What Would Obama Do?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

What's wrong with a portrait of Jesus that's been hanging in a high school hallway for the last thirty years? Everything, 'cause you never know when a secular student might walk by and become indoctrinated by Christian dogma. I wonder what Barack Obama would have to say about this:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Two civil liberties groups sued in federal court Wednesday to remove a picture of Jesus that has hung in a high school for more than 30 years.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the West Virginia American Civil Liberties Union say the painting, "Head of Christ," sends the message that Bridgeport High School endorses Christianity as its official religion.
Let's pretend, for a second, that instead of Jesus was a portrait of Buddha. Would the Criminal Liberties Union be up in arms over that? Of course not, because only symbols of Christianity are deemed offensive - even an innocuous portrait of Jesus that in this case only serves the purpose of decor.

So what say you, Barack Obama, who believes Democrats should make an effort to court evangelicals? Please explain to your pals why they're nuts for supporting the groups filing suit against this school? This should be a no-brainer, but for Democrats it never is.

Big Legal Win for Guantanamo Detainees

The Supreme Court announced its ruling today in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld divided along idelogical lines with John Roberts abstaining due to his involvement at the D.C. Circuit level and Anthony Kennedy joining the liberals in a 5-3 decision that is 185 pages long.

The actual vote is a little confusing. Stay with me now: John Paul STEVENS delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I through IV, VI through VI-D-iii, VI-D-v, and VII, in which KENNEDY, SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER joined, and an opinion with respect to Parts V and VI-D-iv, in which SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER joined. BREYER filed a concurring opinion, in which KENNEDY, SOUTER, and GINSBURG joined. KENNEDY filed an opinion concurring in part, in which SOUTER, GINSBURG, and BREYER joined as to Parts I and II. SCALIA filed a dissenting opinion, in which THOMAS and ALITO joined. THOMAS filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA joined, and in which ALITO joined as to all but Parts I, II-C-1, and III-B-2. ALITO filed a dissenting opinion, in which SCALIA and THOMAS joined as to Parts I through III.

It will take me a little while to read the whole thing, but I rarely agree with a John Paul Stevens opinion. I'll post highlights from the opinion and dissents when I'm finished.

Barack Obama Fakes Interest in Evangelicals

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

And here I thought Democrats had learned a lesson from DNC Chairman Howard Dean when he made a fool of himself during his presidential run saying he wanted to be the candidate "for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks."

Winning elections is all about getting the votes; something Democrats haven't successfully done in a long time. Realizing there's big numbers in the religious bloc, the popular first-term senator from Illinois is trying to tap that reserve.

The only problem: he's a Democrat:

WASHINGTON - Sen. Barack Obama chastised fellow Democrats on Wednesday for failing to "acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people," and said the party must compete for the support of evangelicals and other churchgoing Americans.

"Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation. Context matters," the Illinois Democrat said in remarks prepared for delivery to a conference of Call to Renewal, a faith-based movement to overcome poverty.

"It is doubtful that children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance feel oppressed or brainwashed as a consequence of muttering the phrase `under God,'" he said. "Having voluntary student prayer groups using school property to meet should not be a threat, any more than its use by the High School Republicans should threaten Democrats."
Sounds reasonable, right? But that kind of thinking is considered "extreme" by many far-left liberals who don't want the phrase "under God" recited by children in fear of indoctrination. They don't want voluntary prayer groups anywhere near schools. They get behind the ACLU, an organization that sues the government every time a single red cent of tax money ends up in a church.

Just what incentive is there for religious voters to go blue? As if one speech by Senator Obama is going to convince the religious masses. And it's not like Obama is somehow a friend of the faithful just because he wants their votes. Since he became a senator in 2004, Obama has so far opposed every federal judicial appointment by President Bush who is seen as a threat to the constitutional right to abort a fetus in the ninth month.

He talks about voluntary prayer groups in school as being okay, but the judges his party appoints routinely strikes them down as unconstitutional. Obama was one of only 22 senators to oppose John Roberts for the Supreme Court, placing him to the left of most Senate Democrats. He opposed Samuel Alito and many of Bush's appellate court picks - for the same reasons the party is getting scorn from Obama in the first place.

Forgetting that he always opposes judges who loosely interpret the "separation of church and state" doctrine, Obama criticizes his party for not loosely believing in the "separation of church and state" doctrine:
"Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering the public square."

As a result, "I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the power of faith in the lives of the American people and join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."

Obama mentioned leaders of the religious right briefly, saying they must "accept some ground rules for collaboration" and recognize the importance of the separation of church and state.
So Obama wants it both ways. He wants religion to be tolerated in public but not to the point that it violates church and state. But at what point does that happen according to Obama? If reciting the Pledge is okay, how about a monument of the Ten Commandments? I can see him sweating already.

Democrats will never win the Christian vote because they don't understand Christians. I can't think of a better way to earn the respect of evangelicals than to vote for an amendment protecting the flag from desecration. Sure enough, just yesterday the proposal fell one vote shy in the Senate because most Democrats opposed it. Gee, to think if only Obama had voted in favor of the amendment it would have successfully passed the Senate.

But to Democrats, supporting an amendment protecting the flag is "silly" and a "waste of time." Yet it's those silly patriotic issues that are important to evangelicals, and yet Democrats can't even get that issue right. Let's not even go near abortion - perhaps the single most important issue to religious Christians, an issue they're still fuming over ever since the Supreme Court invented a right to the practice back in 1973.

Sorry Obama, your party is far from getting the religious voters on your side.

Chief One-With-No-Job

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

One more university professor who equates Americans to Nazis is no more:

BOULDER, Colo. - The top official at the University of Colorado's flagship campus called on the school Monday to fire Ward Churchill, the professor who compared some World Trade Center victims to a Nazi and then landed in hot water over allegations of academic misconduct.

Interim Chancellor Philip DiStefano said Churchill has 10 days to go to a faculty committee to appeal his recommendation. Churchill, a tenured professor of ethnic studies, has denied allegations of plagiarism.

In an essay written shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks, Churchill described some of the victims in the World Trade Center as "little Eichmanns," a reference to Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann. The essay was largely ignored until January 2005, when it came to light before Churchill was to speak at Hamilton College in upstate New York.

The essay triggered calls for Churchill to be fired, but university officials concluded he could not be dismissed because of free speech protections. They did order an investigation into allegations of academic misconduct, which concluded two weeks ago.

The school's committee on research misconduct said Churchill "has committed serious, repeated, and deliberate research misconduct."

DiStefano agreed and said he has told Churchill he hopes to dismiss him.

Churchill has been relieved of academic work but will remain a paid faculty member as long as the firing is in the appeals process, university officials said.

If Churchill appeals to the faculty committee, members would make a recommendation to university system President Hank Brown, spokeswoman Jeanine Malmsbury said. Brown would then make a recommendation to the Board of Regents, which has the final say.
If Churchill doesn't appeal, Brown would recommend action to the regents.
Churchill's defenders (yes, he has defenders) make argue he's being persecuted for exercising his First Amendment rights. But this case is not about the First Amendment, it's about a loony professor who shouldn't have a job indoctrinating his students; not to mention the credible charges of plagerism against him.

If a professor wanted to go the distance and a preach Nazism he certainly has the First Amendment right to do so against prosecution by the state, but he doesn't have protection against his firing for being a loony professor.

Supreme Court Upholds Kansas Death Penalty

Monday, June 26, 2006

In its final week before summer recess, the Supreme Court this morning announced their decision in Kansas v. Marsh. It was a splintered 5-4 ruling with Justice Alito once again breaking a tie-vote that resulted from O'Connor's departure.

Majority: Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Alito
Minority: Stevens, Souter, Ginsberg, Breyer

The Court upheld the constitutionality of a Kansas law that instructs juries to impose the death sentence if aggravating evidence of a crime's brutality and mitigating factors explaining a defendant's actions are equal in weight.

Michael Lee Marsh was convicted in the June 1996 killings of Marry Ane Pusch and her 19-month-old daughter, Marry Elizabeth. Pusch was shot, stabbed and her throat was slit. Her body was set on fire. The toddler died several days later from severe burns.

Writing for the majority, Justice Thomas explains that the instruction, however unique, falls in line with the traditional practice of juries determining the sentence of a guilty defendant:

Kansas jurors, presumed to follow their instructions, are made aware that: a determination that mitigators outweigh aggravators is a decision that a life sentence is appropriate; a determination that aggravators outweigh mitigators or a determination that mitigators do not outweigh aggravators -- including a finding that aggravators and mitigators are in balance -- is a decision that death is the appropriate sentence; and an inability to reach a unanimous decision will result in a sentence of life imprisonment. So informed, far from the abdication of duty or the inability to select an appropriate sentence depicted by Marsh and JUSTICE SOUTER, a jury's conclusion that aggravating evidence and mitigating evidence are in equipoise is a decision for death and is indicative of the type of measured, normative process in which a jury is constitutionally tasked to engage when deciding the appropriate sentence for a capital defendant.
Continuing, Justice Thomas criticizes the dissenting opinion of Justice Souter for going off-topic in discussing DNA evidence:
JUSTICE SOUTER argues (hereinafter the dissent) that the advent of DNA testing has resulted in the "exoneratio[n]" of "innocent" persons "in numbers never imagined before the development of DNA tests." Post, at 5-6. Based upon this "new empirical demonstration of how 'death is different,'" post, at 8, the dissent concludes that Kansas' sentencing system permits the imposition of the death penalty in the absence of reasoned moral judgment. But the availability of DNA testing, and the questions it might raise about the accuracy of guilt-phase determinations in capital cases, is simply irrelevant to the question before the Court today, namely, the constitutionality of Kansas' capital sentencing system.

The dissent's general criticisms against the death penalty are ultimately a call for resolving all legal disputes in capital cases by adopting the outcome that makes the death penalty more difficult to impose. While such a bright-line rule may be easily applied, it has no basis in law. Indeed, the logical consequence of the dissent's argument is that the death penalty can only be just in a system that does not permit error. Because the criminal justice system does not operate perfectly, abolition of the death penalty is the only answer to the moral dilemma the dissent poses. This Court, however, does not sit as a moral authority. Our precedents do not prohibit the States from authorizing the death penalty, even in our imperfect system. And those precedents do not empower this Court to chip away at the States' prerogatives to do soon the grounds the dissent invokes today.

Justice Scalia defends the majority's decision today and reminds his colleagues how often DNA evidence has been used to vindicate an innocent prisoner:
There exists in some parts of the world sanctimonious criticism of America's death penalty, as somehow unworthy of a civilized society. (I say sanctimonious, because most of the countries to which these finger-waggers belong had the death penalty themselves until recently - and indeed, many of them would still have it if the democratic will prevailed.) It is a certainty that the opinion of a near-majority of the United States Supreme Court to the effect that our system condemns many innocent defendants to death will be trumpeted abroad as vindication of these criticisms. For that reason, I take the trouble to point out that the dissenting opinion has nothing substantial to support it.

It should be noted at the outset that the dissent does not discuss a single case - not one - in which it is clear that a person was executed for a crime he did not commit. If such an event had occurred in recent years, we would not have to hunt for it; the innocent's name would be shouted from the rooftops by the abolition lobby. The dissent makes much of the new-found capacity of DNA testing to establish innocence. But in every case of an executed defendant of which I am aware, that technology has confirmed guilt.
In dissent, Justice Souter calls the Kansas law "morally absurd" because the death penalty must be imposed when "the case for aggravation has failed to convince the sentencing jury:"
In Kansas, when a jury applies the State's own standards of relative culpability and cannot decide that a defendant is among the most culpable, the state law says that equivocal evidence is good enough and the defendant must die. A law that requires execution when the case for aggravation has failed to convince the sentencing jury is morally absurd, and the Court's holding that the Constitution tolerates this moral irrationality defies decades of precedent aimed at eliminating freakish capital sentencing in the United States.
But the case for aggravation hasn't failed just because there's an equal number of mitigating factors. Let's not forget that the defendant slashed a woman's throat and burned her daughter to death. His sentence is hardly "freakish." In fact I would want more than just one mitigating factor to outweigh the aggravating ones before commuting his sentence. But the jury was convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was responsible for his crimes and found enough aggravating circumstances to sentence him accordingly per Kansas law.

Happy Birthday Clarence Thomas

Friday, June 23, 2006

The unintelligent negro and most-maligned justice on the Supreme Court (who secretly pays Scalia to write his opinions) turns 58 today. In 1991 he replaced Justice Thurgood Marshall on the bench after a grueling and taxing confirmation process.

Unlike his predecessor, Thomas doesn't view the Constitution as an open invitation to change the law as he sees fit, or decide one day that capital punishment is unconstitutional - when it's clearly not according to the Fifth Amendment. But even more amazingly, he doesn't side with the criminal every time in habeas corpus cases, and believes that the laws that govern the people should be decided on by the people.

I can't think of a better way to honor the Georgia native than for 86-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens to step down at the end of the month. That way President Bush can nominate someone just like Thomas to join him on the bench come next term.

Still Waiting for 'Godless' Reviews

Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's unfortunate Ann Coulter had to say what she did about the 9/11 widows. Not because she was wrong, but because that's all her critics have been bitching about since the book's release. Every article on the book is simple a rehash of "radical" quotes that do nothing more than bail out the critic who can't come up with a good rebuttal argument.

Here's a good piece explaining my point:

Ann Coulter's new book Godless: The Church of Liberalism is a rollicking read very tightly reasoned and hard to argue with. After all, the progressive mind regards it as backward and primitive to let religion determine every aspect of your life, but takes it as advanced and enlightened to have the state determine every aspect of your life. Lest you doubt the left's pieties are now a religion, try this experiment: go up to an environmental activist and say "Hey, how about that ozone hole closing up?" or "Wow! The global warming peaked in 1998 and it's been getting cooler for almost a decade. Isn't that great?" and then look at the faces. As with all millenarian doomsday cults, good news is a bummer.

But nobody's talking too much about the finer points of Miss Coulter's argument. Instead, everyone -- from Hillary Rodham Clinton down -- is going bananas about a couple of paragraphs on page 103 and 112 in which the author savages the 9/11 widows. Not all of them. Just the quartet led by Kristen Breitweiser and known as "the Jersey Girls." These four widows have been regular fixtures in the New York TV studios since they first emerged to complain that the average $1.6 million-per-family compensation was insufficient. The 9/11 commission, in all its ghastly second-guessing showboating, was largely their project.
I don't always agree with what Ms. Coulter writes about, but I'm getting pretty sick and tired of people downplaying her intelligence without having the ability to refute it head on. Yes, it is just so much easier to copy-and-paste quotes from her book and call it day.

Divided Supreme Court Sides With Police; Weakens 'Exclusionary Rule'

Friday, June 16, 2006

Yesterday the Supreme Court announced their decision in Hudson v. Michigan, a high-profile case that was reargued after the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor to presumably break a 4-4 tie without her vote. New Justice Samuel Alito joined the conservatives in a 5-4 ruling to side with law enforcement officers who improperly entered the home of Booker Hudson by not appropriately "announcing their presence" even though they had a search warrant to enter the premises.

Traditionally, police knock on the door and wait approximately 15-20 seconds before serving a warrant on a suspect. In this case police did not knock and waited between three and five seconds before entering Hudson's home - not giving Hudson enough time to hide (or use) his loaded gun and cocaine rocks.

The opinion of the court, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, does not give police a free pass to conduct business as they wish or shield them from disciplinary action or civil suits, but instead says that evidence found by police officers who enter a home to execute a search warrant without first following the requirement to "knock and announce" can be used at trial.

Before yesterday's ruling, evidence inappropriately collected could be excluded by a trial judge as part of the "exclusionary rule" established in the 1961 landmark case Mapp v. Ohio.

In his opinion joined by new Chief Justice John Roberts, new Justice Samuel Alito, and Justices Clarence Thomas and Anthony M. Kennedy, Scalia argued that the evidence was going to be found anyway, which is the point of serving a warrant in the first place. "The cost of entering this lottery would be small, but the jackpot enormous: suppression of all evidence, amounting in many cases to a get-out-of-jail-free card."

Moderate-to-conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy joined in most of the ruling but came short of wanting to end the knock requirement. "It bears repeating that it is a serious matter if law enforcement officers violate the sanctity of the home by ignoring the requisites of lawful entry," he said. He also noted that legislatures can intervene if police officers do not "act competently and lawfully."

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the dissenters, said the ruling "weakens, perhaps destroys, much of the practical value of the Constitution's knock-and-announce protection." He said the majority's reasoning boiled down to: "The requirement is fine, indeed, a serious matter, just don't enforce it." He was joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I support the majority's opinion because it rightfully weakens the "exclusionary rule" that at one point in history may have been necessary to combat corrupt police who subjected innocent people to a sub-par judicial system.

In today's time the "exclusionary rule" does more to help the bad guys than anything else because crucial evidence needed to convict might not make it to trial if not collected exactly by the books. In the case of Booker Hudson, had the liberal justices got their way and the "exclusionary rule" applied, the seized weapon (which was loaded) and rocks of cocaine would not have been admissible, and Hudson would have likely been set free had there not been other charges pending.

Scalia argued that the evidence was "going to be found anyway," but that's simply the best-case scenario. Had the cops waited an additional 30 seconds as the liberal justices would have preferred, the evidence could have easily been flushed down the toilet and the suspect could have used the extra time to reach his gun and assault the serving officers.

Alas, in the debate over civil rights and police procedure, officer safety is often downplayed, as it has been in this case. To be sure, we must not forget that all persons are innocent until proven guilty, but that's for the courts to decide. If police find a dead body, it should be admitted into evidence whether it was found legitimately or not.

Many court watchers see Hudson v. Michigan as a sign of a Supreme Court that has become more conservative with the addition of two new justices last term. When it was first argued before she retired, Justice O'Connor sounded ready to side with the defendant. Thankfully, it is now Alito who matters.

Protecting the Flag

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The movement to grant the flag constitutional protection is picking up momentum in Washington. According to USA TODAY the amendment is currently shy by one vote in the Senate:

WASHINGTON -- The Senate is one vote away from passing a constitutional amendment that would ban desecration of the U.S. flag, the closest that amendment supporters have been to passage.

The American Legion, which supports the amendment, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which opposes it, both say there are 66 votes to pass it.

Whether advocates can find the 67th vote to send the flag amendment to the states for ratification remains unclear. A Senate vote is set for the week of June 26.

The House of Representatives last year approved the flag amendment 286-130. It was the seventh time it had done so since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law banning flag burning in 1989. The next year, the court ruled that the federal Flag Protection Act violated the First Amendment's free speech guarantee.

Four times in the Senate, the flag measure has failed to receive the two-thirds majority required of constitutional amendments. In 2000, the amendment came up four votes short with 63.

All 50 states have approved non-binding resolutions endorsing an amendment. "That is unprecedented and shouldn't be ignored," American Legion legislative director Steve Robertson says. "We will see if the senators are listening to their constituents or not."

Thirty-eight, or three-fourths, of the 50 states must ratify the measure to make it the 28th Amendment.
An amendment protecting the flag against desecration is not one I'm enthusiastic about, but if there's enough support for its passage then I see no harm done. Those who get off on burning the American flag will just have to find something else to do that is both offensive and protected by the First Amendment.

How Government Burns Our Billions

This should disgust everybody:

WASHINGTON - The government doled out as much as $1.4 billion in bogus assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, getting hoodwinked to pay for season football tickets, a tropical vacation and even a divorce lawyer, congressional investigators have found.
This is why it has always been a general philosophy of mine that the federal government should have the least amount of money in the form of our tax dollars as possible. The feds running the show have been utterly incompetent in handling the Katrina disaster, but that's hardly anything new for the government. You'd think something could have been in place to make sure hurricane relief wasn't paying for porn and sex changes.

The G-Word Stays on Money - For Now

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

What are atheists to do now that their hands will continue to be sullied by that dirty money with the word God written on it? Life's pretty good in this Christian nation - read first, then come help me persecute some non-believers:

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A U.S. district court judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit brought by a California atheist against the U.S. government for its use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on its coins and currency.

Michael Newdow, the Sacramento, California lawyer and doctor who had previously launched a court challenge on behalf of his daughter over the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance said in schools, had argued that "In God We Trust" on monetary instruments violates his rights.

Newdow claimed that by using coins and currency bearing the phrase, he is forced to carry religious dogma, proselytize and evangelize for monotheism.

Judge Frank Damrell of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California held in his opinion that "In God We Trust" is secular in nature and use, and its appearance on coins and currency does not show government coercion on behalf of monotheism.

Newdow told Reuters he would appeal to the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled in his favor in his "under God" lawsuit, a decision later overruled by the U.S. Supreme Court, which found Newdow could sue not on behalf of his daughter because he lacked custody.
Of course he'll appeal to the 9th Circuit, the most radically liberal and most often unanimously overturned appeals court in the nation by the Supreme Court. But until then, Newdow will continue to be "forced" to carry "religious dogma," and lots of if he continues to be the lead crusader and spokesperson for people who melt at the sight or sound of the letters G, O and D.

Not Good News for Criminals

At least this right is actually in the Constitution:

SAN FRANCISCO -- A state trial judge sided Monday with the National Rifle Association in overturning a voter-approved city ordinance that banned handgun possession and firearm sales in San Francisco.

Measure H was placed on the November ballot by the San Francisco County Board of Supervisors, who were frustrated by an alarmingly high number of gun-related homicides in the city of 750,000. The NRA sued a day after 58 percent of voters approved the law.

In siding with the gun owners, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge James Warren said a local government cannot ban weapons because the California Legislature allows their sale and possession.

"My clients are thrilled that the court recognized that law-abiding firearms owners who choose to own a gun to defend themselves or their families are part of the solution and not part of the problem," NRA attorney Chuck Michel said. "Hopefully, the city will recognize that gun owners can contribute to the effort to fight the criminal misuse of firearms, a goal that we all share."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit also is considering a challenge to a similar handgun ban in the District of Columbia that alleges the law violates a Second Amendment right of individuals to bear arms.
The D.C. challenge is much more important than the San Francisco trial for a few reasons. The San Francisco suit does not deal with the constitutionality of owning guns, but is instead a generic separation of powers test. Moreover, the case only deals with San Francisco. To be sure, this is great news for its citizens who are uneasy about the crime rates that have recently risen.

The D.C. case is the big one that everyone should be paying attention to. It's an actual challenge to the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which for most of our history has received little attention from the federal courts. Regardless of the outcome, there is a chance the Supreme Court will be asked to consider the constitutionality of a handgun ban and rule for the first time on the definition of the "right to bear arms."

The Hypocritical Right

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Don't get me wrong, I'm all onboard with conservatives when it comes calling people who are offended by public displays of religion retarded, but those sentiments extend to people who get nervous when they see two plastic dolls of the male persuasion holding hands:

BOSTON - Macy's department store has removed a window display marking Boston's gay pride week after a group that opposes gay marriage complained it was offensive.

The display at the downtown Boston store featured two male mannequins, with one wearing a gay pride rainbow flag around his waist, next to a list of several planned Boston Pride Week events.

MassResistance, formerly the Article 8 Alliance, which has campaigned against gay marriage and gay-themed textbooks in public schools, objected to the display and said the mannequin wearing the flag had a "skirt" on, the Boston Herald reported.

ACLU of Massachusetts spokeswoman Sarah Wunsch criticized Macy's for "succumbing to the bigotry" of what she said was a fringe anti-gay group.
It doesn't matter who you are. No one is above society or has the right to not be "offended" by whatever it is that day they don't like. If you're not comfortable with what Macy's is advertising in their storefront window, don't shop there! Stop trying to ruin everything for us normal people.

As for the ACLU, don't get me started with them. They'll tolerate any public display of homosexuality or desecration of religion no matter how extreme, but a plaque of the Ten Commandments will have them running for the courts.

Let's just learn to relax, people. 6-6-06 has passed and we're all still here.

Coulter: Big Meanie

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

This is rich. Ann Coulter is currently under attack (somewhat deservedly) for making the case that liberals use victims (Cindy Sheehan, the 9/11 widows) to spout their arguments so they can't be refuted, because that would just be plain mean. Sure enough, Coulter tries to refute and is blamed for it accordingly.

Adam Lisberg of the New York Daily News is currently recovering from a stroke:

Ann Coulter has been accused of cynically dumping gasoline on the fires of American political discourse - scorching liberals, feminists and just about anyone else who doesn't agree with her.

Liberals, she insists, "want to take more of our money, kill babies and discriminate on the basis of race."
Yes liberals want to take more of our money. It's called taxes. Yes liberals want to kill more babies. It's called abortion. Yes liberals want to discriminate on the basis of race. It's called affirmative action. What's so controversial about that often-repeated quote? Oh, ok - abortionists don't "kill," they "dilate and extract."
With her blond tresses and endless skinny legs showcased in trademark micro-miniskirts, Coulter has fashioned herself into a highly marketable icon of the right.

The more outrageous she is, the more money she makes.

Her first four books - the fifth was published yesterday - have been best sellers, spawning a genre of acid blond conservative female writers.
Right. So if an author has a slew of best sellers, it must be because she is engaged in a marketing scheme designed to make as much money as possible regardless of the substance of the books. Don't bother reading what she has to say, it's just to make money!

Now critics are mad because on The Today Show Coulter defended her point against the 9/11 widows, a group of women who lost their husbands on Sept. 11 and started a political campaign to embarrass President Bush. Trust me, he doesn't need the help.

But when you say, as the group of four widows did, that President Bush was responsible for 9/11, you deserve whatever criticism comes your way. Making such statements puts yourself into the political arena and all bets are off. We're sorry you lost a loved one, but don't expect immunity from criticism after you call the president a terrorist.

Liberals who haven't read the new book are spamming the Amazon page for Godless with their pseudo-reviews and 1-star ratings. Doesn't matter though, it's currently the #2 book in its second day.

Surprise, Surprise: Suspect in Clemson Student's Murder a Repeated Sex Offender

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I guess this guy still has some "rehabilitating" to do:

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Authorities say they have issued arrest warrants for murder, rape and kidnapping against a Tennessee man in the death of a Clemson University student strangled with her bikini top.

Jerry Buck Inman's DNA matched samples taken from Tiffany Marie Souers' apartment, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said Tuesday night.

Inman has not been arrested. He is considered extremely dangerous and is likely in a green Chevrolet Camaro or an Econoline van, prosecutor Bob Ariail said.

The 35-year-old construction worker was registered as a sex offender in Florida in September for kidnapping and sexual battery. His last address is listed as Dandridge, Tenn.

Inman also had a felony record from North Carolina, but Stewart wouldn't elaborate. Ariail did say that he still thinks this is the first time the suspect has killed someone.

Souers, a 20-year-old civil engineering junior from Ladue, Mo., was wearing only a bra when she was found on her bedroom floor a few miles from campus. The bikini top was still around her neck.
So here we have a guy who's a registered sex offender in two states, has a prior history of kidnapping and sexual battery, and is now running freely from authorities as a suspect in the brutal rape and murder of a Clemson student. The sad thing is that you could cut his rap sheet in half and he would still deserve a good thirty or more years behind bars. Alas, certain members of society's penchant for "rehabilitation" and early release programs allow for barbarians the opportunity to strike again.

The police chief was quoted in the above article as saying this is most likely the first time the suspect has killed anyone. But how come we're not asking why Inman had the opportunity to upgrade his criminal resume to murder in the first place?

Select Quotes from Godless

Before I post my complete review of Ann Coulter's Godless I figure a few choice quotes (but certainly not the best) will do in the mean time:

"The New York Times and the rest of the mainstream media will only refer to partial birth abortion as 'what opponents refer to as partial birth abortion.' What do its supporters call it? Casual Fridays? Bean-with-bacon potato-chip dip?"

"Moreover, if women are so pro-abortion why are virtually all abortionists men? If ever there was a need for a Take Our Daughters To Work Day, it's at the abortion mills."

"This leads to the astonishing spectacle of Teddy Kennedy in full-dress sanctimony, getting all high and mighty with Supreme Court candidates as if the nominee had done something heinous like drown a girl and walk away from it because he had diplomatic immunity in the state of Massachusetts."

"Throughout the 2004 campaign, the Democrats were looking for a Democrat who believed in God - a pursuit similar to a woman searching for a boyfriend in a room full of choreographers."

"And, of course, [Michael] Moore sat with Jimmy Carter at the National Democratic Convention, which drew more than a few glances, mostly from people wondering when the luxury box would collapse."
Obviously a sense of humor is required to digest any polemic of Coulter's, and Godless is no different, so be ready for the onslaught from angry liberals who will be too busy calling Coulter a "hateful liar" to actually read the book.

Gasp, Conservative Allowed on NBC!

I'm currently in the middle of Ann Coulter's Godless, out today for the 6-6-6 holiday and will have much to say when I'm finished (yes, this blogger will actually read it before making any statements ) - both on the good and bad. Meanwhile, I am highly amused by the liberals' response to her book tour.

Atrios awarded his "Wanker of the Day" trophy to NBC for having the audacity to put a conservative on its program. To be sure, Matt Lauer of The Today Show was no panderer, but instead grilled her the entire time about her attacks on the 9/11 war widows - only proving her point that widows are used as props for arguments because you can't attack them!

Prepare for 'Godless'

Monday, June 05, 2006

Lest your calendar is without the red markings, tomorrow is 6-6-6, and I am thrilled. No, not in anticipation of another crappy remake of a so-so horror movie, but because Ann Coulter's Godless arrives in a bookstore near you! But if gas prices are hitting your wallet too hard you stay home can order a copy from Amazon.

Naturally discussion and comments of the book are soon to come.

Gay Marriage Amendment Shot Down

Dead in the water:

WASHINGTON - President Bush and congressional Republicans are aiming the political spotlight this week on efforts to ban gay marriage, with events at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue — all for a constitutional amendment with scant chance of passage but wide appeal among social conservatives.

Bush said Monday he is "proud to stand with" those who support a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. The president's remarks Monday were timed to coincide with the Senate opening three days of debate on the issue. Neither chamber, though, is likely to pass the amendment by the two-thirds majority required to send it to the states — three quarters of which would then have to approve it.
"Appeal" is exactly what this amendment is all about. Conservatives need to be reminded every now and again why they elected and re-elected the president who has been anything but a Reagan-style conservative. It didn't matter that the amendment had no chance, at least President Bush can now campaign for his party as a supporter of traditional marriage when the time comes.

Of course, supporters of the amendment deny it having anything to do with the upcoming election, one that Democrats desperately need to turn out in their favor. Republicans are just as desperate, as they need a strong turnout to retain their majority status in either or both houses. If the Democrats lose again they might as well just pack up and go home.

Is gay marriage something that should be debated? To me it just seems like a bad time when we have more pressing issues to worry about. But being that we're in an election year, these are the kinds of issues that are going to get attention whether we like it or not.

It's always good to see passionate debate. It's not however, fun endure the typical rhetoric from the minority party.

"A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry pure and simple," said Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, where the state Supreme Court legalized gay marriages in 2003.

This is why I can't stand the current Democratic leadership. Instead of rationally debating the issues, key players in the Democratic Party play the bigotry card, and Kennedy does it chronically. If you thought he was brutal to Samuel "wrong for the country" Alito, just wait until he gets to smear the next Supreme Court appointee.

He is not good for the nation's discourse.

But if anything, at least the amendment is being handled properly - in the halls of Congress. Had it passed, the states would get their say and be able to ratify it. While I and most Libertarians are opposed to any amendment that would curtail instead of expand liberties, this is how our democracy is supposed to work. We don't need unelected judges determining society's values for us.

Must be this Tall to Ride

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Everyday we are reminded that there's no shortage of loopy judges in this country. Take District Judge Kristine Cecava for example, whose inscrutable logic has placed her at the top of the list. When a 50-year-old rapist came before her facing 10 years in prison for making sexual contact with a 12-year-old girl, she decided that a 5'1, he was too short for prison.

This is yet another reason why I'm sometimes afraid to read CNN:

LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP) -- A petition drive is calling for the resignation of the judge who sentenced a sex offender to probation instead of prison in part because of his short stature.

The campaign is aimed at Cheyenne County District Judge Kristine Cecava, who last week sentenced Richard W. Thompson to 10 years of intensive probation instead of prison on two felony child sexual assault charges.

Cecava said at the sentencing hearing that she did not believe the 5-foot, 1-inch Thompson could survive in prison.
That may be well and true, but unfortunately for Cecava, she is a judge and her job isn't to baby-sit felons. Prison staff, wardens and officers baby-sit and look out and care for felons. A judge's job is to apply the law fairly, and somewhere I believe there's a constitutional requirement to apply it -- you know -- equally.

During the more sane times in our nation's history we would look at something like remorse as a mitigating factor in determining a criminal's prison sentence. We would look at the intentions of the offender. Here I thought we were through with judging someone based on their physical appearance, but I couldn't be anymore incorrect. Now, instead of giving someone a harder sentence because they're black, we can just say it's because they're 6'1 or strong enough to eat the prison's meatloaf four times a week.

But there will be no prison meatloaf for Richard Thompson. Saved by his stature, he will be spared prison and be asked - oops, I mean "ordered" -- to obey the terms of his probation. He will be electronically monitored for the first four months; I guess, because after the fourth month we can just "trust" him to not have inappropriate contact with young girls.

In addition to the monitoring, Thompson is not allowed to be alone with anyone under 18. He's not allowed to date or live with a woman who has children under 18. Whew, talk about a serious burden on the poor guy. Now Thompson will have to find a beach, park, school, mall, store, community pool, gymnasium, stadium, Disney World or some other public venue to ogle underage girls.

But none of this seems plausible to the ignorant judge who actually had the audacity to say:

"I truly hope that my bet on you being OK out in society isn't misplaced…It's very hard to keep you in society when I know the risk is another child getting hurt."

But apparently the risk of another child getting hurt isn't as important as the risk of a less than luxurious prison experience for a guy who had the mindset to sexually abuse a girl 40 years his junior.

But the most dastardly aspect of the judge's decision isn't that she subverted her role as a judge when deciding that Thompson wasn't fit for prison, it's that her decision begs the question: how severe must the crime be before we admit the idiocy of the liberals' rehabilitation argument? Where do we draw the line? Sure, a 5'1 man who had sexual contact with a prepubescent girl may not be fit for prison, but neither is the 5'1 man who had sexual contact with a prepubescent girl...and then killed her afterward.