Bears Join The War On Terror

This is why I love Jonah Goldberg!

An excerpt from his comments on the militant-killing bear story:

…President Obama said, “Bears are still our valued allies, but we can no longer pursue the arrogant policy of unilaterally supporting one member of the animal kingdom over another.”

Genius!

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Happy Halloween!

Since it’s Halloween I thought I would post some of the things that scare me the most…

These people are running our country…oooohhhh…it gives me chills just thinking about it.

Be safe and have a happy Halloween!

Why Texas Is Better

The Wall Street Journal has a good article/interview with Rick Perry. In it he talks about how Texas has been able to sustain higher economic growth rates and employment amidst the sagging national economy and how fiscal conservatism is the GOP’s ticket back to the game.

Who’s Sorry Now?

Well. For those of you experiencing buyer’s remorse, here is the “Official I’m Sorry I Voted For Obama Website” where you can register your regret and, I assume, offer up your apology to the rest of us more level-headed, thoughtful voters.

Obama Vs Obama

I love it when politicians get caught in the stupid s— they say

And as an extra added bonus, here’s some Star Wars/Obama humor for you today:

debt star 2

debt-star

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?

 

The Myth Of Impartiality – Part II

At the time of the “Tea Parties” (which I was not for) I wrote my original Myth of Impartiality post that commented on the deplorable behavior of Susan Roesgen of CNN.

Well here’s a more subtle example (written about the Catholic response to Obama’s invitation to Notre Dame) of the media bias that Conservatives have to deal with on a daily basis.