Friday, July 07, 2006


Excerpt from Jeff Jacoby

In many quarters it has long been taken for granted that George W. Bush is an aspiring dictator, ravenous for power and all too willing to shred the constitutional checks and balances that restrain presidential authority. Of course this kind of paranoia is routine in the ideological fever swamps, where anyone to the right of Michael Moore is tagged a fascist. But you can hear such things said about Bush even in respectable precincts far from the fringe... So when the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld last week, Bush's reaction was easy to foretell: He would show the ruling all the respect of a monster truck rolling over a VW Beetle....

A five-justice majority held the military commissions created by the administration to try the Guantanamo detainees are invalid, since they were never authorized by congressional statute. The justices seem to have repudiated Bush's claim that the Constitution invests the president with sweeping unilateral authority in wartime. "The court's conclusion ultimately rests upon a single ground," Justice Stephen Breyer pointedly notes in a concurrence. "Congress has not issued the Executive a 'blank check.' "

Whereupon Bush says -- what? "The justices have made their decision; now let them enforce it"? Something even more acid? Perhaps he repeats a statement he has made previously -- "I'm the decider, and I decide what is best"? Not quite. He says he takes the court's decision "seriously." A few moments later he says it again. And then comes this: "We've got people looking at it right now to determine how we can work with Congress, if that's available, to solve the problem." There is no disdain. No bravado. No criticism. Just an acknowledg ment that the Supreme Court has spoken and the executive branch will comply. Some dictator.



Crazy court confers unearned rights: "Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, as of yesterday the Geneva Conventions no longer offer an incentive for terrorist thugs to abide by the rules of war. The court has afforded al-Qaida members the protections of a treaty their leaders never signed and they have never followed. The Supreme Court ruled 5-3 yesterday that the military tribunals used to try prisoners at Guantanamo Bay were both unconstitutional and illegal under the Geneval Conventions. The court made some sense with its constitutional argument, but none at all when it applied the Geneva Conventions to al-Qaida.

New Vatican realism about Islam: "Obtaining the same rights for Christians in Islamdom that Muslims enjoy in Christendom has become the key to the Vatican's diplomacy toward Muslims. This balanced, serious approach marks a profound improvement in understanding that could have implications well beyond the Church, given how many lay politicians heed its leadership in inter-faith matters. Should Western states also promote the principle of reciprocity, the results should indeed be interesting."

EU protectionism hurts the poor: "Peter Mandelson, the European Union trade commissioner, was accused yesterday of hurting low-income families by imposing a new EU surcharge on children's shoes imported from Asia in an attempt to protect jobs in the ailing shoe industries of southern Europe. Under intense pressure from countries including Italy, France and Spain, Mr Mandelson has drawn up plans for anti-dumping tariffs on certain categories of leather shoes made in China and Vietnam."

Patriotism strong in the USA: ""In . . . interviews conducted during the July 4 weekend, words such as love and loyalty toward America flow easily, as do expressions of belief in the ideals of freedom and democracy. Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that the latest global survey on national pride, a close cousin of patriotism, found that Americans ranked No. 1 among the 34 democracies polled."

From a review of Standing with Israel: Why Christians Support The Jewish State: "These examples demonstrate the deeper spiritual relationship between Jewish and Christian Zionists. As the world, through the UN and other forces, now attempts to make Israel the international scapegoat, it is time to bury the unimportant differences that divide us. Those who share Judeo-Christian values must join hands in support of Israel our beloved. Standing With Israel is a most welcome and timely call for Jewish and Christian Zionists to let go of mutual distrust, agree to disagree on other matters and to work together to ensure a safe and prosperous future for Israel. David Brog not only bears witness to this historic Jewish/Christian reconciliation that is taking shape, but contributes towards it with this illuminating and highly readable book."

Line up for welfare, unpaid Mufti is told: "Australia's Muslim spiritual leader, Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, has lost his $40,000 cleric's allowance and been told to apply for the dole because the bitterly divided national Islamic council can no longer pay him. The high-profile sheik has been instructed to "contact your local Centrelink office" by the nation's peak Muslim body, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, which is locked in a legal dispute over its leadership and has been denied access to its bank accounts".

Kuwaiti student quick to invoke all-American alibi: "Last week, a young Kuwaiti woman who was lucky enough to avoid jail time after leaving the scene of a fatal accident told a local TV reporter that she had been victimized by the justice system because of her Arab roots. 'It's been hell,' 20-year-old Reem Bishara said. 'I've been to hell and back. ... I was treated very unfairly. I shouldn't be paying the price for this. I'm not the one who did anything.' Actually, she did. Bishara's attitude illustrates exactly why so many people are put off by her. It isn't because she was born a Kuwaiti. It's because she behaves like an American. Not like the early patriots whom we celebrate each July Fourth, but like the 2006 variety, who would rather blame others for their troubles than own up to them."

Put the "independence" back in Independence Day: "'Independence Day' is a critically important title. It signifies the fundamental meaning of this nation, not just of the holiday. The American Revolution remains unique in human history: a revolution -- and a nation -- founded on a moral principle, the principle of individual rights. Jefferson at Philadelphia, and Washington at Valley Forge, pledged their 'lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.' For what? Not for mere separation from England, not -- like most rebels -- for the 'freedom' to set up their own tyranny. In fact, Britain's tyranny over the colonists was mild compared to what most current governments do to their citizens. Jefferson and Washington fought a war for the principle of independence, meaning the moral right of an individual to live his own life as he sees fit."



"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." -- 19th century German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. Hegel is the most influential philosopher of the Left -- inspiring Karl Marx, the American "Progressives" of the early 20th century and university socialists to this day.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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