Terri Has Died
Mike notes below that he has read a lot about Terri Schiavo lately. I am sure most of us have. News reports and talk radio have covered the story non-stop for weeks. I am not sure what to think about the fact that Terri has died. As an estate planning attorney, this story has forcefully driven home the fact that everyone needs to have a living will and make their wishes expressly known to all of their loved ones.
I don't think we even need to debate whether Terri was in a vegetative state or not. I think it is sad that her family, who wanted to take care of her was deprived of that ability. How a court could make her "husband" Michael her guardian while he is living with another woman and has two children is unbelievable. Typically, the court may determine whether a guardian is "suitable." Michael did not seem to be a suitable guardian. Now to hear that he deprived Terri's family of even being present for her passing, is disturbing.
Well, at least Terri's suffering is over. Now her spirit, no longer bound by her broken body, undoubtedly is greeting loved ones on the other side of the veil, with great joy. The sadness of Terri's family at her death hopefully will pass in time, and they should have faith and hope to see her again.
The Logic of Life
I've been doing a lot of reading about the Terri Schiavo case. The great Peggy Noonan has the best take on it that I've seen. Her lede essentially asks either there is a God or there isn't. If there is a God and if that God created all life, then all life must have meaning -- regardless of what evaluations we pass on them on a case-by-case basis.
Yet, the culture of death in this country presses onward and deeper. Abortion gives us the opportunity of death at the beginning of life; the Terri Schiavo case puts front and center the opportunity of death at the end of the life (although Schiavo is only 41); how long before it's a common choice during the middle of life?
Why is it that only some people bother to cover what may be the most important news story of our day. I refer to the issue of federal judicial nominations. Byron York wrote last week about Arlen Spector's misplaced faith in Democrat bipartisanship. If it were the Republicans behaving like the Democrats it would be all over the news. I certainly hope Senator Frist has enough backbone to push the "nuclear option." It is high time we get real judges on the bench.
If you were fortunate enough to spend part of your Thursday doing something other than watching the ridiculously absurd baseball Congressional hearings, then consider it time well spent. Here’s a great take by Tim Sullivan of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Mark McGwire was completely useless, continually uttering he didn’t want to talk about the past when asked why he’s bigger than Mt. Everest. Jose Canseso, author (I’m now doing the “finger quote” motion) of “Juiced”, was equally hopeless, saying he couldn’t be candid with the committee.
I haven’t read the book, but Canseco essentially contends that steroids ran rampant through the game when he played. McGwire, who together with Canseco comprised the “Bashed Brothers”, wouldn't reveal the source of his strength. He's left it for us to figure out.
Even I can bench press what these two have left for credibility.
Even More Hilarious
Check out this story about a "conservative" who set up a "fake" anti-war rally at Clemson University.
"My son and I were the first to arrive," says Cothran. "The only person there at the time was a man in a black ski mask, trying to set up a sound system he never did get to work." In addition to the ski mask pulled down to conceal his face, the man wore an athletic shirt displaying the word "CUBA" and a white headband over his ski mask with the word "PEACE" scrawled on it.
"We were a little taken aback," relates Cothran. "He looked like a terrorist." If the manner and appearance of this lone protest leader weren't disconcerting enough, the signs he displayed gave additional pause. "Abortion Isn't Murder, War Is" read one, with the letters in "War" colored red and dripping like blood. Another banner he would unfurl, crudely spray-painted on a bed-sheet, urged "Free Saddam, Arrest Bush."
More fun was in store for those who had accepted the notice of a rally to express anti-war sentiment in good faith. As if on cue, a line of counter-protesters from the College Republicans made their way to Bowman Field, more than a dozen well-scrubbed campus conservatives with signs of their own.
"When my son saw their sign that said 'Peace Through Superior Firepower,' he asked me what it meant," says Cothran. "I didn't know what to tell him."
I guess we are supposed to feel sorry for this lady. But she didn't have any problems giving her kid a sign that read "why?" or holding her own that stated "War Is Not A Family Value," -- wasn't she concerned about what other impressionable 11-year-olds might think, or the tough-to-answer questions they might ask their parents? Guess not. But I gotta admit, I do feel sorry for her son, Christie, if only because his mom is an idiot. And for his name.
Even funnier, though, is the author of the piece. He can't believe that the kid who did this isn't going to be charged criminally, or at least censured by the student government. But why should he be? Weren't the sentiments he expressed the same as those of the anti-war Left? Does the author really expect the student government to get into whether the student truly believed the stuff he was espousing? How would they make such a determination, anyway? ("The College Republicans know your first name, you ain't down with us.") And how would any of the sentiments expressed been different had they been expressed by a true believer, or had it been a "true" anti-war protest? Geez, talk about thought police.
Anyway, the whole article is hilarious, but I don't think it is intentional. Maybe the author should be charged criminally, for misrepresenting himself as a legitimate reporter.
Man, This Is Hilarious
The AFL-CIO is laying off 80-100 staffers. Gosh, you'd think their union could do something for them, wouldn't you? Oh, wait. Nevermind.
You Must be Joking
The Washington Times reports that "Treasury Secretary John W. Snow yesterday would not rule out the idea of Irish singer Bono, an activist for debt relief and AIDS, making the short list of candidates to lead the World Bank even though an American is expected to get the job."
I like U2. Their music is pretty good. Bono admirably seeks to help people around the world. However, since when did being a philanthropic rock star qualify someone to lead a world financial institution. Other candidates include the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co., Christie Whitman, a former governor and head of the Environmental Protection Agency, current undersecretary for international affairs in the Treasury Department and others similarly experienced individuals. I have nothing against Bono, but how in the world did Secretary Snow not laugh the reporters out of the room when asked about Bono being on the short list. Maybe I don't know enough about Bono's background, but I just don't imagine him as leading the world bank. If he is appointed, look for me to put my name in to be the next Surgeon General.
Pull The Trigger On The Nuclear Option
is the title of this piece, which states that "the GOP has almost nothing to lose by going forward with the nuclear option." The reasoning goes like this:
#1) The Democrats won't cooperate with the Republicans on anything in the Senate if the GOP uses the "nuclear option!": And this will change the current state of affairs in what way? Just look at the biggest piece of the President's domestic agenda: Social Security. How many Democrats in the Senate are cooperating with George Bush on Social Security? None, right? The second "big change" Bush had been talking about pushing this term was flattening out the tax system. How many Democrats are going cooperate with him on that? None, right?
The Democrats aren't cooperating with Republicans on anything much of significance as it is, so what difference does it make if they publicly declare that they're throwing a tantrum and blocking everything Bush sends down? Who does that hurt? Not the taxpayers who are generally lucky when the government is tied up in gridlock. Not the Republicans, who'll suddenly have a great campaign issue for 2006, "We Republicans wanted to be bi-partisan, but the Democrats insist on being obstructionists." Let 'em do it and we'll see if the GOP can get up to 60 seats in 2006 at which point the Democrats will become almost completely irrelevant in the Senate anyway.
#2) Well, what happens when the Democrats are back in charge some day?: Yes sadly, the Democrats will likely control the White House & the Senate again and if they want to ram some Ward Churchill clone through, Republicans may not be able to stop them.
However, given how radical the average liberal judge is these days, I'm not sure it makes any difference. We already have the 9th Circuit Court claiming the Pledge of Allegiance is illegal and half the Supreme Court ignoring the Constitution and making decisions based on foreign law.
In other words, if we end up with the "Honorable Judge Michael Moore" one day, how would his rulings be all that different from ones made by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens? Sure, Stevens might be able to give a bit more eloquent explanation of why he decided to ignore the Constitution and make a ruling based on his liberal ideology, but in the end, I bet you'd see 90% overlap in the decisions made by "Judge Moore" and Judge Stevens.
Sounds good to me.
Angry Chimp, pt. 2
As a follow-up to my previous post on the chimp attack, I found this article, which has some choice quotes from Martine Collette.
"Either the chimp was very, very angry with Mr. Davis, or had a dislike for Mr. Davis, or Mr. Davis did something," Collette said.
Then there's this one:
"Normally a chimp will bite a finger, or an ear, or a kneecap," Collette said. "But to relentlessly -- relentlessly -- do this kind of damage is quite unusual.
Oh, that's reassuring. "Normally a chimp will bite a finger, or an ear, or a kneecap"? It's only in the "unusual" case when the chimp will actually rip your face off, and maul your testicles. And then only if the chimp is
"very, very angry," or "dislikes" you, or if you do "something."
Oh, I gotta have one of those loveable little guys. What fun.
Kennedy, the Teenage Justice
The Washington Post carries this article noting that Justice Kennedy switched votes from 1989 to last week's atrocious Roper decision. As I noted last summer, Kennedy apparently changed his mind on sodomy, too.
Kennedy is a perfect example of why judges cannot be allowed to set social policy -- why should we be subject to his whims? The guy is simply the worst justice currently on the Supreme Court, and that is saying a lot. At least you know where the loons like Ginsburg and Steven are coming from. With Kennedy, it's a coin toss, and he contradicts himself with alarming regularity.
Kennedy wrote in Roper:
Three general differences between juveniles under 18 and adults demonstrate that juvenile offenders cannot with reliability be classified among the worst offenders. First, as any parent knows and as the scientific and sociological studies respondent and his amici cite tend to confirm, “[a] lack of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility are found in youth more often than in adults and are more understandable among the young.
The second area of difference is that juveniles are more vulnerable or susceptible to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure.
The third broad difference is that the character of a juvenile is not as well formed as that of an adult. The personality traits of juveniles are more transitory, less fixed.
Pretty funny, huh? If Kennedy is not "vulnerable or susceptible to ... outside pressures, including peer pressure," then no one is. And the phrase "more transitory, less fixed" applies to nothing so well as it does to Kennedy's Constitutional jurisprudence. Kennedy is putty in the hands of his fellow liberal justices, who use him on high profile cases to lend "legitimacy" to imposing their new view of the Constitution on us.
Basically, Kennedy is a teenager. Maybe one day he'll grow up. Until then, I guess the Constitution will continue to evolve to coincide with whatever Justice Kennedy happens to think at any given moment. Just like the Founders intended, right?
I wouldn't give this clown the right to change my tires, much less the Constitution. Why do we tolerate this?
"[I]t's circumstances that set chimps off."
Ah, those wacky monkeys, they're a barrel of laughs. Especially when they are ripping the face off of a man who just delivered a birthday cake to his chimp pal. But even funnier are the quotes from others after such attacks:
Perhaps "a human did something that in the mind of a chimpanzee is perceived to be an insult or a sleight" said Martinne Collette of the Wildlife Waystation.
Oh, that makes it okay, then. If the monkey was insulted, whaddaya expect him to do?
The morons who still want to hang out with monkeys and gorillas after something like this get what they deserve.
As Homer Simpson once said, that's what they get for not hailing to the chimp.
Middle East pt. 3
Yet another follow up -- Max Boot's piece in the LA Times says that just prior to the invasion of Iraq:
The only real debate in sophisticated circles was whether those who talked of democracy were simply naive fools or whether their risible rhetoric was meant to hide some sinister motive.
Well, who's the simpleton now? Those who dreamed of spreading democracy to the Arabs or those who denied that it could ever happen? Of course, the outcome is far from clear, and even in Iraq democracy is hardly well established. Yet some pretty extraordinary things have been happening in the last few weeks.
He concludes with these interesting quotes:
"It's strange for me to say it," says Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who would never be mistaken for a Bush backer, "but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq."
"Now with the new Bush administration," confirms former Lebanese President Amin Gemayel, "we feel a stronger determination in liberating Lebanon and in promoting democracy in the Middle East."
Maybe, just maybe, those neocons weren't so nutty after all.
Calling the Kettle Gay
is the title of Ann Coulter's latest. It's pretty good. She writes:
So now liberals are lashing out at the gays. Two weeks ago, the New York Times turned over half of its op-ed page to outing gays with some connection to Republicans. There is no principled or intellectual basis for these outings. Conservatives don't want gays to die; we just don't want to transform the Pentagon into the Office of Gay Studies.
By contrast, liberals say: "We love gay people! Gay people are awesome! Being gay is awesome! Gay marriage is awesome! Gay cartoon characters are awesome! And if you don't agree with us, we'll punish you by telling everyone that you're gay!"
It's bad enough when liberals respond to a conservative argument by digging through the conservative's garbage cans; it's another thing entirely when they start digging through the garbage cans of the conservative's family members. (On behalf of conservatives everywhere, I say: Stay out of our gay relatives' cans.)
Liberals use these people and then discard them. Has John Kerry had lunch with his pal Mary Cheney lately? What ever happened to Newt Gingrich's gay half-sister? Did she have any further insights to impart other than that she was gay?
Middle East, pt. 2
As a follow-up to my post last night, it appears that even Jon Stewart is sensing a big change, as this piece in The Washington Times notes:
The Democratic dominoes clearly are beginning to fall when Jon Stewart, the host of "The Daily Show," says, "I haven't seen results like this ever in [the Middle East]." As anyone who watches the Comedy Central "news" show knows, Mr. Stewart isn't a serious political pundit, but he is unabashedly liberal both on and off air. And since he commands a fairly large audience of mostly younger adults, he is perhaps as much an indicator of the liberal mindset as the New York Times.
We don't even have cable, and I've never seen Stewart's show. But it seems that even the liberals (there are a few honest ones, I guess) are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel -- or is it a train?
Middle East Events
The guys at Powerline have a good post up on recent events in the Middle East, which is beginning more and more to look like Bush hoped it would. Keep your fingers crossed. In the meantime, go read it:
We're in a period right now where I can't wait to check the news every day. Events, especially in the Middle East, are moving in what would have been considered an impossibly hopeful direction just a few months ago. The Bush administration believed that if the door to democracy and reform were opened in Iraq, much of the Arab world might follow. This was always a big gamble--one that we supported in part because, as we've often said, no one has proposed a competing plan to deal, long-term, with the problem of Islamic terrorism.
Right now, President Bush's gamble is looking very good indeed. Something like 50 million people have been liberated in Afghanistan and Iraq. Positive developments are occurring before our eyes in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. It's way too soon to proclaim the administration's strategy a success; indeed, we may not be sure in our lifetimes whether the strategy that underlay the Iraq war was a sound one. But right now, it sure is fun to read the headlines.
Go ahead, pick one
One question, even for -- no, especially for -- the secularist crowd: Which of these can you possible have a problem with? If Ted Kennedy had written them, would you endorse them?
I. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
III. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
IV. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
V. Honour thy father and thy mother.
VI. Thou shalt not kill.
VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
VIII. Thou shalt not steal.
IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
X. Thou shalt not covet any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Luttig and the Death Penalty
In a recent post, Carol Platt Libeau mentioned that some liberals may be planning on attacking any nomination of Judge Luttig to the Supreme Court on the basis that he could not remain impartial in death penalty cases, his own father being a murder victim.
I wonder how long then before they turn on Judge Joan Lefkow (appointed by President Clinton in 2000) and argue that she can now no longer hear death penalty cases?
Partial-birth abortion ban? Yeah, right.
One thing was made perfectly clear by today's Supreme Court ruling that those under 18 cannot be given the death penalty -- the partial-birth abortion ban doesn't stand a chance. These guys are Gods. Period. You think they will listen to Congress, even for one second? Right.
Kennedy is the biggest joke of them all. The guy thinks he is King. I hate to constantly link to my own writings, but I will anyway. Click here for my article on Kennedy and his "growth" in office from a strict constructionist to a "whatever-I-say-goes" jurist. He once wrote:
The courts must never be an accomplice to a regime that erodes the initiative or the power of the political elements in the constitutional system.
What happened to that sentiment, Anthony?
Today, this same guy states "in the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty under the Eight Amendment." I wonder what happened to the "political elements"? What a disgrace.
Of course, while they are too immature or irresponsible to understand the nature of their actions when wantonly murdering innocent people, our lovely Court finds these same teenagers perfectly capable of making the "mature" decision to abort their unborn children without a parent's approval, or even consultation.
As usual, Scalia tore it up. But I gotta think he is getting sick of hanging around the likes of Kennedy and O'Connor. I wouldn't be surprised if he were to quit this summer, along with Rehnquist (and hopefully O'Connor -- as James Brown would say: please, please, please!!).
And, as much as I would hate to see Scalia go, I gotta say I couldn't fault him. Plus, Bush could use the opportunity to appoint a solid conservative who is much younger than Scalia, and ensure that we have at least two sane voices (Thomas, of course, being the other) on the court for a few more decades.