing detainees, and lied about it.
(emphasis mine)

We know these things? How exactly? Most legal commentators seem to find ambiguity on these issues and no court has made a finding of guilt but Andrew Sullivan KNOWS, so I guess the whole issue is settled.

Now, a little rhetoric here and that isn't a reason to stop reading someone but it's a pattern with Sullivan. His moral preening on torture and the conduct of this war has been going on for some time now and I am just sick of it.

Don't think Sullivan is preening on torture, well check this out from today:

The Burmese regime is one of the most odious and nutty on the planet. Read this account of torture in Burmese prisons. Now remember that, according to the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto, Mark Levin, Rich Lowry, John Yoo, and many others, nothing detailed in this account qualifies as torture at all.
Note to Mr. Sullivan...Burmese prisoners were imprisoned fighting for democracy. Khalid Shiek Mohamed is being held for planning an attack on the United States that killed 3,000 men and women. See the difference?

In case he or you don't, consider this...there's no evidence that anything like what happened to this poor man happened to prisoners of the US as a matter of policy. In fact, server US service members have been sent to jail for mistreating prisoners.

The moral equivalency, the unwillingness to deal seriously with the threat we face and the sense of superiority has just become too much. I need to find a new lefty to read.