January 30, 2006

Suicide Pact

Recently I have been probing the liberal bloggers as to what the argument could possibly be as to why it is a bad thing that President Bush has in the past and will continue to in the future authorize the NSA to wiretap suspected terrorists calling from outside the country into this country or vice versa. On one of the better liberal blogs namely 2PoliticalJunkies I was accused of "hating" the constitution. Here's how I responded:

I don’t hate the Constitution. Robert H. Jackson, a former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court and also the chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials coined the phrase "'The Constitution is not a suicide pact". I think this concept is appropriate here. Essentially the constitution is to be respected and followed; however blindly adhering to it should not override common sense and practicality. Justice Jackson was dealing with a freedom of speech issue in this case. Basically, he was making the point that, although the constitution provides for free speech, if that free speech will most likely result in bloodshed than it is not necessarily allowed under law despite that fact that is explicitly provided for under the first amendment.

"The choice is not between order and liberty. It is between liberty with order and anarchy without either. There is danger that, if the court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact." -Associate Supreme Court Justice (1941-1954) Robert H. Jackson

Although he had no idea that his phrase would be used years later in regard to fighting the war on terror, the idea is that, under certain circumstances involving issues of life and death, a strict interpretation of the constitution that may result in bloodshed should not be the law of the land. After all, what use is the constitution if we're not here to enjoy its benefits?

That was met with the following by Maria (one of the blog's co-authors):

"Please explain why Bush had to break the law. The FISA law gave him the ability to get a warrant retroactively -- he has 72 hours. And, if he thought that was still not enough, why didn't he ask Congress to change the law? Why has he still not asked Congress to change the law?"

At which point someone else (braden) with sense weighed in:

"Maria, you'd complain if Bush didn't do anything to fight terrorism and as a result, this country were to get attacked by terrorists. When he does do something to fight terrorism from showing it's ugly face in this country, you still whine. The man can't win. Why? Because you and people like you have so much hatred toward him...so much hatred in fact, that you're willing to put this country's own security at risk in order to satisfy your thirst for political gain.

Breaking the law? It's a weak argument and you know it. Whine, whine, whine is all you and those like you know how to do. In fact, the only thing that you and those like you are doing is giving the terrorists more "power" to accomplish what they want to do. I'd hate to see this country get hit by another terrorist attack, and judging by you and those like you, I question whether or not you and those like you feel the same way at times. I hope it never happens, but if it were to happen, I cannot help but wonder what you and your liberal friends would have to say for yourselves to your fellow Americans, because it would be the left's fault for keeping Bush from doing his job to fight terrorism on our own soil.

As far as I am concerned, you're just a ticked off, sniveling little liberal who's throwing temper tantrums via this blog. When I read your whining about the White House explaining the differences between "domestic" and "international," that's about enough for me. Again, it's because this world today has to "spoon feed" information to those like you because you're all too idiotic to figure it out on your own - the same way a freaking' cup of coffee from Starbucks says "warning, contents hot!" Your arrogance is most unbecoming. Then again, you and those like you will continue to sit back, scratch your heads, and claim stolen elections when you yourselves are the reasons why you continue to lose them. Pretty amusing. What's not amusing is that you people continue to make the terrorist's job easier and easier every day."

A little angrier than I would have liked but Maria soldiered on nonetheless responding with:

"The Presidential Oath of Office is not long, so I'll repeat it here: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." In his arrogant and overreaching grab for power Bush has done his best to subvert the Constitution of the United States. Bush did not need to run around the low hurdle of the FISA Law, yet he did. If it was truly too burdensome, he could have asked Congress to amend it, yet he didn't. He could have supported Republican Senator DeWine's proposed bill in 2002 to lower the FISA standards, yet he didn't. He just does what he wants when he wants, laws and Constitution be damned. "What's not amusing is that you people continue to make the terrorist's job easier and easier every day." I thought according to Bush the terrorist hate us for our freedom. So is that why Bush wants to end it? It is Bush and people like you who defend Bush's trampling of our laws, our Constitution and our freedoms who do the work of the terrorists as defined by Bush."

At which point I hopefully put an end to this by saying the following:

Yeah, we're doing the work of the terrorists... that's so twisted my head hurts. You’re taking a lot of concepts far to literally. As a liberal you should understand Nuance. Not everything's as clear-cut as you present it. The freedom to which President Bush refers that the terrorists hate is not necessarily the freedom for terrorists to roam around and operate freely in our country. I don't believe the terrorists despise the ability to operate more easily within our country. Furthermore, The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was penned in 1978 and the constitutionality of it is still is in question as is the Patriot Act. Matters that fall under either act are not legally a slam-dunk in either direction. So you should stop saying declaratively that the President "broke the law" because that has yet to be determined. Interestingly, FISA was enhanced by the Patriot act in 2001 to help try to bring a degree of modernity to a 28-year-old law. So, on the one hand you wonder why Bush hasn't amended FISA (something that any Democrat could propose if they were so inclined, but of course then they would actually be helping the situation) and on the other hand I guarantee you that you were one of those who cheered on Harry Reid when he giddily proclaimed, "We killed the Patriot Act." The bottom line is like "braden" said, Bush can't win for losing. The Left wants to make it as hard as possible for America (Bush) to effectively fight the war on terror so when an attack happens they can finger point and blame game.

It is disheartening sometimes when it becomes so apparent that many liberals care more about petty partisan politics than protecting the lives of American citizens. Coming from Boston I used to be sort of be liberal or at least a centrist but it's this exact type of morally bankrupt pettiness that drives independents and centrists to the right which seems to have a more sane and sober assessment as to what should be done to see to the continued existence of the greatest country in the history of man. The US of A.

January 27, 2006

Canadians move to the right, Palestinians to the wrong

With conservatives winning power recently it could be that Canada is ahead of the curve in regards to realizing that a party should offer more to voters than Bush-bashing and general negativity. This could signal a beginning of a shift in liberal thought. Surely, the Canadian left right now is rethinking their game plan. The American left would be well advised to do the same. Moving into the second year of Bush's Presidency it slowly perhaps is dawning on liberals that, first of all, the 2004 elections are a matter of history, and also that it will take more than just Bush-bashing to win elections. Really, it seems pathetic to Bush bash at this point. He's not running again and Americans will not necessarily hold all conservatives to blame for any mistakes President Bush has been perceived to have made.

Democratic strategists James Carville and Paul Begala have a new book out entitled "Take it back: Our Party, Our Country, Our Future". First of all, I wonder to whom do they refer taking back the party from, far left ideologue nut jobs? If that's true then I salute them for at least trying to resurrect the Democratic Party and attempting to make democrats palatable to American voters. Two strong parties and intelligent debate makes for a better country. Anyway, these two strategists were on O'Reilly the other day and it was very telling that their prescribed strategy seemed to amount to a repackaged version of Bush-bashing. James Carville seems like an intelligent and interesting guy, but it seemed a little desperate that he and his colleague kept going back to "Tora Bora" as a main talking point. Carville mentioned that Kerry was right to go straight after Bush and blame him for letting Bin Laden slip through our fingers in the Tora Bora mountain region of Pakistan/Afghanistan. Not to re-fight this argument but somehow I don't see a Democrat pressing further than Bush would militarily in any regard let a lone a circumstance where the American military commanders themselves recommended not letting the Tora Bora mountain region swallow up our entire military in a logistical and strategic nightmare. But besides that, as O'Reilly correctly pointed out to Carville and Begala, it would be more interesting and productive to have a forward looking strategy in regards to what should be done in the future. The American left seems to have a sort of "Remember the Alamo" mentality in reference to the 2000 and 2004 elections. There is a feeling amongst many liberals that Bush "stole" both elections. People are still driving around with bumper stickers proclaiming "Re-defeat Bush in '04". The folks at move-on .org should follow thier own namesake's advice and get over it. Referencing the past as a battle cry does not give any indication as to what voters can expect in the future except perhaps more bitterness.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians, god bless them, have elected Terrorists to lead them. I don't see this as a bad thing necessarily. There has been carping recently in the media decrying the implications of bringing democracy to the Middle East. Chants of "Be careful what you wish for" and sentiments suggesting that democracy is not desirable are hogwash. Under a democracy people are allowed to vote for whomever they want. That's how it works. Like a child allowed to think for itself for the first time it is not a surprise that mistakes are bound to be made. If Palestinians believe that they are best represented by killers than so be it. Perhaps someday they will become responsible "adults", to continue the analogy. It's very simple: if Hamas continues its blatant anti-Israel policies American will marshal the international community to not subsidize the Palestinian people. In a way it's better now. At least we now know what we're dealing with. By doing this The Palestinians just abandoned any international credibility. Also, interestingly, perhaps with the added responsibilities of actually running a government rather than simply throwing stones from the outside, Hamas will become more moderate. In a sick way it's not as romantic to be building infrastructure rather than suicide bombs so I won't be surprised to hear that Hamas has modified some of their policies.

January 13, 2006

Where's the toughness?

Toughness... as in standing up for yourself against overwhelming odds... as in standing your ground and fighting rather than running and hiding. I'd like to think toughness is a quintessential quality of Americans. Throughout history he have had a pretty damn good track record on this front. From taming the American frontier and wild west to kicking ass in two world wars we seem to be pretty good at standing up for ourselves and not rolling over. Problem is, we're losing our edge. Between the feminization of American men to an over-all touchy feely political correctness we are slowly becoming a nation of pussies. Thank god John Kerry is not president. There still is hope.

I bring this all up because, once again, we as Americans have to dig down and be tough in the face of the burgeoning mega-threat known as Iran. Iran is a country whose stated policy is the destruction of Israel. Therfore if Iran is allowed to create or posess nuclear weapons we can assume that a nuclear war will start. Let's imagine, for a moment how such a war would go. Here's the hypothetical scenerio: Iran has just nuked part of Israel. (They don't yet have the delivery systems to hit America in this hypothetical) So let's say 30 percent of Israel has just been annihilated and the rest is facing deadly fallout. Here's where the toughness comes in. I would love to probe the average bush-bashing anti-war leftie as to how America should proceed. I believe that if such a scenerio occured tomorrow, with our ally Israel essentially being blown off the map, President Bush would take decisive nuclear action against Iran. This would be the only appropriate response. This would be an "American" response. Because America is tough... or are we not. I would ask the anti-war left what they believe would be an appropriate course of action in such a scenerio. Since most liberals are hard to pin down on any given actual stance on an issue (other than abortion of course) asking this hypothetical question would be a difficult proposition. If you were to ask this question you would get a lot of hemming and hawwing and if you were lucky you would get a genuine response. The true inclination of a leftie in such a scenenio as presented above would be to "go to the United nations" or "seek a diplomatic solution".

It would be genuinely scary to me if a nuclear war started and someone like John Kerry were in charge. (and I'm not specifically picking on Kerry, its just that he was the latest offering to be commander-in-chief by the left) If Iran were to start a war by nuking Israel the time for diplomacy is officially over. Decisive brutal action has to be taken in a timely (read immediate) manner. The vascilating and consulting that a John Kerry would go through before doing anything meaningful would waste critical time and any kind of initiative would be squandered. I shudder to think what would happen next.

This is the world we live in. It requires toughness. To quote "Full Metal Jacket": It's a hard-ball world. At the moment, Europe is attempting to use diplomatic solutions to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities. They will fail. Iran has no intention of pursuing diplomacy. They have no intention of using nuclear capabilities in a peaceful manner. In one regard, the Europeans have succeeded. They have succeeded in delaying and allowing Iran even more time to develop nuclear capabilities. This situation is a disaster. I just pray that if war starts a conservative is in charge of our country so that our response may be characterized as "expedient decisive action" rather than "diplomacy and negotiations".

CNN article

5 days later the brilliant syndicated columnist Charles Krauthhamer gives his acerbic take on this catastrophe in the Washington post.
The Iran Charade Part 2

January 03, 2006

The New Year, The New Media

The New Year Is here and so is a brand new line up of personalities to be found manning the airwaves of the "Flagship" of talk radio here in Boston, WTKK 96.9 FM. Notably, Jay Severin is back and is now syndicated nationally. During his absence, his replacement, a genius of talk radio by the name of Michael Graham, remains in the same time slot of 3-7 pm. Severin is good and I'm glad he's back but Graham is far superior. Being right leaning, and from out of town, Graham is routinely butting heads with locals over various issues (and exposing the sheer idiocy of many of us). Out of towner or not, Graham has never come close to being proven wrong by a caller so far. Other highlights of the station include the hilarious Laura Ingraham, and the two Fox News all-stars, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, (each with their own syndicated radio programs).

Talk radio is part of the triumvirate of "new media" which includes Fox News, talk radio, and of course, blogs/Web based news. Those who seek a dramatically higher level of insight and commentary turn to these sources rather than the traditional 6:00 o'clock network news, the New York Times or CNN for example. The Triumvirate of "new media" thrives because of the very fact that all sides of a given issue are discussed. The days of a monolithic press are long gone. One who consumes the new media as voraciously as I, for example, cannot be cloistered in their thinking... it's impossible. Just on Fox News alone I get to hear the best and brightest heroes and strategists that the left has to offer. I probably listen carefully to more lefty pundits than many lefties themselves do. I am familiar with their talking points before they are even trotted out in a given discussion. Here's just a few of the names of left leaning heroes and strategists that I listen to on a regular basis, First the strategists: the thoughtful Bob Beckel, former Clintonite Lanny Davis, the wild eyed Susan Estrich, the shrill Mary Anne Marsh, NPR's Juan Williams and Mara Liason, The Boston Globe's Nina Easton, The Washington Post's Cece Connolly, Louisiana's James Carville and Senator Carl Levin are just a few names which spring to mind of lefties I can respect. I also am familiar with what the dopier category of lefties, I'll call the "heroes" of the left, have to say about the issues. Hilary Clinton, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Harry "we killed the Patriot Act" Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Barbara Boxer are just a few "heroes" of the left that I am very familiar with. My aim here is not to bore you with lists rather than to dispel the notion that "If only someone like me took the time to listen carefully to the best and brightest that the left have to offer" than I'd be more anti-Bush for example. Well I've listened and I'm not convinced, but I thoroughly enjoy the discourse and debate. That is of course, I enjoy it when lefties choose to debate, persuade and convince rather than to insult, shout down, or silence.