Saturday, May 30, 2009

Obama, Sotomayor promise to remove Lady Justice’s blindfold

One of the key tenets of American jurisprudence is the notion of equality before the law. All citizens of a free nation should expect--no, make that demand--an impartial judiciary.

No symbol better illustrates our nation’s devotion to blind justice than Lady Justice herself. Ideas concerning her origin are diverse, with some experts tracing her heritage to Greek or Roman mythology and others to ancient Egyptian paganism. No matter. Whatever her origin, her symbolism is easily determined through common logic.

Her balanced scale indicates that justice supersedes favoritism. Her sword is ready to deliver a swift and equitable sentence. But it’s the blindfold that is truly indispensable. The blindfold represents justice dispensed without regard to wealth, power, social status, race, creed, or sex. Everyone stands equal before the law and everyone can expect fair treatment.

No doubt that’s idealistic, and blind justice isn’t invariably administered. But a required quality in the next Supreme Court nominee appears to be ignoring equality altogether, stripping Lady Justice of her blindfold in favor of decisions based on the ambiguous notion of social justice.

Social justice, at best, means only what its promoter decides at any given time. One person may consider slavery socially just while another determines that using government to confiscate private earnings for the benefit of another fits the definition. Come to think of it they’re very similar, given that one person is forced to serve another’s interest in either case. But neither situation is blind, equitable, or just.

However, Obama pledged to nominate a champion of social justice to the Supreme Court. Justice Souter’s replacement must understand how the powerless view life and the law. The next justice must empathize with the “oppressed” and have a sense of when to ignore the law altogether. Among other determining factors in Obama’s choice are race, gender and judicial philosophy.

His nominee must represent quotas in some way and be a judicial activist who’s unafraid to manipulate the law so it conforms to communalistic doctrines. In Obama’s mind Lady Justice’s blindfold must be removed so ideology can trump the impartial application of the law. He has made good his pledge.

If a conservative employed Obama’s judicial litmus test he would be charged with narrow-mindedness, bigotry and racism.

No one who believes in liberty will argue that wealthy, powerful, or connected people should receive preferential treatment in court. Yet that philosophy in reverse is exactly what President Obama considers impartial. Through his own words we can conclude that the next Supreme Court justice will be totally comfortable slanting their decisions to grant preferred treatment to the alleged disadvantaged.

Justice now means enforcing or ignoring the law based on how it works or doesn’t work in everyday life. For example, laws against theft can apply to wealthier Americans while being inapplicable to poorer Americans. Stealing can increase a poorer person’s economic standing. Therefore, laws against theft might “not work” in the poorer person’s day-to-day life. Should such laws be unenforceable upon them?

Law written, applied, or interpreted to benefit one person or group at another’s expense isn’t law; it is diktat. When justice is applied in consideration to race, ethnicity, sex, or class it is no longer honorable. It matters not a whit whether the preferred treatment is given to the rich and the strong or the poor and the weak. Judicial rulings without neutrality aren’t just; they are preference, plain and simple.

So what kind of Supreme Court judge might we get in Sonia Sotomayor? She’s stated her desire to determine policy from the appellate bench. She doesn’t hide her willingness to allow her race and sex to influence her rulings. Finally, she fits perfectly the aforementioned template of the man who nominated her.

Then again, Obama could simply want a Supreme Court justice who won’t force him to reveal his birth certificate.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Nancy Pelosi seeks climate change

Well, well, well. Nancy Pelosi has gone to China . . . and to Shanghai no less. How fitting, seeing that she’s made a career out of shanghaiing the United States, our Constitution, our values, our liberty and just about everything else associated with limited government and a free republic.

Pelosi described her expedition in typical political speak. “The purpose of this trip is to follow up on meetings we’ve had here with representatives of the Chinese government on the subject of climate change and energy and how it relates to our economy,” she claimed in a thoroughly unconvincing attempt at sincerity.

All I can say is bull!

Friend, if you buy the sack of manure that she’s selling you should have gone to China right alongside her. She probably could have sold you the Great Wall while you were there.

On second thought, the purpose of her trip is—in a way—climate change. Pelosi was becoming increasingly uncomfortable in her climate. She needed a change and she needed it fast! It was far too hot for her in Washington, where not even her allies were backing her CIA conspiracy nonsense.

She got out of town to deflect attention from her latest bout with leg-in-mouth disease. No, that isn’t a typo. The House Speaker doesn’t do things halfway. She didn’t stop with the foot. Not Pelosi. She stuffed her entire leg down her throat, burying it right up to her scrawny buttock.

It’s beyond incredible to believe that the CIA lied to her about the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques.

If she’s telling the truth why wouldn’t Democrats pounce on that revelation to completely embarrass the Republicans once and for all? Why would other high-ranking members of the House and Senate know all about the methods employed while she remained in the dark?

Oh, wait; Pelosi in the dark. I think I just answered my own question.

No one cared about waterboarding when the constituents back home were hot for vengeance following 9/11. Only after the initial calls for retribution waned did Democrats, Pelosi included, notice that political hay could be made from the “abuse” of detainees. Now not one Democrat, Pelosi included, knows what to do with the violent cutthroats they claim we have mistreated. And Pelosi, above all, doesn’t have the sense to know when to quit.

Her claims that the CIA lied to her are contradicted by her own party. Leon Panetta, the current director of the CIA, has called her hand on her absurdities, distortions and outright fibs.

Panetta, by the way, isn’t exactly a card-carrying member of the vast right-wing conspiracy or the conservative cabal. You have to know that he—just like Congressional Democrats—would jump at any opportunity to discredit a Republican president’s policies. After all, Obama appointed him and he is a former Clinton adviser. He’s not Rush Limbaugh. It just makes his contradiction of Pelosi’s hallucinogenic fantasies all the more damning.

Pelosi didn’t go to China to talk energy, climate, pollution, policy, or even San Francisco Giants baseball. She went there to hide, to “CHA” if you get my drift.

With even her allies distancing themselves from her she needed a change of scenery. She won’t be home until she thinks the CIA flap has died down, which is enough reason for conservatives to keep it alive.

Pelosi’s trip is about climate change alright. She needed to change her climate to one as far from Capital Hill as possible. It’s the first wise choice she’s made in a long, long time. In the process she may have given America a prime bargaining chip with the Chinese. We’ll let her back in the country if they’ll buy a few trillion dollars more of our national debt.

Even at that, the Chinese may be getting the best of the barter.

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Memorial Day memorial

The three-day weekend! It’s as American as baseball, cookouts, swimming pools and the blood of an unknown warrior spilled in defense of ideas and convictions. From an old bridge in New England to the bullet-riddled streets of Baghdad Americans have fought and died for the cause of liberty and independence. This is their day, not ours.

When our Founding Fathers birthed a nation with the immortal words of our glorious Declaration of Independence we began a struggle to preserve liberty in a world hostile to the very concept. Yet to that end our forefathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. Some ideas are simply greater than personal well-being.

Our Founders took an army of farmers and merchants to war against what was then the mightiest military on the face of the Earth. By God’s Hand they won! But it wasn’t cheap. More than 4400 perished to make reality the Declaration’s immortal words.

From those days forward our history is rich with heroism and self-sacrifice. Our ancestors have fought valiantly in defense of our nation’s freedom and sovereignty. They have served from the War of 1812 through the westward expansion, including a bloody disagreement that is inexplicably labeled the Civil War.

Americans charged up San Juan Hill in the Spanish-American War. They filled the trenches of World War I to thwart Kaiser Wilhelm’s imperialism. They answered the call by the millions when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and they rid Europe of an indescribably brutal Nazi regime.

American troops braved the harsh combat and the bitter extremes of the Korean peninsula to prevent the spread of communism. In the steamy jungles of Vietnam they fought an often unseen and unidentifiable enemy for the same cause. They received little gratitude, neither the dead nor the survivors. Instead of a hero’s welcome they were mocked, cursed and spat upon. Shameful.

Since Vietnam our family and friends in uniform have routinely confronted hostility from the Iran Hostage Crisis and Beirut to Grenada and Panama. They expelled Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, Milosevic from Bosnia and the Taliban from Afghanistan. Finally, they deposed Hussein entirely and quelled an al-Qaeda insurgency.

It’s been said, “All gave some, some gave all.” We’ll reserve Veteran’s Day to honor everyone who has served. But on Memorial Day it is the “some gave all”, along with wartime survivors who have since died, that we should honor.

Can you spare a minute to remember their service and sacrifice? Can you take a moment to remember the hundreds of thousands of Americans who left for battle and never returned? Can you pause to remember your American brethren whose bodies are entombed in sunken warships, dismembered in mangled aircraft, buried in unknown graves, or lost forever on obscure battlefields?

More than 4,400 Americans died in the Revolution and 2,260 in the War of 1812. The Mexican War claimed 13,283 lives, the misnamed Civil War 364,511, and the Spanish-American War 2,446.

America lost 521,915 sons and daughters in World War I (116,516) and World War II (405,399). Korea claimed 36,574 and 58,209 perished in Vietnam. Nearly 6000 American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have died since militant Muslims launched their current campaign against the West with the 1979 invasion of the US embassy in Tehran.

On this day, Memorial Day, you can certainly spare a moment to remember those whose blood made your festivities possible. And if it’s not too much of a burden, will you make a commitment to reignite liberty in the United States of America so that the blood of our countrymen and ancestors will not have spilled in vain?

It seems the least we can do.

Links to state-by-state casualty lists from each war. Does anyone from your state bear your family name?
US Army/Air Corps casualties World War II
US Navy/Marine/Coast Guard casualties World War II
Korean War Casualties by state and last name
Vietnam War Casualties by state and last name
Iraq War casualties: Operation Iraqi Freedom
Afghanistan War Casualties: Operation Enduring Freedom

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Class envy and the selective war on success

There was a time when one generation wanted the next to achieve higher levels of success. Successful people served as role models for youth, a living testimony to the opportunities that freedom held. Somewhere along the way that became unfashionable. We now want to punish achievement, but only when it’s politically advantageous.

Remember when the Big Three auto executives flew to Washington aboard corporate jets? Congressional representatives roasted those CEO’s. It wasn’t entirely without cause, but not entirely just either.

The Big Three created a public relations nightmare no doubt. With the exception of Ford, they jetted to Washington and begged Congress to save their companies with an unborn generation’s money. Had the criticism ended right there it would’ve been warranted. Naturally, it didn’t end right there.

Those executives were held to represent anyone who has achieved a level of success that the anointed Left has deemed unfair. Soon it wasn’t only the Big Three’s jets but any corporate aircraft that was taboo. Leftists railed against private jets with the lusty zeal generally reserved for tax cuts.

The sentiment spread like wildfire. Despite a litany of logical arguments supporting corporate owned aircraft their existence was demonized as exemplary of greed and excess. It was a case study in political pandering. Unfortunately, it plays well to people who have recently lost jobs or are facing financial straits.

Why does anyone “need” a private jet? Why does anyone “need” a 25-room house? Does anyone “deserve” an eight-figure salary? Somewhere along the banks of the River Styx, Karl Marx must have felt vindicated.

Such class envy was born of a time when “the rich” were clearly defined. They were comprised of everyone who didn’t work at an hourly job, especially a unionized hourly job. Most people defined “the rich” as anyone appearing to have reached a greater level of success than their own. It was wrong, but at least understandable. Now even that line has been blurred.

Media reporters and political speechmakers excoriated any company or individual that owned a private jet, or had attained an unapproved level of success and wealth. They used the impression of automotive and banking miscreants--along with a recession rooted in the political manipulation of the mortgage and housing markets--to tar and feather achievers.

Instead of encouraging low and middle income people to adopt the attitudes of the successful, Leftists called them greedy crooks. Now, why aren’t those same people criticizing Oprah?

The talk show queen is one of the richest women in the world. She has a $42 million private jet. Luxury homes, fine cars and ornate jewelry aren’t strangers to Oprah. What’s more, she isn’t shy about liking the perks she has attained. In fact, she says it’s great to have nice homes and a private jet.

Where are the Leftists? Where is ACORN, the Rainbow Coalition and every other organization dedicated to eradicating success and private wealth? Why aren’t they shouting and protesting Oprah’s extravagant lifestyle? Their silence is deafening and their reason is plain. Oprah shares their political views; therefore her wealth is accepted, not reviled.

Don’t misunderstand; I’m not condemning Oprah at all. She was truthful. She’s not ashamed to enjoy her posh lifestyle. This is one of the few moments in which I agree with Oprah, and I respect her honesty. I only wonder why other achievers don’t adopt her attitude.

No one who earns wealth through legitimate means should fear offending others. They shouldn’t have to defend their success against the pandering, power-seeking dogma of political hacks, talking head news anchors, or meddlesome activists.

We once considered high achievers and risk-takers to be icons of the American experiment. We now determine their legitimacy based on their political viewpoints. The rest must apologize for their performance, if only to soothe our petty jealousies.