Paul Smith Jr has a new home for his blog: www.gazizza.net. Click to go there now!
Friday, October 14, 2005
Made-up words in The Simpsons - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today
Very funny, brings back a lot of humorous memories.
My person favorite: craptacular.
A must-read analysis of Harriet Mier's time on Dallas City Council. Certainly calls into question her conservatism, and makes us wonder how much we can "trust" Bush's assertion that she'll be the same in twenty as she is today.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
The Curt Jester: Married Priest Petition
Fasten Your Beltway - It's going to be a bumpy ride
This is brilliant, and adequately summarizes the issues we'd face with a non-celibate priesthood.
The Finest Court in the Nation
Can this marriage be saved? George W. Bush feels dissed and unappreciated: How could you not back me? Conservatives feel dissed and unappreciated: How could you attack me? Both sides are toe to toe. One senses that the critics will gain, as they've been gaining, and that the White House is on the losing side. If the administration had a compelling rationale for Harriet Miers's nomination, they would have made it. Simply going at their critics was not only destructive, it signaled an emptiness in their arsenal. If they had a case they'd have made it. "You're a sexist snob" isn't a case; it's an insult, one that manages in this case to be both startling and boring.
How She Slipped Through - Harriet Miers's nomination resulted from a failed vetting process
For the past six years, the Michigan Supreme Court has been a leader in attempting to restore a proper balance between the judiciary, the legislature and the people. The bloc that constitutes the court's frequent majority--Justices Clifford Taylor, Stephen Markman, Corrigan, Young and, often, Elizabeth Weaver--has consistently refused to substitute its policy preferences for those of the legislature. Importantly, the court's other justices, Michael Cavanagh and Marilyn Kelly, have joined the majority in key cases. But the court's "judicial restraint" has not implied passivity. All of the justices have been willing to rule out-of-bounds legislation that encroaches on individual rights protected by the state constitution.
Zawahiri's Lament - What our enemy thinks about Iraq.
Although President Bush is ultimately responsible for the increasingly untenable selection, the nominee bears some responsibility. She could have, as blogger Mickey Kaus has suggested, told the president to appoint her to a federal appeals court with the understanding she would be on the short list for the next Supreme Court vacancy. Or she might have said. "That's very flattering, Mr. President. Maybe another time after I'm in another job. But right now I need to keep my wits about me and give you the best possible advice I can about the other candidates. That's my one and only job, and I don't want to blow it."
Jay Nordlinger's Impromptus on National Review Online
He thinks we're winning. Now if only the media could realize that.
And do you want a letter about Miers, out of the great many addressed to me?
Well, if this is truly an unserious nomination, might as well entertain an unserious letter or two.
As a leg man, I find it disturbing that no one has remarked that the lady has a mighty nice set of pins. I know, irrelevant, overruled.
Um, I don’t know about you, but when Syria’s official news agency reports that the interior minister committed suicide, I don’t automatically believe that the interior minister committed suicide.
I had the exact same thought.
Gotta beauty for you: Abimael Guzmán, the Shining Path leader in Peru, has denied that he is a terrorist. (Guzmán is standing trial in Lima.) According to the AP, “Guzmán, a 70-year-old former philosophy professor, said he was a leader of the Communist Party, not a terrorist.”
A reading of history will suggest that there is no great difference.
There is just about no national property more important than the Lincoln Memorial, our country’s shrine. So why should the Park Service allow part of the words above the man to be faded? (The speeches to the sides look okay.)
We’re always arguing about what is a federal responsibility, and what is not. Conservatives are sometimes accused — ridiculously — of not wanting the federal government to do anything.
Well, here’s something I hope we can all agree on: The feds should keep the Lincoln Memorial perfect. I mean Japanese, white-glove perfect. And if they can’t, let’s privatize the mother.
Oh, have to tell you something interesting. Remember how I talked about Naomi Campbell the other day, and said that I’d found her actually unphotogenic? In other words, she’s so much more beautiful than in her pictures, it’s not even funny? She ought to sue the photographers?
Next door to me, there was a red-carpet premiere of some movie. I was walking by. This new movie has Kirsten Dunst in it. And, you know what? Unphotogenic (and whatever the film — the moving-picture — equivalent is). So much better-looking in person, it’s practically criminal.
That's my girl Kirsten!
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
"The same prudence which in private life would forbid our paying our own money for unexplained projects, forbids it in the dispensation of the public moneys." —Thomas Jefferson
"None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license." —John Milton
"While the people have property, arms in their hands, and only a spark of noble spirit, the most corrupt Congress must be mad to form any project of tyranny." —Rev. Nicholas Collin
"It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once." —David Hume
"A legislative act contrary to the Constitution is not law." —Justice John Marshall
"The more laws, the less justice." —Marcus Tullius Cicero
"When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law." —Frederic Bastiat
"I think this idea that it's important to have a woman's perspective, or something of that sort, begins to treat the Supreme Court like a legislature, in which...all groups have to be represented in some way. And that's exactly the wrong message to send. The court is not supposed to be a legislature. It's been a legislature for too much of our history." —Robert Bork
"Well, look, the problem with this nomination is illustrated by Senator Specter, who in his gallant defense of her against the lynch mob of unelected columnists said, 'they should be quiet because they don't know anything about her,' which is the point." —George Will
"'Trust me,' Lucy says to Charlie Brown, holding the football... 'Trust me,' says President Bush in defense of his nomination of the virtually unknown Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court. Those two words are cause for a quick mental accounting when almost anyone says them. When said by someone from the federal government, the proper response is a spit-take." —Paul Jacob
"Harriet Miers...was born Catholic and raised Presbyterian, then educated Methodist. She goes to an evangelical church in Dallas as well as St. John's Episcopal in Washington. President Bush said he nominated her because she will never change." —Argus Hamilton
"The Washington Times reports that Karl Rove was 'very involved' in President Bush's selection of Harriet Miers to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court. This should put to rest the notion that Mr. Rove is a political genius." —Jack Kelly
Jay Leno... Columbus did not originally set out to discover America. He was looking for a quicker route to India. Do you know why he was trying to get to India? He was trying to get the King of Spain's computer fixed. ... President Bush is out defending his Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers. He said that Miers has a good heart. Well sure, compared to Dick Cheney. ... President Bush tried to assure conservatives that Harriet Miers was the best choice for the Supreme Court. Bush said "Twenty years from now she'll be the same person she is today." Really? Twenty years ago she was a Democrat and Catholic. ... Harriet Miers issued a statement today saying that she is getting closer and closer to having an opinion on something.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
At the risk of tempting fate...
"The white flag went up -- and Bush's troubles began -- unnoticed, months ago. Shortly after his re-election, the president announced he was prepared to spend political capital winning approval for top priorities like Social Security reform and making the 2003 tax cuts permanent. For months, he looked as good as his word. In a burst of public activity rarely seen in a chief executive except in election years, he hit the campaign trail, telling the American people that Social Security was broken and had to be fixed... Despite conventional wisdom in our what-have-you-won-for-me-lately national capital, this campaign scored a complete success. From utter complacency at the new year, before long the public was telling pollsters that, yes, indeed, Social Security was a hospital case and the doctor had better be called in quickly. But, having won the debate on the need for reform, what did the administration do next? Nothing. To date, not one bill or detailed proposal has gone from the White House to Congress" -- former Reagan speechwriter Clark Judge, writing in the New York Post.
"Like Winston Smith in George Orwell's '1984,' Elian Gonzalez has learned to love Big Brother. CBS News loves him, too. Elian's excuse is that he is 11 years old and has been brainwashed by a totalitarian police state. What excuse is there for CBS? Last week, ''60 Minutes" aired an interview with Elian, the Cuban boat child who survived a desperate escape from Fidel Castro's island dictatorship in November 1999 only to be forcibly turned over to the Cubans by the Clinton administration the following April. The story was a shameless piece of agitprop... the entire segment had the oily feel of Cuban government propaganda. Which it may literally have been: [CBS] disclosed that 'Castro's personal cameraman' had 'helped' put the story together... Edward R. Murrow must be spinning in his grave" -- Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby
it's going well right now. The Braves lost. The Yankees lost. And I just got word that I could be getting a decent bonus from work.
Monday, October 10, 2005
Miers Remorse - Conservatives are right to be skeptical
I have changed my mind about Harriet Miers. Last Thursday, I wrote in OpinionJournal's Political Diary that "while skepticism of Ms. Miers is justified, the time is fast approaching when such expressions should be muted until the Senate hearings begin. At that point, Ms. Miers will finally be able to speak for herself."
But that was before I interviewed more than a dozen of her friends and colleagues along with political players in Texas. I came away convinced that questions about Ms. Miers should be raised now--and loudly--because she has spent her entire life avoiding giving a clear picture of herself. "She is unrevealing to the point that it's an obsession," says one of her close colleagues at her law firm.
White House aides who have worked with her for five years report she zealously advocated the president's views, but never gave any hint of her own. Indeed, when the Dallas Morning News once asked Ms. Miers to finish the sentence, "Behind my back, people say . . .," she responded, ". . . they can't figure me out."
It is traditional for nominees to remain silent until their confirmation hearings. But previous nominees, while unable to speak for themselves, have been able to deploy an array of people to speak persuasively on their behalf. In this case, the White House spin team has been pathetic, dismissing much of the criticism of Ms. Miers as "elitism" or even echoing Democratic senators who view it as "sexist."
"To ban guns because criminals use them is to tell the innocent and law-abiding that their rights and liberties depend not on their own conduct, but on the conduct of the guilty and the lawless, and that the law will permit them to have only such rights and liberties as the lawless will allow... For society does not control crime, ever, by forcing the law-abiding to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of criminals. Society controls crime by forcing the criminals to accommodate themselves to the expected behavior of the law-abiding." —Jeff Snyder
"[B]e strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." —Paul of Tarsus
"Two decades of research produced a consensus among social scientists of both left and right that family structure has a serious impact on children, even when controlling for income, race, and other variables. In other words, we are not talking about a problem of race but about a problem of family formation or, rather, the lack of it. The best outcomes for children—whether in academic performance, avoidance of crime and drugs, or financial and economic success—are almost invariably produced by married biological parents. The worst results are by never-married women... The upshot of these studies is that America is confronted by a form of poverty that money alone can't cure. Many of us think social breakdown is a result of racism and poverty. Yes, they are factors, but study after study shows that alterations in norms and values are at the heart of economic and behavioral troubles. That's why so much research boils down to the old rule: If you want to avoid poverty, finish high school, don't have kids in your teens, and get married." —John Leo
"Accommodation is based on wishing not thinking, and if the wish doesn't come true the enemy is far stronger than he was before you started down that road. The other way is based on the belief (supported so far by all evidence) that in an all out race our system is stronger, and eventually the enemy gives up the race as a hopeless cause. Then a noble nation believing in peace extends the hand of friendship and says there is room in the world for both of us. We can make those rockets into bridge lamps by being so strong the enemy has no choice, or we can bet our lives and freedom on the cockeyed theory that if we make him strong enough he'll learn to love us." —Ronald Reagan
"It is particularly dismaying that this act should have been perpetrated by the conservative party. For half a century, liberals have corrupted the courts by turning them into an instrument of radical social change on questions—school prayer, abortion, busing, death penalty—that properly belong to the elected branches of government. Conservatives have opposed this arrogation of the legislative role and called for the restoration of the purely interpretive role of the court. To nominate someone whose adult life reveals no record of even participation in debates about constitutional interpretation is an insult to the institution, and to that vision of the institution. There are 1,084,504 lawyers in the U.S. What distinguishes Harriet Miers from any of them other than her connection with the president?" —Charles Krauthammer