|Home||Weather||In the News||What's for dinner?||Lovely Family|
I read Steyn nearly every week. If you don't you should. This week's effort is about the the Alito hearings:
That's it? It's a tragedy to watch once-fearsome attack dogs spend a week chasing their tails because they're "concerned" about the "Concerned Alumni of Princeton" -- though, of course, these days one's heartened to find Sen. Kennedy still capable of chasing tail. Still, would it be too much to ask these guys to put in a little rehearsal time and practice grilling themselves in front of the bedroom mirror:
Sen. Leahy (D-Vt.): "I find it troubling that as a young man you joined an all-white club affiliated with a national institution that has a very troubling historical pattern when it comes to the treatment of minorities."
Sen. Leahy (D-Vt.): "Yes, it's true I joined the Vermont branch of the Democratic Party in the 1950s. But, I mean, I never met George Wallace or Robert C. Byrd or anyone . . ."
Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.): "I find it, uh, troubling, uh, that as a, uh, grown man you were a, uh, member, uh, of an, uh, organization, uh, with, uh, a, uh, very troubling, uh, track record on, uh, the treatment of, uh, women."
Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.): "Yes, it's, uh, true I was a member of the, uh, Kennedy family."
Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.): "Please don't interrupt. And it's, uh, true, is it not, that you've, uh, made, uh, jokes that could be regarded as, uh, inappropriate and offensive to, uh, women, uh, you've, uh uh, known?"
Sen. Kennedy (D-Mass.): "Well, uh, I named my dog Splash, but, uh, other than, uh, that, uh uh..."
It seems unfair that only Sam Alito should get to play this game. Couldn't somebody develop some software you could stick in your DVD and play "Senate Confirmation" at home? You'd sit on the sofa and a hologram of Joe Biden with eerily lifelike adjustable hair would hector you for hours on end for being uncooperative -- ''C'mon, old buddy, throw me a bone here, willya?" -- while your spouse bursts into tears and flees in terror.
I hearken back to the days when the-paragon-of-virtue Senator Kennedy and Joseph "Zerox" Biden were questioning Clarance Thomas.
Here's the headline: Calif. Governor Has No Mercy for Inmate:
California's oldest death row inmate a 75-year-old who is legally blind and nearly deaf is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to do something it has never done before: block an execution because of the condemned man's advanced age and infirmity. Clarence Ray Allen's attorneys contend that executing a feeble old man amounts to cruel and unusual punishment banned by the U.S. Constitution.
Well, he's only feeble and old because he's been on death row for 23 years.
Iran, rightly proclaimed by President Bush as part of the "Axis of Evil" in a State of the Union speech four years ago, has been single-mindedly pursuing "The Bomb" to the chagrin of the rest of the sane world. And for years, the feckless triumvirate, Britain, France and Germany, have been "negotiating" weakly and ineffectively:
For years now, the "EU Three" - Britain, France and Germany - have been in charge, emboldened since 2005 by the personal support of Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state. They have wanted to believe that they were dealing with a power that was negotiating in good faith. They have spurred that power on to greater excesses by declaring that Western military action was (Mr Straw's word) "inconceivable". They have hoped against hope and against evidence. Only this week did they finally admit defeat. They agreed, which earlier they had refused, to try to take Iran's behaviour to the Security Council.
So now, after years of lying and cheating on the part of the Iranians, there is finally pressure to refer the matter to the U.N. Security Council. Although it's another feckless move, even this is being opposed by our good friends the Chinese. Meanwhile, every day the Iranians get even closer to their stated goal to wipe Israel off the map. So much for the collective security of the "international community".
John Noonan, over at The Officer's Club makes a compelling case for a pre-emptive stike against Iran:
The United States, striking from carriers in the Persian Gulf, bomber bases in Guam, and air bases in Turkey (long-time adversaries of the Iranians) should initiate a 3-4 day air campaign similiar to Operation Desert Fox against Saddam in 1998. The objective would be two-fold: knock the Iranian nuclear capabilities back to the stone age, and sting their military to the point where the Ayatollahs understand that their own bomb "just ain't worth the effort."
Here's why this solution makes sense. Operation Desert Fox was launched with little world opposition, sans the usual suspects (Syria and their ilk), as it was a response to Saddam's refusal to play ball with the UN over weapons of mass destruction. This latest spat between Iran and the UN is quite similiar, as there is global opposition to Iranian nukes. Thus a DF style mini air-campaign would accomplish US objectives without making our often weak-kneed European allies too queasy.
It also removes the tricky Israel question from the picture. By moving on our own, and in a manner acceptable to our allies, we don't have to allow Israelis to use Muslim (Iraqi) airspace to attack other Muslims, a move that would certainly complicate our democratization efforts in the Middle East. Gameplans like that are dictator food, as they make stirring up the nationalistic sentinment that solidifies Muslim bases remarkably easy.
And in an act of unmitigated hutzpah that only true evil can wield, the Iranian President announces:
Radical Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad demanded once again on Saturday that Iran be permitted to send inspectors to evaluate “human rights abuses” in the European Union. “We will send teams to write and publish reports on the condition of jails, tortures, discriminations, election procedures, economic actions that end up against the benefit of their people, support for terrorists, as well as the judicial, parliamentary, and administrative systems of countries that claim to speak out for human rights".
The United States is closing in on 300 million:
Sometime this month, somewhere in the United States, a couple -- most likely Hispanic, with Spanish as their mother tongue -- will conceive the 300 millionth American. The prediction is based on the latest census statistics, which show the US population closing in on 297,900,000, the New York Times reported Friday.
The public backlash against the judge who gave a sentence of sixty days to a child rapist has begun:
Vermont's governor says more than 20,000 e-mails, phone calls and letters have poured into his office in response to a state judge's 60-day sentence for a child rapist who admitted abusing a young girl over a period of four years. The "overwhelming majority" condemn District Court Judge Edward Cashman's light sentence for 34-year-old Mark Hulett, said Jason Gibbs, spokesman for Gov. Jim Douglas, in an interview with WorldNetDaily.
The outrage that the vast majority of Vermonters have here is shared by fellow countrymen," said Gibbs, noting the many protests coming from across the nation.
Well of course those West Coast progressives are all about freedom of speech--so long as they approve of the speech. And they're all in favor of diversity--so long as it's not diversity of opinion:
Bay Area abortion-rights activists say a Roman Catholic group's advertisements on hundreds of BART trains and in scores of stations -- attacking the Supreme Court's Roe vs. Wade decision and asking "Abortion: Have we gone too far?" -- have gone too far in a region known for its progressive politics.
...Critics of the ads also seem to be taking matters into their own hands. Hundreds of the ads have been defaced with markers, had stickers placed over them or have been torn down and ripped up, according to Monika Rodman, coordinator of the group that placed the ads.
"The defacement has taken to religious epithets, profanity, everything you can think of,'' she said. A billboard at the MacArthur station in Oakland was torn to shreds, she said, and mini essays were written on others.
So many of the ads have been destroyed, she said, that a supply of a couple of dozen extras has been exhausted, and the ministry has ordered reinforcements from its printer. The group, which funded the campaign through donations, according to Rodman, is also asking BART's ad agency, CBS Outdoor (formerly Viacom Outdoor), for extra display time to compensate for the vandalism.
Devil Wives blogger gets a movie and a book deal.
David Broder sees Samuel Alito as the ultimate company Man:
President Bush is getting what he wants in the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito. The designated successor to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor emerged from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings as the perfect company man who is likely to deliver exactly the kind of conservative rulings Bush prefers.
And, just exactly, what kind of rulings are those?
Indeed, Sam Alito's philosophy will be at odds with the Left's insistence on a "Living Constitution." In the words of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, "Judge Alito has displayed a judicial philosophy marked by judicial restraint and respect for the limited role of the judiciary to interpret the law and not legislate from the bench."
More to the point, Sen. Rick Santorum declared, "The only way to restore the republic our Founders envisioned is to elevate honorable jurists like Samuel Alito." It's not just the fate of the court that hangs in the balance; it's the future of the Republic. Filling vacancies on the High Court with constitutional constructionists is not only President Bush's highest domestic priority, it will likely be recorded as his greatest domestic achievement.
Or, in the words of Samuel Alito:
"Federal judges have the duty to interpret the Constitution and the laws faithfully and fairly, to protect the constitutional rights of all Americans, and to do these things with care and with restraint, always keeping in mind the limited role that the courts play in our constitutional system. And I pledge that if confirmed I will do everything within my power to fulfill that responsibility."
Curiously, there hasn't been much mention of this story which, allegedly, has been emblazoned across major newspapers in the rest of the world (emphasis added):
Italian authorities recently announced that they had used wiretaps to uncover the conspiracy to conduct a series of major attacks inside the U.S. Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu said the planned attacks would have targeted stadiums, ships and railway stations, and the terrorists' goal, he said, was to exceed the devastation caused by 9/11.
There have been dozens of blogs reporting this oversight; however, there is one thing I can't find: reports by major newspapers in the rest of the world.
The annual Hajj stampede kills hundreds:
A stampede at the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has left at least 244 people dead, the largest number killed at the event since 1997.
Updated report here.
Well, now it's official:
U.S. Senator and former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said on Thursday that Iran was making a dangerous choice in pushing ahead with its nuclear ambitions.
"Iran has made a dangerous and silly decision of confronting not just the U.S. government but the entire international community," Kerry told reporters in the southern Indian technology hub of Hyderabad during a visit to India.
"If all diplomatic channels fail, we have no choice but to take the issue before the international body," Kerry, a strong proponent of nuclear non-proliferation, said.
I'm sure the prospect of a referral to the Security Council has the mullahs quaking in their boots.
Of course, many Iranians think the U.S. should take a stronger role:
Why not impose smart sanctions on Iran instead of smart bombs, and apply strong international pressure for the formation of independent and secular political parties? Currently, the only parties allowed are Islamic ones approved and subsidized by the authoritarian, theocratic regime. We desperately need a push from America and the West to separate church from state in Iran.
If I were an American, I would probably be content with the well-being of myself and my own family, and would be inclined to oppose my country's involvement in Middle East politics -- but I am not an American. I am an Iranian. I am a subject, not a citizen, of a Middle Eastern country with a long history of despotism. My country will not change without help from the West. I wish the only superpower in the 21st century would realize its full potential in diplomacy, economic leverage and, as a last resort, military action -- not just to stop Iran's nuclear ambitions, but to speed up democratization in the region.
When pigs fly!:
Scientists in Taiwan say they have bred three pigs that glow in the dark. They claim that while other researchers have bred partly fluorescent pigs, theirs are the only pigs in the world which are green through and through.