Wish I'd said that!

In recent decades, the ACLU has used its so-called "wall" to fight tooth and nail to prevent government sponsorship of the Pledge of Allegiance, memorial crosses, Ten Commandments displays, nativity scenes, Bible displays, and virtually every other acknowdgement of America's religious heritage.

At the same time, it is worthwhile to note that there have been some instances in which the ACLU has endorsed public displays of religion. For example, When New York City Mayor Rudi Giuliani threatened to cut taxpayer funding from the Brooklyn Museum of Art for displaying a painting of the Virgin Mary with cow dung and pictures of female sexual organs pasted all over her body, the ACLU was first in line to defend the display. U.S. District Court Judge Nina Gershon ruled that New York City's elected officials were not allowed to place conditions on the museum's funding.

In another instance, the ACLU offered its support to the taxpayer-funded National Endowment for the Arts, after the agency sponsored an art show featuring "Piss Christ" - an exhibit consisting of a crucifix submerged in a jar of urine.

In the ACLU's myopic world, it appears that the only permissible publicly-funded displays of religion are those which blatantly mock or disparage the Christian faith.

-- Indefensible: 10 Ways the ACLU is Destroying America, Sam Kastensmidt, 2006

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bullies at Large

The diminuitive tyrant of North Korea, Kim Jong-Il, detonated another nuclear bomb and tested short-range missiles while we celebrated (although that is not the word that should apply to) Memorial Day. The North Koreans also conducted more missile tests on Tuesday, and alluded to even more tests, as they continue to tweak the noses of the US and the UN. The UN response was typical; threatening to waste paper on a toothless Security Council resolution. Two things are becoming apparent: North Korea has an American calendar - since last year's nuclear test came on July 4, while this one came on our most hallowed non-religious holiday; on which we remember and honor those who have died defending us. It is pretty obvious they are sending us a message, and part of that message is that they don't fear us. Apparently the word is getting out that we have suddenly become a paper tiger. It could be due in large part to the president's gutting of the defense budget, one of the few areas where he didn't throw money we don't have.

I get the distinct impression that Kim Jong-Il is testing us to see where or if we draw a line. If we continue to fail in doing so, I fear they may attempt to annex South Korea via nuclear blackmail in the relatively near future; presumeably while they perceive we have a president who is more interested in placation than in our own security or that of our allies. Meanwhile, Dick Cheney, the only American leader with the courage to stand up against the little twerp gets hammered by nearly everyone.

But the North Koreans aren't the only bullies flexing their muscles. Iran dispatched a flotilla of six warships into the Gulf of Aden only days after conducting their own missile tests in defiance of the United Nations. This isn't such a surprise, since the only nations that show any deference to the UN are those most likely to obey international laws in the first place. In the past the Iranians have threatened to block the Gulf, disrupting the transport of oil from the region. Whereas I think the pot-bellied little North Korean dictator would settle for faking us out, Ahmadinajad would actually look forward to a nuclear conflagration, because it's part of his apocalyptic radical Islamist theology.

Methinks he presumeth too much. Has anyone else noticed that Colin Powell seems to be positioning himself for some "important" post in the future? As with fellow RINO Tom Ridge, by his own admission he virtually never votes for fellow Republicans, yet has the gall to behave as though he speaks for the party faithful in criticizing Rush Limbaugh. That's a laugh. Rush has done more than any party official (except Ronald Reagan) to extol, explain and defend the Republican Party for the past two decades.

Just a moment. Here's a unique take take on Obama's propensity for talking out both sides of his mouth.

Choose your watersports carefully! Chicago talk radio host Mancow Muller typically espouses conservative views. However, after a recent very brief experiment with waterboarding, he found himself solidly and unexpectedly on the opposing side. He allowed himself to be waterboarded, expecting it to be no big deal. However, mere seconds into the experience he began to panic and ended it.

In our culture today, we've become very good at parsing every sentence and word we want to object to or defend. The term torture is one that has generated a lot of arguments both ways. Definitions of the word applicable here include: anguish: extreme mental distress, unbearable physical pain; agony: intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain; the deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason.

Let me be clear. Waterboarding is torture. However, under the controlled conditions reportedly used by our forces, it is a less egregious form of torture than, say, Saddam Hussein's penchant for tossing live people into giant shredding machines, or al Qaeda's habit of branding people with hot irons and whipping bound people with steel cables. Waterboarding is a method of inducing a state of psychological and physicial panic, which typically leaves no lasting physical effects when done professionally (as we have done, with medical personnel standing by). We reportedly only used the technique on a total of 3 suspects, which netted valuable information that saved, among others, the city of Los Angeles from another flying disaster. In the course of saving hundreds or more innocent lives, I think this is an acceptable technique, as long as it is used infrequently, and then only as a last resort. At least the victims of waterboarding are left alive and intact, unlike their potential victims. We cannot win wars in this life by refusing to terrorize the enemy.

An enemy who does not fear you will never admit defeat, and has no reason to stop attacking or to surrender. Anyone who thinks otherwise has no clue as to the nature of war, and would more likely be a victim than a victor.

Judge not... Obama's pick to replace Supreme Court Justice Souter, Sonia Sotomayor, is catching a lot of flack from conservatives, and for good reasons. Besides personal traits that even irk fellow Democrat judges and lawyers, some of her past Court of Appeals rulings have raised eyebrows as to her impression of the US Constitution. Regarding the Second Amendment, for example, this past January she ruled that states can deny private firearms possession. Even back in her college days, Sotomayor demonstrated a proclivity toward cases involving race and discrimination, and one of her cases, in which she dismissed the discrimination claim of a group of white firefighters, is before the Supreme Court.

In her college yearbook she quoted Norman Thomas, who ran for president several times on the Socialist ticket in the 1930s and '40s. In a 1948 speech Thomas stated (not the quote she used), "The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."

According to Liberty-Tree.ca, "Norman Thomas and Gus Hall, the U.S. Communist Party candidate, both quit American politics, agreeing that the Republican and Democratic parties by 1970 had adopted every plank on the Communist/Socialist and they no longer had an alternate party platform on which to run." It's instructional to know from whom the Supreme Court Justice nominee gets her inspiration.

Sotomayor claims to fight for "social justice." Unfortunately, such advocacy - as interpreted by the left - flies in the face of real justice.

Here's something to add to your Big Brother checklist: Did you know that the FCC can conduct a warrantless search of your home at any time, if you have a router, remote garage-door opener or cellphone in your house? More and more, day by day, we are discovering how unfree we really are.

Let me leave you with one more quote, from that astute observer of governments and men, Alexis de Tocqueville: "Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude."

No comments:

Post a Comment