Sean's Blog

A Guide To Online
Opinion And Current Events

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I really try to read the other side's opinions. I really do. But when I read such willful stupidity like this from Maureen Dowd I have to turn away. Dowd writes:
It is absurd to have yet another investigation into the chuckleheaded assessments on Saddam's phantom W.M.D. that intentionally skirts how the $40 billion-a-year intelligence was molded and manufactured to fit the ideological schemes of those running the White House and Pentagon.
First of all, Saddam's WMD's were not phantom. For God's sake, the man gassed thousands of Kurds and Iranians with his phantom WMD's.

Second all, Dowd insists that the assessments on Saddam's WMD's were done to reinforce the ideological schemes of the White House and Pentagon. This is so infuriating because Dowd is smart enough to know that the Clinton administration and the whole rest of the world came to these same conclusions about Saddam's WMD's.

Saddam had WMD's. He used them at least twice and during the 1990's virtually every intelligence agency in the world agreed that these were facts. When he got rid of his chemical and biogical weapons and refused to account for them then the U.S., in light of 9/11, decided we could not trust the man or our ability to contain him.

Maureen Dowd is a silly woman who no one takes seriously. I like to read reasoned and substantial arguments from people on the left but when Dowd includes such idiotic assertions in the opening paragraphs she makes it impossible to take her seriously. She's trying to revise history and I'm having none of it.

When will the New York Times replace Maureen Dowd with someone with at least some credibility?

James Taranto in his Best of the Web column for the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal gives his solution to John Kerry's lament that a vote to change the filibuster rules on judicial nominations would, "change the character of American democracy forever."
So the Democrats stand for the principle that the minority party in the Senate should have a veto over judicial nominations. The problem, of course, is that being the minority party, they cannot impose this principle unless they win the support of some "clear-headed Republicans," in Kerry's term. So the filibuster may soon be lost.

But there's no reason it has to be forever! If the Democrats won a majority in the Senate, they could restore the minority's right to filibuster. Democratic Senate candidates in 2006 could run on the promise to restore the filibuster, and, if that proves insufficient to win a majority, they could repeat it in 2008. Sooner or later, it's got to work.

Now, you might say, if they were the majority, they wouldn't need the right to filibuster. But this is a matter of principle! It's about the character of American democracy! Besides, it wouldn't be the first time politicians ran on a platform that was against their political interests. In 1994 one plank of Newt Gingrich's Contract With America was a constitutional amendment limiting the terms of congressmen.

True, the term-limits amendment didn't receive the two-thirds required for passage. But it won the support of a House majority (227-204) and the vast majority of Republican representatives (189-40). All the Democrats would need to restore the filibuster would be a majority vote, something that, once they won a Senate majority, they could do even if every Republican dissents.

The Dems might even tempt some Republicans into voting in favor of the filibuster by appealing to their partisan interest in having the ability to override the Democratic majority. The Democrats thus would serve their own high principles by taking advantage of Republican opportunism. And you just know the Republicans would be dumb enough to fall for it!
There is no way the Democrats would restore the filibuster rule if they regained the majority. You know it, I know it, and they know it. All this talk about the Republicans using the "nuclear option" is nothing more than an attempt to frighten people. I mean, the very word nuclear implies that once this rule goes into effect it can't be changed. Nuclear implies more than a burnt bridge. It implies a nuked bridge and landscape that would never be the same. But as Taranto points out, all the Democrats have to do is, when they retake the senate, to vote the filibuster rule back in thereby giving the minority party the right to filibuster nominees.

The problem for Democrats may be that they can't see themselves retaking the senate for many years to come. That's why the courts are so important to them. They need unelected judges to circumvent the will of the people and democracy. Never mind the tyranny of the majority. We now have a tyranny of the minority whose only hope resides with activist judges intent on creating law basd on their emotional beliefs that are based on foreign "morally evolving standards of decency" rather than the Constitution of the United States of America.

This is the extremism. The left would have the people believe that the right are the extremists, but this judicial activism we see today was not the intent of the founders. The judicial branch have taken extreme measures that are outside their purview. Creeping judicial activism may cause people to believe the judiciary is behaving as they were intended, but the fact is that judiciary has assumed powers they don't constitutionally have. If we want them to have these powers, our elected legislators are supposed to have a vote and give them these powers. Instead the judiciary has taken these powers in the manner of a dictator which may cause a constitutional crisis in the years to come.

The judiciary is one branch of our federal government, but when people think of the federal government they think of the legislative and execute branches. When they talk about government intrustion into their lives they mean that George W. Bush is trying to tell us how to live. What they fail to recognize is that the judiciary is a branch of our federal government and that branch that is increasingly deciding by fiat the laws of the United States of America based on personal beliefs and international customs rather than the constitution.

This issue is becoming more and more controversial as one federal judge after another decides what the law is. That's why Democrats want the right to filibuster Republican nominees. One federal judge can replace 50 elected members of the House of Representatives or he can effectively veto an executive branch decision. That's the situation we are in today and as long as Democrats keep losing at the ballot box they will increasingly need their extremist judges to keep making laws.

Jonah Goldberg on the environment:
Seriously, forests are breaking out all over America. New England has more forests since the Civil War. In 1880, New York State was only 25 percent forested. Today it is more than 66 percent. In 1850, Vermont was only 35 percent forested. Now it's 76 percent forested and rising. In the south, more land is covered by forest than at any time in the last century. In 1936 a study found that 80 percent of piedmont Georgia was without trees. Today nearly 70 percent of the state is forested. In the last decade alone, America has added more than 10 million acres of forestland.

There are many reasons for America's arboreal comeback. We no longer use wood as fuel, and we no longer use as much land for farming. Indeed, the amount of land dedicated to farming in the United States has been steadily declining even as the agricultural productivity has increased astronomically. There are also fewer farmers. Only 2.4 percent of America's labor force is dedicated to agriculture, which means that fewer people live near where the food grows.

The literal greening of America has added vast new habitats for animals, many of which were once on the brink of extinction. Across the country, the coyote has rebounded (obviously, this is a mixed blessing, especially for roadrunners). The bald eagle is thriving. In Maine there are more moose than any time in memory. Indeed, throughout New England the populations of critters of all kinds are exploding. In New Jersey, Connecticut, and elsewhere, the black bear population is rising sharply. The Great Plains host more buffalo than at any time in more than a century.

There's a massive political scandal in Canada.

Apparently the leftwing wanted to remain in power and so they developed a massive kickback and fraud scheme financed with government money totalling around a hundred million dollars that now explains why they were able to maintain such a strangle hold on power.

Why doesn't it suprise me that it's illegal for the media or bloggers in Canada to report the stunning details of these crimes? It seems the leftist up north don't like transparency any more than the leftists at the United Nations

Canada and the United Nations. No wonder they're so much alike. Both are morally vacuous preeners who actually do very little for the betterment of the world yet remained convinced they are respected internationally because crooks and scoundrels know how to flatter their massive egos.

I can't wait to hear more about this developing situation.