Saturday, January 22, 2005

32nd Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

This almost slipped right by me but I decided to visit my daily links again before going to bed. Both LaShawn Barber and Captain's Quarters report that it's been 32 years since the Supreme Court decided that states did not have the right to prosecute murder.

There's not much to be said about this that hasn't already been said a thousand times, I suppose. I'll just make the following contribution: why are the Feds still allowed to violate the private relationship between Mafia kingpins and professional hitmen?

Friday, January 21, 2005

The President's Inaugural Address

Many people on the Right, like Hugh Hewitt, seem to think this was hit out of the park. It had it's moments, certainly. But there are a few elements that greatly concern me.

We have seen our vulnerability - and we have seen its deepest source. For as long as whole regions of the world simmer in resentment and tyranny - prone to ideologies that feed hatred and excuse murder - violence will gather, and multiply in destructive power, and cross the most defended borders, and raise a mortal threat. There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.

The President comes so close to getting it. It's absolutely true that the third world "simmer[s] in resentment and tyranny." It's also true that ideology drives Islamic terror and gently pats on the head those who want us dead. But freedom alone cannot and will not stop what we see in the Middle East. Only the blood of Jesus Christ and the working of the Holy Spirit can "break the reign of hatred and resentment." Attributing it to the amorphous "freedom" is just silly. Freedom only removes some of the external restraints of government. Unless those external restraints are replaced with self-policing by individuals, freedom does more harm than good.

Of course, Bush admits this later in the speech, but then blows it again:

In America's ideal of freedom, the public interest depends on private character - on integrity, and tolerance toward others, and the rule of conscience in our own lives. Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self. That edifice of character is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran, and the varied faiths of our people.

President Bush does not seem able to let go of the hope that the Koran and Islam are equal to all other religions. It would be to the benefit of all Americans if the President would read Robert Spencer's book, Islam Unveiled. Spencer makes it plain that the Koran and Islam belong more to the problem set than the solution set. We cannot continue the foolish charade that casts Islam as a religion of peace. It is not a religion of peace. It is a religion of hatred, built on a tissue of lies. And lies can never be a foundation for effective and useful freedom.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I'm back

School started again, so I took a break for a couple of weeks. Things are settled down now and I'm back to posting! And there's plenty to talk about. Thoughts on the inauguration coming up...

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Andrew Heyward is the wrong guy

According to NewsMax, President of CBS News Andrew Heyward has apologized to the White House for the Rathergate scandal and promised that CBS News would be "fair and balanced" in the future. This is wrong on many levels.

First, if they will be "fair and balanced" in the future, is this not an admission of being unfair in the past? The NewsMax story says that Heyward denied any bias in the past against the President.

Second, why is Andrew Heyward apologizing to the President? CBS News did not lie to the President. CBS News lied to us. Heyward should direct his apologies to the public, as well as his promises of "fair and balanced" reportage in the future.

Third, why is Andrew Heyward mending fences with the White House? We've always been told that it's not ethical for journalists to have anything even approaching a cordial relationship with politicians. It clouds their journalistic integrity. I have two guesses as to the purpose of this attempt to "repair a poor relationship" with the White House:

  • Andrew Heyward actually believes all the silly propaganda about the fascist Nazis in the White House "chilling" free speech and is worried that he'll be sent to a gulag. Or...

  • This is an attempt to win sympathy by making CBS News look like an oppressed supplicant, bowing and scraping before the President.

I think it may be the latter.

Rush is Wrong!

Well, sort of. It's not too often I find myself disagreeing with Rush Limbaugh. He has a great research staff, works hard at show prep, and has quite a bit of general knowledge to fuel his monologues.

But he is factually incorrect about the philosophy of the Founding Fathers. A caller stated that the rights put forward in the U.S. Constitution apply to all mankind. Rush says that they do not and that this is a misinterpretation of the intent of the document and of the authors' intent.

In reality, our Enlightenment period philosophers did view rights as universal among mankind. They also did not believe that the Bill of Rights was an exhaustive or limiting enumeration of rights.

Whether we actually agree with the idea of Natural Law or not is another matter. I myself am not sure about the substance or even existence of Natural Law. But the movers and shakers of 1789 believed in it.

Now, that still doesn't mean that captured Al Qaeda operatives must be paid by the U.S. military and given dormitories, kitchen dinettes, and other exciting gameshow prizes. But the opportunity to correct Rush Limbaugh on the American Founding doesn't come along every day! You have to savor a moment like that...