Friday, June 27, 2008

Just amazing: Executing Child Rapists is a "cruel and unusual punishment"?

Yet it is OK to execute murderers?

Sorry Justice Kennedy, but rape, especially the rape of a child, IS comparable to murder. Today's Supreme Court opinion, in another 5-4 decision, in Kennedy v. Louisiana demonstrates the fragility of the balance on the Court as we approach this year's election, meaning our choice matters. The five justice majority ruled it was unconstitutional to apply the death penalty to a child rapist. From the dissent authored by Justice Alito:
"The Court today holds that the Eighth Amendment categorically prohibits the imposition of the death penalty for the crime of raping a child. This is so, according to theCourt, no matter how young the child, no matter how many times the child is raped, no matter how many children the perpetrator rapes, no matter how sadistic the crime, no matter how much physical or psychological trauma is inflicted, and no matter how heinous the perpetrator's prior criminal record may be. The Court provides two reasons for this sweeping conclusion: First, the Court claims to have identified "a national consensus" that the death penalty is never acceptable for the rape of a child; second, the Court concludes, based on its "independent judgment," that imposing the death penalty for child rape is inconsistent with "`the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society.'" Ante, at 8, 15, 16 (citation omitted). Because neither of these justifications is sound, I respectfully dissent."

And, the dissent concludes:
"In summary, the Court holds that the Eighth Amendment categorically rules out the death penalty in even the most extreme cases of child rape even though: (1) This holding is not supported by the original meaning of the Eighth Amendment; (2) neither Coker nor any other prior precedent commands this result; (3) there are no reliable"objective indicia" of a "national consensus" in support of the Court's position; (4) sustaining the constitutionality ofthe state law before us would not "extend" or "expand" the death penalty; (5) this Court has previously rejected the proposition that the Eighth Amendment is a one-way ratchet that prohibits legislatures from adopting new capital punishment statutes to meet new problems; (6) theworst child rapists exhibit the epitome of moral depravity; and (7) child rape inflicts grievous injury on victims and on society in general."

The dissent accurately portrays the activism of the majority and the imposition of those justices' policy positions over the reasoned choices of the other branches in the state and federal governments.



AP's weird perspective on warfare in Afghanistan

The news agency which does not want to be quoted will be today. In a story in which 22 enemy are killed and the remaining enemy flea to Pakistan and no Afghan or coalition troops are killed the AP says:
Fighting between Taliban-led militants and security forces is surging, clouding hopes that the six-year, multibillion-dollar effort to stabilize the country will succeed any time soon.

The problem with this perspective is that it is divorced from the reality of warfare. Fighting is why it is called a war. What should be blazingly obvious is that the Taliban are losing this fight and every other engagement with coalition forces. The AP has this weird perspective that violence is the enemy of peace. They divorce the concept from the fighters. They made similar mistakes in Iraq where violence was used as a metric disembodied from keeping score on casualties and more importantly who controlled the real estate.

Any fair observation of the conflict in Afghanistan would note that the Taliban do not control real estate or people and they are losing all the fire fights. Because they are fighting an insurgency, the war may drag on, but the outcome is clear if we stay with it.... In contrast the Reuters story points to an even larger defeat for enemy forces.
U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces killed up to 35 Taliban insurgents after the militants attacked two towns in eastern Afghanistan near the Pakistan border overnight, a police chief said on Wednesday.... About 100 Taliban insurgents attacked the towns of Gomal and Sarobi in Paktika province overnight, but fled when they were engaged by Afghan police supported by coalition troops, said provincial Police Chief Nabi Jan Mullah Khail.



Brookes News Update

The Democrats' socialist lunacy: Democrat congressmen Maxine Waters and Maurice Hinchey revealed their socialist agenda by calling for the nationalization of the oil companies. According to the ideology of this extreme leftwing duo nationalization would give the state the power of controlling prices
Inflation and wages - another dangerous economic fallacy : Money is not neutral. This means is that attempts by central banks to stabilise prices distort the pattern of production and trigger off the so-called boom-bust cycle. From this we can deduce that even when the CPI is apparently stable inflation can still be rampant beneath the monetary surface. Those who think otherwise have not learnt the fundamental lesson of the 1920s
The market created money, not the state : On the day a commodity becomes money it already has an established purchasing power or price in terms of other goods. This purchasing power enables us to set up the demand for this commodity as money. This in turn, for a given supply, sets its purchasing power on the day this commodity starts to function as money
Green Oil : A study by LSU's sea grant college shows that 85 percent of Louisiana's offshore fishing trips involve fishing around these structures. The same study found 50 times more marine life around an oil production platform than in the surrounding mud bottoms
Return of the dupes and the anti-anti-communists : The irony of journalists like Dana Milbank is that while they are laughing at the anti-communists, they seem to have no idea that the loudest howls of laughter have always come from the communists who see such journalists as dupes
Unshackle American enterprise to increase oil supplies : Democrats and other leftists seem incapable of learning simple economic facts and continue to resist and oppose all efforts to make America oil self sufficient and independent of foreign sources controlled by our enemies
The flawed and costly war : Barack Obama is out on the stump using the skills he learned as a 'community organizer' to try and woo support while talking about little of substance. He has the liberal psychobabble down pat and uses tried and true tactics any time someone levies any criticism against him
Hugo Chavez, Colombia, and FARC : For months, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) were the darlings of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
From coal to fuel to oil : Apart from engendering economic turmoil and worries of many kinds, the skyrocketing price of oil has also done something momentously beneficial: It has created conditions for America's oil independence by making it economical to extract fuels from coal, our most abundant energy resource



Another characteristically humorous article from London Mayor Boris Johnson here. Another indication of why he is arguably the second most popular man in Britain (Jeremy Clarkson obviously comes first). If you are familiar with British doings, there is a good article ABOUT Boris by humorist Anne Treneman here. I am a great lover of British humour but I think you may have to know Brits well to "get" it.

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


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" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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