Problems with Elena Kagan
I think the US Constitution, and its sources in European thought, still constitute the most enlightened political philosophy to date. The reason is simple: Human beings have not changed one little bit in the last few centuries.
The popular cant of the media today is that we're now all different and (needless to say) that we are better than people used to be. It's not true.
That means we are just as vulnerable to power-hungry maniacs as Europe was in the face of Napoleon, the various Kaisers, the new Czars in the USSR, Hitler, and all the rest. Human beings are all vulnerable.
I have never felt this more than I do today. Iran now has enough enriched uranium for two nuclear weapons. For the last three decades they have taught a suicide ideology to millions of their people, almost exactly like the Bushido philosophy of Imperial Japan. But no suicidal empire before this ever had nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
Domestically we are seeing astonishing historical amnesia, as if people really believe that all the horrors of human history are in the past. We've somehow gone beyond all that. That is a self-serving fantasy.
The current administration is the greatest example of historical amnesia in American history. I'm afraid that its current Supreme Court Nominee, Prof. Elena Kagan, is a supreme example of historical amnesia in her own life. It's sad, especially because she is Jewish by heritage and a woman, who should understand in her very bones what oppression is all about. She does not.
As Dean of Harvard Law School Dr. Kagan was part of the Harvard establishment that expelled the President of Harvard for making a public slip of the tongue. Dr. Larry Summers is currently an economics star in this administration. He is a lifelong liberal. But he was unceremoniously tossed out as President of Harvard for saying the wrong thing.
Harvard and American academia have fallen victim to a new anti-freedom ideology. Even in the 19th century, when Harvard was a religious institution, there was never a case where the president was unceremoniously tossed into the street for saying the wrong thing. This is such a profound violation of free speech and academic values that if you are not shocked by it, you've simply lost track of constitutional values.
Dr. Kagan has supported book banning by the government. She has endorsed and enforced speech codes on campus. She has written extensive legalistic but anti-constitutional arguments for the White House in the Clinton Administration.
If she becomes a Supreme Court justice she will therefore almost certainly support government-imposed censorship. Remember that if you have a Gmail account, Google reads every word you type in, to match to its giant dictionary. In the United Kingdom the police have complete access to all internet traffic. The technology of censorship is here. All we have are legal protections, which are fragile enough.
For all these reasons I am opposed to Dr. Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.
Above comments received by email from Bernard Baars [email@example.com]. He offers a petition for you to sign here
Ditherer-in-chief makes a decision on international assistance...
And it only took him two months, one week and three days to do it!
The United States is accepting help from 12 countries and international organizations in dealing with the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The State Department said in a statement Tuesday that the U.S. is working out the particulars of the help that's been accepted.
The identities of all 12 countries and international organizations were not immediately announced. One country was cited in the State Department statement -- Japan, which is providing two high-speed skimmers and fire containment boom.
More than 30 countries and international organizations have offered to help with the spill. The State Department hasn't indicated why some offers have been accepted and others have not.
You'd think that accepting assistance would be a skill gleaned from all those years of community organizing. You'd be wrong.
Counting Foreigners in the U.S. Census
It in effect gives votes to illegals
By Jon Hall
The number of seats in the U.S. House is set at 435. In Wesberry v. Sanders (1964), the Court required that those 435 seats represent congressional districts approximately equal in population. So the inclusion of foreigners in the U.S. census distorts representation in Congress: After the 1990 census Montana lost a congressional seat, and after the 2000 census California gained six congressional seats. This intolerable state of affairs exists because illegal aliens are counted in the census. But there are movements afoot to change the way the census is done. (Read the section on apportionment here.)
According to John S. Baker, a constitutional law professor writing in The Wall Street Journal, the way we're doing the census is unconstitutional:
Of course, other states lose out when noncitizens are counted for reapportionment. According to projections of the 2010 Census by Election Data Services, states certain to lose one seat in the 2010 reapportionment are Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania; states likely (though not certain) to lose a seat are Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio could lose a second seat. But under a proper census enumeration that excluded illegal residents, some of the states projected to lose a representative ... would not do so.
The census has drifted far from its constitutional roots, and the 2010 enumeration will result in a malapportionment of Congress.
In the 1964 case of Wesberry v. Sanders, the Supreme Court said, "The House of Representatives ... was to represent the people as individuals and on a basis of complete equality for each voter." It ruled that Georgia had violated the equal-vote principle because House districts within the state did not contain roughly the same number of voting citizens. [Emphasis added.] ... The same principle is being violated now on a national basis because of our faulty census.
Since citizens (and legal aliens) are all on file with the feds and their numbers are already know, it would seem that the $14 billion we're spending on the 2010 census is entirely to enumerate illegal aliens. The feds are spending money they don't have to ascertain information they already do have -- except for illegal aliens. So the feds dispatch armies of unarmed census takers into the slums, barrios and seamy underworld of America to gather data from folks loath to divulge it, having a reasonable fear of deportation.
The 2010 census aggravates because it asks a bunch of new questions the feds shouldn't ask. The reason the central government still does the census the "old fashioned" way is because it serves the ends of career politicians:
The census is a jobs program; it tamps down the unemployment rate, albeit temporarily, making career politicians look less bad.
The census is used in handing out hundreds of billions in federal aid. This is paid for with money the feds must either borrow or print.
The census, when done the old fashioned way, can be easily corrupted. So allowing organizations like ACORN to conduct the census can be tempting. The Community Organizer in Chief even directed the Director of the Census Bureau to report directly to the White House rather than the Commerce Secretary.
The census is used to gerrymander. George Will writes: "After the 1990 Census determined that North Carolina was 22 percent black, the state's redistricting created a black-majority congressional district. ... Hence the creation of North Carolina's 12th District, which slithers 160 miles down Interstate 85. This was racial gerrymandering applauded by liberals."
It used to be that voters chose candidates, but now candidates choose voters. To create congressional districts likely to vote their way (such as North Carolina's 12th), career politicians need to know the voter's race, etc. Hence: those objectionable questions on the census. Question 8 even asks if one is Hispanic.
Like so much else in the federal government nowadays, the census is an exercise in abuse.
More HERE (See the original for links)
Roundup from ICJS
British Methodists Prepare to Throw Israel Under the Bus
A Study in Hate
Ghost Zionism haunts the world
Leonard vs. Elvis: Who's our man?
French broadcast watchdog to pull Al-Aqsa off air
Random musings to ponder
Obama doctrine failing
West silent on Muslim atrocities
Flotilla sickness and the `progressive' mind
The perfidious UN
Israel and its liberal friends
The plain truth about Israel
Beware the words of a wolf dressed in sheikh's clothing
The media war on Israel
A huge win for Hamas and a blow to Israel
The Zionist entity: mad as a bag of cats
Erdogan and the decline of the Turks
Israel troops take over 'Rachel Corrie'
Those troublesome Jews
Does Gaza signal Turkey's defection
Israel's critical security needs
Grotesque theatre succeeded brilliantly
Ending Israel's losing streak
Time to get our act together
Predictable Israeli fiasco
Jenin on the high seas
Who says Americans cherish fairness?: "In a recent talk, responding to the Arizona immigration law, President Barack Obama stated that this act ‘threatens to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.’ I am not enough of a student of the Arizona law to pass judgment on it now but I am definitely skeptical about the claim that Americans as such cherish ‘basic notions of fairness.’ There is nothing in any basic American political document that mandates fairness across the land. Neither the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights nor the Constitution insists that Americans be fair. Good thing, since such a demand cannot be met.”
Obama’s crusade against profits: "You can never be sure when or why one industry or another will draw the attention of the Mr. Fixits of our federal government. Just imagine: There you are, Mr. or Ms. Businessperson, walking along, making money, minding your own business, and then wham: They pop up out of nowhere, wheeling around like a gun turret and fixing their gaze on you and your company, insisting that they’re going to make you fairer and more rational and fix problems you didn’t know you had. It must be terrifying.”
Abandon the “Ginsburg Rule” for Supreme Court candidates: "The Ginsburg Rule is closely tied to judicial independence. The argument runs something like this: It is unseemly for a person nominated to be a neutral arbiter to condition his or her appointment on a promise to rule a certain way. While elected policymakers should declare their views and predilections before asking the people to cast a ballot, judges are in a different category. Thus, the senators should never ask a nominee to divulge his or her views of matters that could be heard by the court. Before the judicial activism of the past half century, this might have passed the smell test. Today, the Supreme Court makes the ultimate decision on diverse matters such as affirmative action in awarding contracts or in school admissions, restrictions on abortion, the medicinal use of marijuana and capital punishment. The court has no claim to being an independent tribunal above the fray of politics and policymaking.”
Why Friedrich Hayek is making a comeback: "Hayek understood that the … free modern society is all about cooperation. We join with others to produce the goods and services we enjoy, all without top-down direction. The same is true in every sphere of activity that makes life meaningful — when we sing and when we dance, when we play and when we pray. Leaving us free to join with others as we see fit — in our work and in our play — is the road to true and lasting prosperity. Hayek gave us that map. … I don’t know if we’re on the road to serfdom, but wherever we’re headed, Hayek would certainly counsel us to turn around.”
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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)