Get Off My Lawn You Dang Kids!

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Ahhhhh. That soothes the crotchety old man that rages inside of me.

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Oh…My…Obama?

I’ve heard of  “man crushes” before but Evan Thomas has decided that Obama is “sort of God”.  Here’s the video.

I know I’m a little late on this – this actually came out on D-Day weekend. But aside from the ridiculous fawning from Thomas (which I can’t bring myself to comment on lest my head explode), let me just say that, for those of us who believe in American exceptionalism, I don’t ever want a president to be “above the country”. I want our president to protect America’s interests and place those interests above all others. I want a president who believes that America has been a force for good in the world. I want a president that won’t patronize his own citizenry by giving speeches abroad apologizing for our past.

Hopefully, someday, Obama will eventually be a president like that.

Magnificent Monday Quotes – One Great Quote

I can’t remember when I first stumbled across this one…but it’s a doozy.

“He is a man with a gun. He is a killer, a slayer. Patient and gentle as he is, he is a slayer. Self-effacing, self-forgetting, still he is a killer. . . All the other stuff, the love, the democracy, the floundering into lust, is a sort of by-play. The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” — D. H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature (1923)

D-Day

Eisenhower’s speech to the troops:

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have

striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The

hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.

In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on

other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war

machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of

Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

 

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well

equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

 

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of

1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,

in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their

strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home

Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions

of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.

The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to

Victory!

 

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in

battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

 

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great

and noble undertaking.

 

 

                                            SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower

On Judge Sotomayor

Elections have consequences.

Because Republicans decided to nominate and old fogey that couldn’t really explain his positions (assuming he even new what his positions were – other than “I’m a maverick”), Barack Obama was swept into office and will now get to choose at least two Supreme Court nominees. I pretty much take the line that Charles Krauthammer takes in his latest column: Republicans should use the Sotomayor nomination as a platform to articulate the Conservative position on judicial philosophy, explain why that philosophy is better than the Liberal view and then confirm the nominee. 

I ran across the post below on the Cornerat National Review Online. Andy McCarthy makes a great point about Sotomayor and whether or not she would qualify to serve on a jury. Here’s the link, but I am putting the full text below since it’s not that long. Andy disagrees with Krauthammer’s position and thinks that the nomination should be fought and that Republicans should vote against it. The last line really sums up the common sense argument about Sotomayer: Should we have a person sitting on the Supreme Court that probably wouldn’t qualify to sit on a jury?

In every trial — every single trial — judges solemnly instruct American citizens who are compelled to perform jury duty that they will have a sworn obligation to decide cases objectively — without fear or favor. If a person is unwilling or unable to do that, if the person believes he or she has a bias or prejudice, especially one based on a belief that people are inferior or superior due to such factors as race, ethnicity, or sex, the person is not qualified to be a juror. Indeed, prospective jurors are told that they are not qualified if they harbor even the slightest doubt about their ability to put such considerations aside and render an impartial verdict. If the judge or the lawyer for either side senses bias, the juror is excused “for cause” — the parties are not even required to use their discretionary (or “peremptory”) jury challenges to strike such a juror; rather the judge makes a finding that the juror is not fit to serve.

And the stress on impartiality does not end once the prospective jurors, after being carefully vetted for any hint of bias or prejudice during voir dire (the selection process), are finally selected to sit as trial jurors. Instead, the admonition to consider the case fairly, impartially, and without bias of any kind is often repeated many times throughout the trial. And even after that, it is standard procedure to drum the obligation into the jurors again right before they retire to deliberate on a verdict. Here is the standard instruction:

You have two duties as a jury. Your first duty is to decide the facts from the evidence in the case. This is your job, and yours alone. Your second duty is to apply the law that I give you to the facts. You must follow these instructions, even if you disagree with them…. Perform these duties fairly and impartially. Do not allow sympathy, prejudice, fear, or public opinion to influence you. You should not be influenced by any person’s race, color, religion, national ancestry, or sex.

Now let’s forget labels like “racist” for a moment. In our society, “racist” is a radioactive term, whether or not it’s applied accurately. I want instead to home in on the premium our law places on impartiality — how noxious it regards the very notion that any important decision might be “influenced by any person’s race, color, religion, national ancestry, or sex.” No one is saying that those attitudes don’t exist, or even that someone is necessarily a bad person for having such attitudes — sometimes such attitudes are fostered by bitter life experiences that people find themselves unable to get over. But we strive to keep those attitudes out of our law — even to the point of expecting prospective jurors to tell us honestly whether they have such biases so we can make certain they don’t get on a jury. Non-biased decision-making, we tell every ordinary citizen called for jury duty, is the most basic obligation of service in the legal system.

Would Judge Sotomayor be qualified to serve as a juror? Let’s say she forthrightly explained to the court during the voir dire (the jury-selection phase of a case) that she believed a wise Latina makes better judgments than a white male; that she doubts it is actually possible to “transcend [one’s] personal sympathies and prejudices and aspire to achieve a greater degree of fairness and integrity based on the reason of law”; and that there are “basic differences” in the way people “of color” exercise “logic and reasoning.” If, upon hearing that, would it not be reasonable for a lawyer for one (or both) of the parties to ask the court to excuse her for cause? Would it not be incumbent on the court to grant that request?

Should we have on the Supreme Court, where jury verdicts are reviewed, a justice who would have difficulty qualifying for jury service?

 

Is The First Amendment On Life Support?

If you need examples of how America is moving in the direction of our neighbors to the North and across the Pond regarding curtailing free speech and religious expression, look no further than the three below:

Obama’s administration is moving to “restrict criticism of stimulus projects” because, you know, the stimulus is so important and critical that it trumps your 1st amendment right to free speech.

And then there’s the hopsital worker in Mansfield, Texas. She has a daughter in Iraq and decided to display an American flag in her office on Memorial Day. But the flag “offended” one of her co-workers and the hospital made her take the flag down. It looks like the hospital has now apologized and let her put it back up, but the fact that they would have made her take it down in the first place is just ludicrous.

And finally, there’s this couple in San Diego who are being threatened with fines if they don’t shut down the weekly Bible study that they hold at their home every week for about 15 people.

I think this quote from Reagan sum up my thoughts best –

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children what it was once like in the United States when men were free.