Thursday, April 30, 2009

Back From London

Well, we have finally (and safely) returned from the British Isles. Karen and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in regal style. I know there's lots going on in the news, but I hope you won't mind a brief summary of the trip.

We spent the first part of the in London, where we saw many, many famous sights. The British Museum was spectacular, as was Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.

We got to see the changing of the guard at close range:

The food was excellent--I don't know why people knock British food. I loved it! The steak & ale pie was especially good:

We also managed to visit Bath, the later traveled north to see Edinburgh and Glasgow.

A missionary friend also took us up into the Highlands for a few hours. Loch Lomond is truly a beautiful place. Then, we headed back to London and flew home on Tuesday. We're still battling a bit of jet-lag, but we had a wonderful time! For more detailed and engaging commentary of our trip, see Karen's blog, Candid Diversions (more updates to follow). Also, here are many more pics on my Picasa page. I'll try to get back to politics in the very near future!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

London Update

Just wanted to report in from London. We missed our connection in Newark Monday, but that got us on the 9:10 flight (barely--some tense moments here involving multiple "airport sprints"). We had a great time yesterday, seeing the British Museum and a good chunk of sights from a double-decker bus. Maybe I'll post some pictures later. Just to keep things on topic (yes, I know this isn't a travel blog), we did see a protest rally for something or other. I took a picture of that, too.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It Figures

I am a right-wing extremist. What about you?

Goldberg on DHS Report

Janet Napolitano's recent report on the rise of so-called right-wing extremists contains large amounts of speculation and demonization and an absurdly small number of facts. As Jonah Goldberg points out:

The problem with it is that it makes little effort to document or demonstrate its contention that “extremist” groups are resurgent, that they are right-wing, or that they may be formed from the ranks of “disgruntled military veterans.” Worse, it’s very sloppy about what qualifies someone as “extremist” in the first place. Basically, it’s fancy bureaucratese for: We’re guessing bad people will do bad things because the economy is bad and the president is black. But we have no real evidence.

This report reminds me of the old Jeff Foxworthy routine: If you've ever opposed abortion, you might be a terrorist. If you support states rights, you might be a terrorist. If you've ever been too drunk to fish . . . you get the idea. If you haven't read Liberal Fascism yet, what are you waiting for?

Also: Michelle Malkin has a great letter sent to Napolitano by a group of Senators.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Scary Graphic

Just in case you haven't seen this graphic from the Heritage Foundation:

Tennessee Tea Parties

My parents sent me this local news story covering the events. It's worth watching!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cincinnati Tax Day Tea Party

I attended my second Tea Party today. The Cincinnati Tax Day Tea Party involved a march to City Hall to deliver a petition urging them to reject the stimulus money (and the onerous programs established by it). As at the previous Tea Party, today's event did not fail to inspire. As you see from the pictures below, it was well attended (it looked like even more than last time, but I haven't heard the official estimate yet).

The event kicked off with the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem, a mark of a classy and orderly protest. I saw no bad behavior or over-the-top signs. I guess ACORN failed to plant those counter-protesters after all.

The only counter-"protesters" I saw were a small group on a street corner. They may have been waiting for a bus.


Here are a few of the signs I snapped:

And last, but not least, my Mom even got into the spirit for the Nashville Tea Party:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party Tomorrow

From a Cincinnati Tea Party email today:

One more day and we are now at 3159 RSVPs for our Tax Day Tea Party. 25 cities have scheduled Tea Parties for tomorrrow in Ohio alone and about 600 planned are across the country. We estimate that nearly 20,000 will attend a Tea Party in Ohio and the national coalition is hopeful for 500,000 across the country.

The Cincinnati event goes from 11:30-12:30 tomorrow. Check this handy site for details about your city. This is a great opportunity to make a statement to the nation and our elected "representatives."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Reprimitivization

Bet you didn't know that was a word. Me neither, until Mark Steyn made it up in this excellent piece on the results of all Obama's distractions. Also, for the record, I'm glad we got our man back from the pirates. Way to go Navy!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Obama and Climate Engineering

Scientist-in-Chief Obama wants to do more to fight global warming (which isn't happening at the moment, BTW). He would, of course, love to impose stricter emissions standards and many other economy-wrecking "solutions", but some of those methods are a little passe for Obama's level of creative genius. So he's now considering "radical" technologies. From the AP:

One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort.

But Holdren (science fiction expert) noted that shooting particles into the air—making an artificial volcano as one Nobel laureate has suggested—could have grave side effects and would not completely solve all the problems from soaring greenhouse gas emissions. So such actions could not be taken lightly, he said.

You know it's bad when liberal eco-sceintists and news stories actually include the phrase "grave side effects." Practically all liberal policies (particularly those of a scientific bent) have grave side effects, but they usually don't get mentioned in mainstream print. This is nothing short of a blarring klaxxon. I don't think anything humans do can seriously change the climate system of the planet in any meaningful way, for better or worse. What they can do, and have been tirelessly working to do for the last 40 years, is severly limit our modern and prosperous way of life.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pure Genius

This amusing image has been going around Facebook lately:

Friday, April 3, 2009

Supreme Court Justice Quiz

Your result for Which Supreme Court Justice Are You Test...

You are Justice Samuel Alito

You agreed with Alito 86% of the time.


Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. (born April 1, 1950) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Appointed by President George W. Bush, Alito is generally considered a fairly conservative jurist with a libertarian streak (especially on First Amendment issues). Educated at Princeton University and Yale Law School, Alito served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit prior to joining the Supreme Court. He is the 110th justice.



Justice Alito delivered his first written opinion on May 1, 2006 in the case Holmes v. South Carolina, a case involving the right of criminal defendants to present evidence that a third-party committed the crime. (Since the beginning of the Rehnquist Court, new justices have been given unanimous opinions to write as their first majority court opinion, often done as a courtesy "breaking in" of new justices, so that every justice has at least one unanimous, uncontroversial opinion under his/her belt with which to battle critics). Alito wrote for a unanimous court in ordering a new trial for Bobby Lee Holmes due to South Carolina's rule that barred such evidence based on the strength of the prosecution's case, rather than on the relevance and strength of the defense evidence itself.



In his first term, Alito voted fairly conservatively. For example, in the three reargued cases (Garcetti v. Ceballos, Hudson v. Michigan and Kansas v. Marsh), Alito created a 5-4 majority by voting with four other conservative Justices — Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas. He further voted with the conservative wing of the court on Sanchez-Llamas v. Oregon and Rapanos v. United States. Alito was also a dissenter in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, alongside Justices Scalia and Thomas.While Alito's voting record is conservative, he does not always join the most conservative Justices on the Court. On February 1, 2006, in Alito's first decision sitting on the Supreme Court, he voted with the majority (6-3) to refuse Missouri's request to vacate the stay of execution issued by the Eighth Circuit for death-row inmate Michael Taylor; Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia and Thomas were in favor of vacating the stay. Missouri had twice asked the justices to lift the stay and permit the execution.



On the abortion issue, it appears that Alito believes some restrictions on the procedure are constitutionally permitted, but has not signaled a willingness to overturn Roe v. Wade. In 2003, Congress passed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which led to a lawsuit in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart. The Court had previously ruled in Stenberg v. Carhart that a state's ban on partial birth abortion was unconstitutional because such a ban did not have an exception in the case of a threat to the health of the mother. The membership of the Court changed after Stenberg, with John Roberts and Samuel Alito replacing William Rehnquist (a dissenter in Roe) and Sandra Day O'Connor (a supporter of Roe) respectively. Further, the ban at issue in Gonzales v. Carhart was a federal statute, rather than a state statute as in the Stenberg case. On April 18, 2007, the Supreme Court handed down a decision upholding the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the five-justice majority that Congress was within its power to generally ban the procedure, although the Court left the door open for as-applied challenges. Kennedy's opinion implied but did not absolutely reach the question whether the Court's prior decisions in Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and Stenberg v. Carhart were valid, and instead the Court said that the challenged statute is consistent with those prior decisions whether or not those prior decisions were valid. Alito joined fully in the majority as did Chief Justice Roberts. Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion, joined by Justice Scalia



Moreover, despite having been at one time nicknamed "Scalito," Alito's views have differed from those of Scalia (and Thomas), as in the Michael Taylor case cited above and various other cases of the 2005 term. Scalia, a fierce critic of reliance on legislative history in statutory interpretation, was the only member of the Court in Zedner v. United States not to join a section of Alito's opinion that discussed the legislative history of the statute in question. In two higher-profile cases, involving the constitutionality of political gerrymandering and campaign finance reform (LULAC v. Perry and Randall v. Sorrell), Alito adopted narrow positions, declining to join the bolder positions advanced by either philosophical side of the Court. According to a scotusblog.com analysis of 2005 term decisions, Alito and Scalia concurred in the result of 86% of decisions (in which both participated), and concurred in full in only 75%. (By scotusblog.com's reckoning, this is less agreement than between Scalia and Kennedy, O'Connor and Souter, or Stevens and Ginsburg.) On the recent abortion ruling, Alito simply joined Anthony Kennedy's opinion rather than join Scalia in Thomas's stronger assertion.In the 2007 landmark free speech case Morse v. Frederick, Alito joined Roberts' majority decision that speech advocating drug use can be banned in public schools, but also warned that the ruling must be circumscribed that it does not interfere with political speech, such as the discussion of the medical marijuana debate.Alito's majority opinion in the 2008 worker protection case Gomez-Perez v. Potter cleared the way for federal workers who experience retaliation after filing age discrimination complaints to sue for damages. He sided with the liberal block of the court, inferring protection against retaliation in the federal-sector provision of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act despite the lack of an explicit provision concerning retaliation.



Take Which Supreme Court Justice Are You Test
at HelloQuizzy



And here I thought I was more of a Scalia type...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday Thought

It is useless for the sheep to pass resolutions in favor of vegetarianism while the wolf remains of a different opinion.

W.R. Inge

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tax Day Tea Party

April 15 has become a sort of anti-holiday in this country. Why not celebrate by attending your local Tax Day Tea Party? Here in Cincinnati the plan is to meet at Fountain Square at 11:30 and march to City Hall at 12:00. I know that some of you missed the Tea Party in March with over 5,000 people. Don't miss this one! If we get enough people to RSVP, we might get Glenn Beck to broadcast from the rally! Check out the Cincinnati Tea Party website for more details. If you live somewhere else, there might still be a Tea Party near you--over 350 cities are already committed.

We can't veto legislation. We can hardly filibuster in Congress. But we can exercise our First Amendment right to peaceably assemble to protest the fast-tracking of socialism in America. Let's not go down without a fight. See you on April 15th!