Saturday, October 15, 2005

"None Dare Call It A Media Conspiracy" Dept.

The idea for this thread came from a simple question I read when surfing the web a few nights ago which read as follows:

Question: Can you name the industry that when it comes to power, lack of accountability, arrogance and making money in the name of sacred constitutional rights, actually makes lawyers look good???

As far as giving an answer to that question, actually I can: journalists. And while others could be noted, here is some evidence to substantiate beyond any reasonable doubt the aforenoted assertion. Consider the following...

Exhibit 1:

Up the Creek: Out to Embarrass Bush Over Alleged Video Stunt, Today Gets Caught in Stunt of Its Own (via NewsBusters)

Frankly, to accumulate the number of evidences such as that over the years would be to fill the Atlantic Ocean. Indeed, additional examples of journalistic double standards and hypocrisy from this very weblog will now be noted as corroborating evidences.

Exhibit 2:

Weighing in on Sen. Trent Lott's Comments (circa December 12, 2002)

Exhibit 3:

War Musings on Possible Media Sedition (circa March 29, 2003)

Exhibit 4:

On The Political Double Standard (circa July 21, 2003)

Exhibit 5:

"JunkYard BLOG" Dept (circa October 21, 2003)

Exhibit 6:

Miscellaneous Musings on Al Queda, Spain, John Kerry, Etc. (circa March 15, 2004)

Exhibit 7:

Briefly on the Iraqi Prison Scandal (circa May 15, 2004)

Exhibit 8:

Miscellaneous Musings on the Media and the Humanizing of Formal Enemies--An Audio Post (circa July 27, 2004)

Exhibit 9:

Evidences Against the "Right Wing Media Conspiracy" Theory (circa August 12, 2004)

Exhibit 10:

On the Media's Treatment of the Breslin Hostage Situation--An Audio Post (circa September 1, 2004)

Exhibit 11:

Miscellaneous Musings on the Mainstream Media--An Audio Post (circa September 11, 2004)

Exhibit 12:

On the Mainstream Media and Liberal Inbreeding (circa September 16, 2004)

Exhibit 13:

Miscellaneous Evening Musings on CBS, the Alternative Media, Church History and Tim Enloe, Etc.--An Audio Post (circa September 17, 2004)

Exhibit 14:

Miscellaneous Morning Musings on Rathergate--An Audio Post (circa September 20, 2004)

Exhibit 15:

Miscellaneous Reflections on the Most Recent Beheadings and the War on Terror --Part I of An Audio Post (circa September 22, 2004)

Exhibit 16:

Miscellaneous Reflections on the Most Recent Beheadings and the War on Terror --Part II of An Audio Post (circa September 22, 2004)

Exhibit 17:

Miscellaneous Thoughts on the 9/11 Commission, the Bush Administration Appointees, and Two Examples of Blatant So-Called "Progressivist" Double Standards--An Audio Post (circa December 7, 2004)

Exhibit 18:

Miscellaneous Musings on Bill O'Reilly and the Liberal Media--An Audio Post (circa December 14, 2004)

Exhibit 19:

On the Blogosphere and the Influence of Alternative Media on Current and Future Elections (circa December 15, 2004)

Exhibit 20:

Miscellaneous Musings on Double Standards in the Media--An Audio Post (circa January 14, 2005)

Exhibit 21:

On the Blogosphere and Mainstream Media Hypocritical Double Standards (circa February 14, 2005)

Exhibit 22:

Notes on Filibusters--An Audio Post (circa April 14, 2005)

Exhibit 23:

On the Subject of "Deep Throat", the Correlative Ramifications Thereof, Etc. (circa June 1, 2005)

Exhibit 24:

On the War and Those Who Try To Hide From Their Past (circa June 30, 2005)

The prosecution rests.

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Friday, October 14, 2005

Points to Ponder:
(On the Role of the Historian)

[T]he chief aim of the historian is the elucidation of the unlikeness between past and present and his chief function is to act in this way as the mediator between other generations and our own. It is not for him to stress and magnify the similarities between one age and another, and he is riding after a whole flock of misapprehensions if he goes to hunt for the present in the past. Rather it is his work to destroy those very analogies which we imagined to exist. When he shows us that Magna Charta is a feudal document in a feudal setting, with implications different from those we had taken for granted, he is disillusioning us concerning something in the past which we had assumed to be too like something in the present. That whole process of specialized research which has in so many fields revised the previously accepted whig interpretation of history has set our bearings afresh in one period after another, by referring matters in this way to their context, and so discovering their unlikeness to the world of the present day.

It is part and parcel of the whig interpretation of history that it studies the past with reference to the present; and though there may be a sense in which this is unobjectionable if its implications are carefully considered, and there may be a sense in which it is inescapable, it has often been an obstruction to historical understanding because it has been taken to mean the study of the past with direct and perpetual reference to the present. Through this system of immediate reference to the present day, historical personages can easily and irresistibly be classed into the men who furthered progress and the men who tried to hinder it; so that a handy rule of thumb exists by which the historian can select and reject, and can make his points of emphasis. On this system the historian is bound to construe his function as demanding him to be vigilant for likenesses between past and present, instead of being vigilant for unlikeness; so that he will find it easy to say that he has seen the present in the past, he will imagine that he has discovered a "root" or an "anticipation" of the twentieth century, when in reality he is in a world of different connotations altogether, and he has merely tumbled upon what could be shown to be a misleading analogy. Working upon the same system the whig historian can draw lines through certain events, some such line as that which leads through Martin Luther and a long succession of whigs to modern liberty; and if he is not careful he begins to forget that this line is merely a mental trick of his; he comes to imagine that it represents something like a line of causation. The total result of this method is to impose a certain form upon the whole historical story...[Herbert Butterfield -From The Whig Interpretation of History (c. 1931)]

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Points to Ponder:
(The Difference Between Students of Today and Those Fifty Years Ago)

[A] gradual stilling of the old political and religious echoes in the souls of the young accounts for the difference between the students I knew at the beginning of my teaching career and those I face now. The loss of the books has made them narrower and flatter. Narrower because they lack what is most necessary, a real basis for discontent with the present and awareness that there are alternatives to it. They are both more contented with what is and despairing of ever escaping from it. The longing for the beyond has been attenuated. The very models of admiration and contempt have vanished. Flatter, because without interpretations of things, without the poetry or the imagination’s activity, their souls are like mirrors, not of nature, but what is around. The refinement of the mind’s eye that permits it to see the delicate distinctions among men, among their deeds and their motives, and constitutes real taste, is impossible without the assistance of literature in the grand style. [Allan Bloom: From The Closing of the American Mind pg. 61 (c. 1987)]

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Miscellaneous Threads:

As time is very short, these threads will be commented on only briefly...

Time Magazine, School Event Expose Massive Cultural Campaign to Promote Homosexuality to Kids (Robert Knight and Benjamin Frichtl)

Thanks are in order to Greg Krehbiel for finding the above link. Those who want to continue to spin the old canard about homosexuality being "genetic" rather than culturally shaped look more silly after revelations such as that one than they did previously.

The Religion of Peace Weblog

Give it a review if you have forgotten the enemy we are fighting in the war on terror and are naive enough to buy into the whole "religion of peace" schtick.

Miers Remorse (John Fund)

It would seem that John Fund has been reading this weblog{1}...or somehow your host has linked with him in a kind of "mind meld" in light of his recent about face on the Miers nomination.

How She Slipped Through (John Fund)

In a followup to the Miers subject today, John Fund points out that this nomination was the result of a failed vetting process. To put it another way, "Ground Control" did not get through to "Major Tom" and the result is a candidate who shows few if any manifested qualifications whatsoever for the postition to which she has been proposed by President Bush.

Another Day, Another Flub From White House (Captain Ed)

Captain Ed from Captain's Quarters has now taken the same view on activism of the "right" as your weblog host previously set forth on this very site. In Our view, it is the only logically consistent one to take but unfortunately most people who oppose this nomination who are not part of the "anybody but Bush" camp are not listening to it yet.

My Thoughts On the Harriet Miers SCOTUS Nomination (Greg Mockeridge)

In short, Greg does not like this nomination and his views are similar to those previously expressed by your weblog host.

The Miers Nomination Part 2: To Pull or Not to Pull, That is the Question (Greg Mockeridge)

The above thread deals with the likely stubbornness of President Bush to withdraw this nominee in light of how he has teed off his base to no small degree.

Dead Man's Party - Who Could Ask For More? (Eric Belk)

Though your host has sympathies for The Mighty Barrister's position as noted above, there are significant divergences in the way he has focused on particular issues instead of overall judicial philosophies. Remember, activist approaches have no room to be critical of opposing activist approaches. That is something that not a few people need to learn -even at times those whose knives are as reliably sharp as The Mighty One's are.

Then The Terrorists Will Have Won (Eric Belk)

The above thread is superior to the original musings on the part of The Mighty One and focuses on the problem with the process in general and what is wrong with it.

I loathe the blogosphere (Beth Cleaver)

C'mon Beth, tell us all what you really think ;-)

Speaking of Beth, she has taken a position on the Miers nomination that is quite against the grain in many respects. In the interest of providing balance, your host provides the thread for your viewing here:

Why Harriet Miers might BE “the best nominee”

And lest readers pre-emptively smirk at such a proposition, it bears noting that she has at least one significant conservative intellectual titan on her side in all of this:

Harriet who? (Thomas Sowell)

Anyway, that is all there is time for now: hopefully what is noted above provides some food for thought for readers interested in this subject matter.

Note:

{1} In case readers of this humble weblog somehow missed Our earlier threads (directly or otherwise) on this subject:

On the Selection of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court (circa October 4, 2005)

On Physician Assisted Suicide, the Supreme Court, and Original Intent--An Audio Post (circa October 5, 2005)

More on the Miers Appointment (circa October 7, 2005)

On the Harriet Miers Nomination (circa October 8, 2005)

On Why the Miers Pick is Strategically Flawed (via Southern Appeal circa October 9, 2005)

On the Miers Nomination and Activist Conservative Agendas --Dialogue with Kevin Tierney (circa October 10, 2005)

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Points to Ponder:
(On Overcoming Prejudice by Trying to Undermine Rational Thought)

I know that men are likely to bring what are only their prejudices to the judgment of alien peoples. Avoiding this is one of the main purposes of education. But trying to prevent it by removing the authority of men’s reason is to render ineffective the instrument that can correct their prejudices. True openness is the accompaniment of the desire to know, hence the awareness of ignorance. To deny the possibility of knowing good and bad is to suppress true openness. A proper historical attitude would lead one to doubt the truth of historicism (the view that all thought is essentially related to and cannot transcend its own time) and treat it as a peculiarity of contemporary history. Historicism and cultural relativism actually are a means to avoid testing our own prejudices and asking, for example, whether men are really equal or whether that opinion is merely a democratic prejudice. [Allan Bloom: From The Closing of the American Mind pg. 40 (c. 1987)]

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On the Miers Nomination and Activist Conservative Agendas:
(Dialogue with Kevin Tierney)

This was an email response sent two days ago in response to an email received viz. my recent threads on the Harriet Miers nomination and the positions I have set forth publicly -particularly in this posting. It has been reproduced here except for some minor editing to remove information not pertinent to the discussion in general (and the addition of a fourth footnote). Kevin's words will be in light blue font.

Shawn,

Thank you for joining my voice here in the blogosphere by stating you don't really care if she's pro life or an Evangelical. I honestly think as far as the blogopshere goes, the two of us are rare in stating those.

Perhaps so. I have never cared for judicial activism of any kind much the way I do not like liturgical tampering. In both cases the dictum of Fr. Stravinskas comes to mind which is this:

"Never tamper with the liturgy, even under the pretense of making it 'better' because if you can tamper with it on your end, then you give others the right to do so on their end" (cf. Liturgy of the Third Millennium circa 2000).

The same is the case with activism...allowing it on one side means the other side can do it too.

When we politicize the court, we play right into the liberals game. We implicitly acknowledge that the Court has the right to decide these issues to begin with, which it most clearly does not.

The court's role is supposed to be primarily a negative one. In other words, if a judgment or law is congruent with the Constitution interpreted through original intent, then they say so -if not then they reject it and the case/law/provision is struck down.

I actually think John Roberts outlined this policy perfectly during his confirmation hearings, but of course caught BS from the pro-life or die crowd when he said Roe v Wade was precedent. Like it or not, it is. Then after stating that, Roberts explained how precedents could be overturned. He couldn't come out and say what he would or would not do, lest he have to recuse himself once that case comes up. So without leaving grounds to recuse himself, he demonstrated a solid legal philosophy.

I was impressed with the Roberts pick...Bush came through there but it is easier when you are nominating to "hold serve." This nomination is to break new ground and that means leadership is needed. Thus far Bush is not doing that.

Sadly the well meaning pro-life base is playing right into the Left's hands, and I'm sick of hearing these people called "conservative justices." If the man voted for Kerry I care little, as long as the man can apply the Constitution. (Granted that's an odd couple, but hear me out in theory!)

Agreed. Personal and office views need not be the same...indeed someone should keep them separate.

You seem to have really become hawkish on this over the past day, before doing a main wait and see approach. What's changed your mind now? I can understand if my brilliant reasoning had some play in it. LOL :)

I am still not definitive yet as the hearings have not started. But one advantage to being an Independent is that I have no sense of "party betrayal" on the matter; hence I am more detached in some ways from it than loyalists are.

I noted in the first posting a sense of disappointment that I initially felt and left that as a hint to where future developments of the subject would inevitably go...I was not sure how they would get there (sometimes I know where I am going but not how I will arrive there if you will) but I knew that was where they were going in essence by instinct and my political instinct is seldom wrong.

The second thread was more of a synthesis of various threads where I set down pointers which essentially is where I am still at. I had privately expressed disdain at the croneyism aspect -indeed if you read the second posting, I admitted that I concurred with Orin Kerr on that subject. And I think if you string together all the concurrences and non-concurrences with bits of various viewpoints (including a couple of yours), I do not see anything surprising in where I have arrived thus far...while not definitive yet I am about as close to it as I can be without being definitive if you will.{1}

As far as "more hawkish", I pointed out with threads from my archives how I am not making an about face on this view...the problem is there are abstract principles and their application. I have been fairly critical of Bush over the years in some areas and fairly supportive of him in other areas. I also want the Miers pick (if confirmed) to pan but at the same time, I am anticipating the third vacancy coming up and it damn well better not be a Gonzalez type or I may do my part to torpedo the Republicans in 2006. I mulled over the possibility of voting against Bush in late 2003-early 2004 but ultimately did not do so for reasons I noted at the time.{2} Whether I go with the congress in an opposite direction or not remains to be seen.

One minor clarification on the annoyance over the cronyism aspect. I am still split on this because while in principle I am opposed to it, at the same time, the body intended to be a check against these matters is the Senate not me.

I am not even saying that because she is a crony that she should be rejected, only that I want to see advise and consent practices rake her over the coals and reveal that she is qualified for the position if ultimately she is to be confirmed. And if she is not qualified -and I do not consider a lack of previous posts as a judge a lack of qualification as I noted in previous postings- then vote her down and move onto the next selection.

Ultimately in politics as well as anything it is not as much what you know as who you know so some degree of this is not surprising. The problem is, Bush is betting like he has a winning hand and (in light of a slew of recent situations where he was shown to be wanting), there is good reason to question him on this pick for that reason.

What ticked me off was the idea that this is a clever ploy by the president to slip someone onto the court who is conservative. First of all, we do not know and I am not taking Bush's word on faith having had my teeth kicked in too many times by him to do that. Second, we should not be running from a fight here since it will set a bad precedent: that conservatives have to lie or deceive to get onto the court rather than state whom they are and let the chips fall where they may.{3}

I do not think there is any incongruity between my views as stated in all three postings. Furthermore, you are aware of my many writings on the subject of legal plunder presumably.{4} When I read statements such as this from Janice Rogers Brown:

"Theft is theft even when the government approves of the thievery. Turning democracy into a kleptocracy does not enhance the stature of the thieves; it only diminishes the legitimacy of the government," [LINK]

I am left scratching my head since this is precisely what we need on the court. As far as the contents above go, Bastiat would be grinning from ear to ear to read that from the pen of a justice because that is sound thinking when it comes to government intervention in the rights of individuals.

I fume over the thought that someone so obviously qualified and with a sound understanding of Constitutional principles is not being nominated. Is Miers this solid??? We do not know and that is the pisser really.

Maybe I am just a bit grumpy today, who knows. But even if I am all sunshine and flowers tomorrow, I am not modifying that post an iota. Optimism and pessimism wax and wane in me but the principles set down in those postings are consistent even if one is more calm and the other more sharp.

Subsequent to the email above being sent out, I commented briefly on the problematical nature of Bush's nominating strategery in a comments box blurb at Southern Appeal which can be read HERE.

Notes:

{1} Of course Miers could change this by saying the right things and making this a real fight as we both want: I just sense that is not going to happen and that is why I am taking the position that I am.

{2} Interestingly enough, my posting on why I went with Bush started a few dialogues with someone I never would have presumed in a million years would have contacted me on those subject matters. (A subject for another time perhaps.)

{3} How many young litigators will be discouraged by this pick...people who put themselves on the line to stand up for solid constructionist principles in their arguments as attorneys and their rulings as judges only to be told that they should not publicly take a stand on these matters.

{4} No other subject has been written on with greater frequency at this weblog since its inception that that of the three fundamental rights of man and my reiteration of (and further development of) this classical formulary to better cohere with contemporary realities. Probably seventy threads could be posted here dealing with various facets of this subject but I will note one of them here as a representative example for readers to peruse and grasp the matrix through which I view any and all talk about "rights", "free speech", "law", etc.

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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Miscellaneous Notes on the Hypocrisy of the "Bird Flu Epidemic" Crowd

this is an audio post - click to play

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