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6/18/2004

 

more on kerry and the catholic church...



...this time from long-time reader and catholic thinker joseph d'hippolito, who hits the big time with a commentary in the o.c. register. specifically, joseph targets the inconsistent views of american bishops with regards to pro-choice candidates like kerry, and the vatican's reluctance to do anything about it. a topic near and dear to my heart, as you all know. free registration required.

locdog thinks rome, like john kerry, needs to figure out what it really believes





6/17/2004

 

depends on what the meaning of honor is



so tell us, slick, back in the dark days of impeachment, didja ever think about hanging it up?

"I stood up to it and beat it back," Clinton says of the impeachment process, which he describes as "an abuse of power."

"The whole battle was a badge of honor. I don't see it as a stain, because it was illegitimate."


emphasis added.

illegitimate? slick, you went into a federal court, put your hand on the Bible, swore an oath, and lied. you committed a felony, slick. you, slick, are a felon.

a felon as president of the united states. a disbarred felon (disbarment, i suppose, is also a badge of honor) who broke his oath to the courts, then broke his oath of office by lying to every single citizen in the united states. that's to say nothing of the most sacred oath of all, the one to his wife. why'd you do it, slick?

Just because I could. I think that's just about the most morally indefensible reason anybody could have for doing anything.


well if it's morally indefensible, why are you mounting a defense? or is this just more of the ol' slick willy two-step. i'm sorry, i was wrong, i feel your pain, now can't we just forget about all of this and move on? because saying you're wrong and actually believing or even caring that you were wrong are two very different things, right, slick? just tell us what we want to hear and that'll be enough. you're like a nine year old manipulating his mother out of a spanking after being caught with your hand in the cookie jar for the thousandth time, except your lusts have advanced a bit so it's no longer your hand and no longer a cookie jar.

that's the secret to bill clinton, folks. that's why he succeeded, why the boomers loved him and love him still, why nothing ever really stuck to him. he's just a child, after all. boys will be boys. rape juanita broderick? perjure yourself in federal court? cuckold the nation while you cuckold your wife? hey, he said he's sorry. and was it really that big a deal? just a few cookies before dinner.

Clinton said he, his wife and their daughter, Chelsea, dealt with their family crisis through counseling.

"We did it together. We did it individually," he says. "We did family work."


yeah, sure ya did, slick. i can see it now. hillary making bill's favorite dinner in the kitchen while chelsea is sitting on the floor nearby playing a game of jacks. bill comes in, hangdog, looks up with mist in his eyes and says that he has something to tell them. something that will be hard to hear, but which he must say all the same. "hill, my darling, i've been living a lie..." hillary breaks down in tears, chelsea is on the verge of them, sensing more than understanding the magnitude of the transgression. "oh bill," hillary cries "how could you? didn't you think of me? didn't you think of your daughter?"

then the director yells "cut," hillary wipes away the spray-tears and lights a cigarette, bill orders a diet fresca, and chelsea takes a call from her agent.

right about now, you're thinking "lay off, man. it was just about sex." but that's the whole problem, isn't it, slick. see, i looked into your eyes when you said that you never boinked monica. we all did. i'll bet your wife looked into your eyes a thousand times--not that she gave a slimy cigar, but it's the principal of the thing, right? you lied without hesitation. lied flawlessly. lied with such pathos that i'll bet you had the soccer moms climbing over one another to get that last box of cohibas. and what did you lie about? nothing. not watergate, not contras, not stolen missile technology. not anything, really. not anything that anyone would have cared about, and when it comes to lying, isn't that all that matters? who does that, slick? who lies without compunction for no good reason whatsoever?

if you had an ounce of personal integrity--let alone "honor"--impeachment would have never been necessary. for one thing you wouldn't have violated every meaningful oath you ever took, and when you had, you would have been man enough to step down of your own accord.

locdog's glad you're gone




6/15/2004

 

is the ussc gutless or is the 9th insane?



michael newdow, the surgeon-lawyer-atheist-superdad who rode his ten year old daughter all the way to the supreme court, called into sean hannity's radio show yesterday evening to vent his frustration with the ussc's decision to overturn the ninth circuit court of appeals ruling which would have removed the words "under God" from the pledge of allegiance. except that dr. newdow, like everyone else in america it would seem, was willing to discuss everything but the supreme court ruling.

"what if the pledge had said 'one nation under Christ?' would that have been wrong," he thundered at a typically feisty hannity, who was obviously enjoying the chance to needle the otherwise unflappable michael newdow.

that wasn't the point, hannity retorted. the point was that newdow had brought a case he'd had no right bringing, he'd used his daughter as a megaphone to dictate to the 90% of americans who don't share his metaphysical viewpoint what they can and cannot say about God.

amen.

there's an old saying in sports that goes "stats are for losers," but i know of one that might be some comfort to dr. newdow: about 99.999% of the papers in the english-speaking word do share his metaphysical viewpoint, or at least they, like he, could care less about the substance of the ruling.

pick up the new york times, for instance, and you'll get the impression that the supreme court gave this case the slip with some sleazy lawyering.

An inconclusive decision by the Supreme Court on Monday left "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance while keeping the issue alive for possible resolution in a future case.

But in voting to overturn [the ninth circuit court of appeals] decision, only three of the justices expressed a view on the merits of the case. With each providing a somewhat different analysis, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Justice Clarence Thomas all said the pledge as revised by Congress exactly 50 years ago was constitutional.


i can understand the times' frustration at being denied a story. the procedural deus ex machina handed down by the ussc left all parties unsatisfied to some extent, but there is a real story here, one so significant to constitutional law that it makes "under God" per se seem trivial in comparison.

no, it isn't the whole custody mess. that's important, but in a country where divorce has become normative, few have yet to be exposed. i'm talking about our rampaging federal courts, and what should be done to stop them.

why is this case being reported "the supreme court ducked," rather than "the 9th over-reached?" or, better still: "why do we even have federal appellate courts?" theoretically they exist to make less work for the supreme court, but in practice...

"legislating from the bench," is as well-worn a conservative gripe as any you're likely to hear, but when john paul stevens quotes robert bork, you damn well better pay attention:

The "unelected, unrepresentative judiciary in our kind of government" should not reach out unnecessarily to decide cases, Justice Stevens said, quoting from an opinion written in 1983 by the conservative icon Robert H. Bork, then an appeals court judge. Justice Stevens is a consummate craftsman, and the sly reference was clearly intentional.


the 9th circuit court of appeals is simply the most advanced case of a cancer that's metastasized throughout the federal court system. how bad have things gotten? i'd give you ten to one that stevens agrees, in principle, with the 9th's decision. but their usurpation of legislative power has become so egregious that even a fellow liberal like stevens has had to put his foot down. it's hard to miss the petty, if completely accurate, subtext: "WE don't even have the right to do this. what makes you think YOU do?"

well, the press does, for one. the ninth circuit's ruling was forward-thinking, far-reaching, courageous. everything your average columbia grad could want. the supreme court's decision, on the other hand, was narrow, short-sighted, cowardly. it doesn't matter to the papers that the ninth had absolutely zero right to do what they did. doesn't matter that in trying to uphold their pet vision of the constitution, they trampled all over it. what matters is that the right agenda is enacted. the how of it is irrelevant.

in that sense, the supreme court's ruling was about as forward-thinking and far-reaching as they come. the constitution of the united states defines a lot more don'ts than it does do's. yes, mixing church and state is a big don't, but when it comes to the federal government, the biggest don't of all is mixing legislative, judicial, and executive. if that should happen, the rest of the don'ts combined would have no more legal significance than, say, the ceremonial deism of the pledge.

locdog applauds the court's unanimous decision but thinks the reprieve will be short-lived