Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Elena Kagan - Protecting More Equal Pigs in Court

From a post by Jennifer Abel at Ravings of a Feral Genius.

Most of the debate surrounding Kagan involves her judicial experience or lack thereof, but I don’t care that she’s never served on the bench before; I care that in Pottawatomie vs. McGhee, Kagan argued that prosecutors should not be subject to lawsuits if they manufacture fake evidence which results in innocent people going to jail.

Let me reiterate that: Elena Kagan believes prosecutors who lie in court to convict innocent people should not be penalized for their actions. Elena Kagan believes perjury is a crime only for ordinary citizens, not for officers of the court. And Obama wants “that same kind of leadership” on the Supreme Court.

One commenter on the piece, has the audacity to state the following in regards to this.

I’m not sure we do know that, Jennifer. She argued that position in her role as solicitor general. Apparently, that’s the administration’s position on that issue, which means we know that that is what Obama thinks.

Jennifer adroitly responds.

She was willing to argue it, TIO, and I don’t buy “I was just following orders” as a justification for evil. Frankly, if she found the notion appalling but still argued in favor of it that makes her the worst kind of whore, one who will sell out her principles for money and throw the very notion of justice under the bus. So fuck her, and fuck Obama too.

Well said, Jennifer.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 04:08 PM
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A Muhammad Joke

The everybody draw Muhammad cartoon day seems to have a bit of life left in it, though I think that the instigators of said day have backed down from promoting it.

The day came to mind, again, after I read a Pajamas Media piece by Raymond Ibrahim titled What Did You Say About Muhammad?!  The piece informs readers of what non-Westerners are allegedly getting away with saying about Muhammad.

Because even my drawn stick people are crudely rendered, I would not be able to contribute to a draw a Muhammad cartoon day, but I can regal you with a joke.

An Islamic suicide bomber blows himself up, killing over thirty innocent people, and finds himself in the netherworld.  The suicide bomber sees a flight of stairs and says to himself, “Muhammad is at the top, I must climb those stairs to receive my rewards of paradise from Muhammad.”  So up the stairs he climbs.

When the suicide bomber gets to the top of the stairs, he sees a distinquished man sitting on a wooden throne.  Rejoicing, the suicide bomber approaches the man and says, “Are you Muhammad, are you Muhammad?, I’ve come for my rewards of paradise.”

The distinquished looking man says to the suicide bomber, “No, I’m not Muhammad, I’m Abraham.  If you want to see Muhammad, you have to go to the top,” and he points the suicide bomber to another flight of stairs.

The suicide bomber thinks to himself with happiness, “If Abraham is only at this level, all I’ve learned about Muhammad must be true,” and he heads up the stairs.

When the suicide bomber reaches the top of this flight of stairs, there is an even more impressive man sitting on a silver throne.

The suicide bomber thinks how blessed he must be, and says to the man on the silver throne, “Are you Muhammad?  Are you Muhammad?, I’ve come for my rewards of paradise.”  “No,” the impressive looking man says, “I’m Jesus.  If you want to see Muhammad, you have to go to the top,” and he points the suicide bomber to another flight of stairs.

Now, the suicide bomber is beside himself with joy, thinking to himself, “Muhammad is the One, he is at the top,” and with alacrity he heads up the stairs.

When the suicide bomber gets to the top of the stairs, he sees the most venerable, bearded man he has ever seen sitting on a golden throne, and he rejoices, approaching the man with a glad heart and dreams of the wonders of the rewards of paradise.  The suicide bomber stands in front of the man and says, “Are you Muhammad?  Are you Muhammad?, I’ve come for my rewards of paradise.”

The venerable man benevolently looks down on the suicide bomber and says, “No, I am God.”

The suicide bomber is shocked to his core and stammers out the words, “But, but Muhammad, they told me Muhammad is at the top!”

God gently smiles at the suicide bomber and says, “Rest man, rest.  Muhammad is at the top, but you must be thirsty after your long climb from the netherworld, wouldn’t you like some tea?”

The suicide bomber is mollified by God’s words, thinking to himself “Okay, I can wait a bit longer for my rewards of paradise from Muhammad,” and says to God, “Yes, some tea would be nice.”

So God smiles at the suicide bomber, turns his head and hollers, “Hey, Muhammad, you Paki cunt, bring us some tea!”

UPDATE: 05.13.2010 Via Fred Lapides, Can suicide bombers be funny?

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 12:47 PM
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End Game

Via the Western Rifle Shooters Association we are pointed to a post at Shenandoah titled The New World Order Is Now Complete.  The third to the last paragraph from the post.

The end game arrived with little fanfare but as expected a warning shot across the bow of the world economies with the shock of last Thursday. The Untied States has a banking cartel which was already engaged to be married to their Eurosocialist brethren but the right trigger event was never created to insure that the “people” would cooperate in such an event. Americans, due to the demographic shift, will support any and all actions that guarantee their retirement accounts as large numbers of the Baby Boomer generation is more than happy to sell the rest of us out to insure a comfortable period of time from retirement to their death. The Eurosocialist want to protect their 32 hour work week with 12 weeks of vacation so they are willing to accept a more “diversified” society if the United States citizens are willing to pay for it, thus they will accept their new immigrants, their new laws, and their new compliance with a budding world council to manage their affairs because after all the “New World” is going to share in their pain.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 11:06 AM
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Political Philosophy Fail

In a post at Let A Thousand Nations Bloom, Mike Gibson posts a question, Why Don’t Political Philosophers Generate New Ideas For Governance?, and partially answers that question this way.

The truth is that academic political philosophy is not about political philosophy. It is about pleasing superiors. Like other academics, political philosophers start out as undergraduates grubbing for grades. Without creative thinking or ingenuity, they are rewarded for how well they can parrot and please their professors, the gatekeepers whose “recommendations” carry more weight than any other item in their grad school application. As a career progresses, the filters of ideological conformity only strengthen, particularly all the worse for political philosophy, since there is no empirical check on its practitioner’s biases. Why propose an idea that might undermine your career? Better to discuss footnote 124 in the Theory of Justice. Like the cops in the Wire, your overwhelming concern is the chain of command. Instead of generating ideas about how to design better political systems that people may actually want to live in, you live year after year in peer review servility, obtaining credentialist pats on the head.

Mike has additional comments on the question, and Mike F. Martin, responding to the question in the comments, also adds this note, which strikes the nail squarely.

Thus, at bottom the most successful political theories — if success is judged by number of adherents — must provide for (even appeal to) the lowest common denominator of ideology and instinct…

I think that the lowest common denominator, encompassing political philosophy departments, the political system, and the masses, is fear of being an individual and being self-reliant, which has been inculcated into individuals from the moment they walk into school at the most tender of ages.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 10:42 AM
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A Verbal Exchange Between a Jew and a Muslim

What follows, is a small portion of a verbal exchange between David Horowitz and a member of the Muslim Students Association at UCSD.

Horowitz:...‘Okay, I’ll put it to you this way. I am a Jew. The head of Hizbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For or Against it?

MSA member: For it.

Any questions?

Viddie (3:29) of the exchange can be viewed at Vlad Tepes blog.  A transcript of the exchange, and additional commentary, can be read in a post at Eternity Road titled The Naked Face of Evil.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 09:50 AM
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A Poem by Henry Lawson

Ed Rasimus posts Australian writer and poet Henry Lawson’s Every Man Should Have A Rifle, which is worth reposting here.

So I sit and write and ponder, while the house is deaf and dumb,
Seeing visions “over yonder” of the war I know must come.
In the corner – not a vision – but a sign for coming days
Stand a box of ammunition and a rifle in green baize.
And in this, the living present, let the word go through the land,
Every tradesman, clerk and peasant should have these two things at hand.

No – no ranting song is needed, and no meeting, flag or fuss –
In the future, still unheeded, shall the spirit come to us!
Without feathers, drum or riot on the day that is to be,
We shall march down, very quiet, to our stations by the sea.
While the bitter parties stifle every voice that warns of war,
Every man should own a rifle and have cartridges in store!

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 09:37 AM
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Re-read, Re-read, Re-read

Re-reading is much underrated. I’ve read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold once every five years since I was 15. I only started to understand it the third time.

From a piece titled This much I know: Malcolm Gladwell linked via Tyler Cowen.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 09:19 AM
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Perfection of Man Quote

From Wendy McElroy’s wonderful essay The perfectibility of man.

...Perfection was not a matter of having wealth, social status, or special talents such as a brilliant mind; perfection was not a reward for being elite. Anyone who honestly pursued truth, who lived in harmony with nature (reality) and himself could achieve perfection. In other words, the “good life” came from acting in accordance with principles that were accessible to everyone – principles such as a respect for nature and the freedom of others.

Even a deeply flawed person can achieve perfection. It happens the minute he sincerely commits himself to live in harmony with reason, nature and his own humanity. The inevitable and many mistakes made along the way do not matter. What matters is the sincerity of commitment. As simple as this map to “the good life” sounds, however, the personal characteristics that lead to “perfection” need to be nurtured and sustained through hard, daily work.

The rewards of “a good life” are immense. Personal advantages include the self respect and peace of mind that come from living in harmony with natural laws. When the perfectibility of man becomes a generalized belief within society, the advantages burst into a spontaneous flowering of energy and creativity that enriches everyone…

Read it all, and hike the path.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 08:54 AM
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My Mother was a Criminal

I smoked my first cigarette with my older brother, in the shadows of the back entryway of Fuller Avenue Christian Reformed Church.  I was in second or third grade.

I didn’t get caught smoking, that time, but I can recall an incident where I did get caught by my Mum a year or two later, after we had moved to Holland, Michigan.  I distinctly remember the punishment.

I walked into the kitchen and my Mum said, “You’ve been smoking.”  Naturally, I denied it, but my Mum’s intelligence network had delivered her the goods and there was no way I could lie myself to innocence of the charge.

As punishment, and a strong deterrence, my Mum went to the kitchen cupboard where my Dad kept a box of cigars which he would give to clients.  She pulled out one of the cigars, removed it from its sleeve, stuck in my mouth, and said, “You want to smoke?  Well, you’re going to smoke this whole cigar!,” as she struck a kitchen match, held it to the cigar, and said “Puff.  Now!”

Jeez, did I turn green from smoking that dang thing.

This punishment, turned me off from smoking for a good number of years.

If my Mum attempted to do this, today, she would end up being charged with child abuse, neglect, and disorderly conduct, just like Jordan Paige Hensley, of Johnson City, TN.

A Johnson City woman has been charged with child abuse and other charges after Carter County deputies received complaints that she had forced her 5-year-old child to smoke a cigarette.

Jordon Paige Hensley, 24, 2468 Lakewood Drive, Johnson City, was charged with child abuse and neglect, disorderly conduct…

Judas frickin’ priest, leave this woman alone.  I think she was being a good mom.

JC woman accused of forcing 5-year-old to smoke at lake

Via The Obscure Store.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 08:23 AM
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The Demographics of Socialism

In my recent post, A Short Conversation with Marilyn, a commenter stated,

I gather that she’s not in the “demographic” you expect to be calling for that.

The “calling for that” being the overthrow of the government.  I replied,

Indeed Marilyn was not in the demographic in which I would expect such a response.

The demographic referred to was Marilyn’s age of sixty-eight (68).  It appears that Marilyn’s age demographic may indeed be the demographic where a statement that the government should be overthrown would be heard.

The generation gap in political values is stark, according to this Pew poll: A majority of people over 65 have a negative view of socialism and a positive view of capitalism. The 18- to 29-year-olds? They love the progressive label, only marginally object to socialism, and have a negative view of capitalism.

From a Maggie Gallagher post at The Corner under the heading The Generation Gap.  Here’s a link to the Pew poll.

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 08:09 AM
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Elena Kagan’s Definition of Free Speech

Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.

I did not know that free speech had “given categories” nor “categorical balancing” scales, did you?  The quote, above, is taken from the brief, signed by Kagan, United States v. Stevens (docket #: 08-769) (2009).

From a Washington Examiner piece titled Kagan: Speech is free if government decides it has more value than ‘societal costs’

Posted by John Venlet on 05/12 at 07:50 AM
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