Friday, November 07, 2003

More proof that courts can't be trusted as guides to morality. Homosexual conduct is not adultery, at least for purposes of establishing grounds for divorce in New Hampshire. Of course, in an age of no fault divorce, does the distinction really matter? I'd say that when one partner switches sexuality, that would be prima facie irreconcilable differences.

Apparently, the Democrats have written off the South, which used to be a reliable source of electoral votes for them. Good. It would be hypocritical to do otherwise, since their party has become a coalition of people who view themselves as victims and think that the proper role of government is getting even, and that the restrictions in the Bill of Rights only apply to Republicans. It's all right for Democrats to outlaw Confederate flags, because the framers couldn't have meant those to be considered free speech. And who really believes that the Second Amendment means anything anymore? The government is solely there to protect minorities, and, as Howard Dean says, "Southerners [i.e. white Southerners] must stop basing their votes on 'race, guns, God and gays.'" He doesn't mention that they still have the option of not voting for Democrats.

Lileks' review of Matrix Revolutions is a must read, although his remarks about Harry Knowles are like shooting fish in a small bucket. Knowles is a Michael Moore wannabe. Do we really need this much proof?

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

I wonder what would happen if we did to Falujah what Hafez al-Assad did to the town of Hama in 1982. Of course, I hope that isn't what this Democrat has in mind.

If you think conservation easements are a good idea, read this.

And if you think that the Democrats are the loyal opposition, read this!

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Yesterday I stumbled on this quotation from Benjamin Franklin: They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Wondering what the context of the statement was, I ran a Google search which resulted in 40,500 hits. I then ran one on "Historical Review of Pennsylvania" which Ben Franklin wrote and in which he used the quotation as a motto. It appears from that the line was used widely prior to Franklin's book, but I couldn't find anywhere what he meant by "essential liberty". The statement is used today primarily in connection with gun rights and anti-Patriot Act sites, and, while it has great appeal, it makes me wonder what Ben Franklin would say about our current situation. I have never considered anonymity to be an essential right. If it were, we wouldn't have to carry drivers licenses or other ID. Where the opposition to a national ID card comes from, or the use of surveillance cameras in public places came from, I can only guess. It seems to be rooted in the counterculture of the 1960s and '70s as now enshrined by the ACLU, 1984 by George Orwell, libertarians and a lot of conspiracy groups at both ends of the spectrum.

It seems to me that it is a duty of citizenship to assist law enforcement in its legitimate functioning, such as finding terrorists, but society seems to have bought into the idea that the FBI is more of an enemy than Al Qaeda. Why is it so threatening to require that we give proof that we are who we say we are? I believe that we are entitled to privacy, but in an age where so many Americans are practically exhibitionists, I have a hard time seeing how denying our identities to law enforcement is protected.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Nat Hentoff defends Charles Pickering and denounces the tactics of the Democrats and especially their backers. (via Instapundit)

He's right, of course, but there's very little discussion about the root of this problem or the future it forebodes. The source is the lack of judicial restraint in the past, a willingness to use the power of the judiciary to achieve goals for which there is no overall political consensus. The fact that judges are practically unaccountable to the democratic processes which govern the other branches under our republican system has always been a temptation, but until relatively recently the courts were aware that their assumption of the power of judicial review rested largely upon the willingness of the other branches to submit to it, and they didn't push it. But now nobody would dare challenge the power of the Supreme Court to dictate political results clothed in the guise of constitutional interpretation. The civil rights cases are an example of sound judicial intervention when political institutions had been unable to achieve correct results.

The abortion rulings are an illustration of the danger of judicial activism. They have resulted in the spectacles of the Bork and Thomas confirmation hearings and now the filibustering of nominees by the minority party of the Senate.