The fatman chronicles--all hope renounce, ye lost, who enter here

"If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules."--Patterico's Pledge

Monday, October 31, 2005

Of Gypsies, Swine And fatmen

I recently ran into a commenter at the blog Capitalist Pig vs. Socialist Swine who calls herself sb gypsy. She took exception to a comment I had made about preferring our chances of dealing with Saddam Hussein militarily rather diplomatically. That, in turn, had been in to response to a post by socialist swine concerning pre-war diplomatic efforts to get Saddam to relinquish power and go into exile. (Reuters story at Yahoo! News) With two minor editing changes (see if you can spot them), this was my reply:

sb gypsy said:

"Sorry, I don't like our chances this way. That poor country is going to be experiencing war for many, many years because of what Bushco did,"

As opposed to experiencing the wars Saddam started by invading his neighbors and attacking the Kurds with chemical weapons.

"and the world will end up with all that oil controlled by theocrats."

I thought a sizable portion of the Iraqi oil fields lay in Iraqi Kurdistan. They aren't theocrats, are they? And I somehow doubt that the Iraqi Shi'ites will be able to, or even try to, run roughshod over the forty percent of the country that isn't Shi'ite. Even with the help of the Iranians, which I suspect they won't get because a) they (the Iraqi Shi'ites) have engaged in and supported the democratic process so far, and b) the Iranians aren't Arabs, they're Persians. And yes, it does matter. To Iranians, anyway.

"Women could walk the streets with their faces warmed by the sun before we got there. Not so now(or in the forseeable future)."

As opposed to being thrown into an Iraqi prison and being beaten, raped and murdered in front of their husbands, fathers and brothers. To get those men to confess to crimes that they hadn't committed. And of course, for the pleasure and entertainment of Uday Hussein. And if all Iraqi women are being forced to wear veils, I haven't noticed it in the photographs I've seen. Indeed, wearing a veil was, I believe, "discouraged" by the Hussein regime as a sign of religious extremism.

"Children could walk to school without an armed guard before we got there, not so now."

Funny, but I thought that the level of violence in Iraq had dropped dramatically. And that the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police were doing a much better job of dealing with it themselves, with Coalition troops as backup, rather than standing around waiting for the Coalition troops to bail them out. But then I read things like

http://michaelyon.blogspot.com/

and what would he know?

"Bushco messed up. He cannot even begin to clean up his mess. He blew it."

No, the only "Bushco" who "blew it" is Bush the Elder, who had the chance to support the Shi'ites and the Kurds in 1991 as THEY took out Saddam. He didn't. Leaving Bush the Younger to clean up the mess.

Remembering The Original Rosa Parks

...thanks to Paul at Wizbang.

How Do You Negotiate

...with animals like this?

Friday, October 28, 2005

A Last Word On Miers

As hoped for (by me, at least), Harriet Miers has withdrawn her nomination to the Supreme Court. Some, like Hugh Hewitt in a New York Times editorial, and Mark at Decision '08, are decrying the fact that Miers never got a hearing or a vote. Others, such as David Frum at National Review Online, and Patterico's Pontifications are openly celebrating, or at least not shedding any tears.

As for me...

I'm sad that it came to this. I'm disappointed that President Bush would submit a nominee whose most ardent supporters could only come up with platitudes in her defense that I expounded on here. I'm angry that the President would open himself--and by extension, his supporters--to charges of more cronyism so soon after Michael D. Brown and the Katrina fiasco. And I'm relieved that we won't be seeing the spectacle of Arlen Specter and other Senate Republicans tearing Miers to shreds--and by all accounts she wouldn't have deserved that--in Judiciary Committee hearings and on the floor of the Senate.

As for what happens next, some have speculated that the protest of, and subsequent withdrawal of Miers has weakened the President, and by extension, the GOP. To which I say: Maybe they deserved to be weakened.

Now I don't even want to think about a Hillary presidency or Democratic control of Congress (especially at the same time; *shudder*), but after two straight Presidential election wins and control of both Houses of Congress (except for the few months after Jim Jeffords [I-VT] jumped ship) for over a decade, maybe we need a wake-up call. A reminder that if we want to continue to win elections, or more accurately, continue to deserve to win elections, we might want to start doing what we said we'd do when we were running for office. Like curbing the deficit by reducing spending and shrinking government. By securing our borders. And by appointing judges who know and understand the law (both constitutional and statutory) and who base their rulings on that knowledge and understanding. Not on their religious beliefs or what's in their hearts.

As for "where do we go from here?", I don't know. If I was running the show, I'd be trying to point out that the Miers nomination was an attempt by the President to find a nominee who was a conservative, but who wouldn't provoke another Democrat-led filibuster. About how principled conservatives value competence over everything else, even their own short-term interests. About how we, at least, don't ask "How high?" when our putative leaders say "Jump."

And then I'd start looking for the most uber-qualified nominee I could find.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Getting Your Knickers All Twisted Up

Some people will steal anything. From the Boston Herald.

via Jay Tea at Wizbang. (The post is mainly about illegal immigration, but the link I got is in there.)

So You Want To Work For Peta...

...here's your chance, courtesy of The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns.

Monday, October 24, 2005

"I oppose the Miers nomination."

That's the answer to the question being asked at the truth laid bear . N.Z. Bear wants to know who in the blogosphere supports the Miers nomination, who opposes it and who's still sitting on the fence.

Now I'm certainly no constitutional scholar or lawyer. Heck, I never even went to college. So where do I get off thinking I'm qualified to judge Miers' (pun intended) qualifications to sit on the Supreme Court? Simple; I can read.

I've read, among other things:

Ms. Miers is a past president of the Texas Bar Association. So? The fact that she could get herself elected to that post, while a notable accomplishment, isn't particularly relevant to her qualifications for a lifetime appointment to the one Court in this country that can't be over-ruled on appeal.

She shares the President's judicial philosophy. Which is? I may be wrong, but as far as I know, the President has never practiced law and doesn't have a law degree. Which means his judicial philosophy, while it may carry more weight since he's the President, isn't any more valid than mine.

She's a deeply religous evangelical Christian. And that, I presume, is supposed to placate Christian conservatives. Now being an atheist doesn't mean that I'm opposed to deeply religious people holding public office. In fact, if they're true believers, maybe they'll be more honest and honorable in their actions. But it shouldn't be assumed that a person's strongly held religious beliefs automatically make that person competent to hold that office. Any more than not having such beliefs affects their competence.

She's contributed to pro-life causes and supported a constitutional ban on abortion. Unfortunately that doesn't tell anyone how she might vote in cases like Kelo v. New London, on whether McCain-Feingold is constitutional, or even on the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade. She could very well believe that Roe is settled constitutional law and the only way to overturn it is through an amendment. And if you don't think any of those cases are going to show up on the Court's doorstep again, consider this: In the1896 decision Plessy v. Ferguson, the Court enshrined "seperate but equal" (Jim Crow segregation) as the law of the land, despite three constitutional ammendments that said otherwise (13th, 14th and 15th). In 1954, the Court revisited the issue in Brown v. Board of Education and changed its mind.

She's a stickler for detail. Not when it came to filling out the standard Senate questionaire citing her experience and qualifications. And not in her answers to Senators' questions during her courtesy calls on them, where she answered more than a few questions with "I'll have to bone up on that."

There are other reasons, most notably her apparent support for minority set-asides (not just affirmative action, which would be bad enough). But what really worries me is the fact that this is a lifetime appointment. If she turns out to be another Sandra Day O'Connor or Anthony Kennedy (even a conservative version of them, which would be just as bad), we can't do it over. We're stuck with her. Just as Dwight D. Eisenhower was stuck with Earl Warren and William Brennan. A justice who rules based on what she believes the law (constitutional or statutory) should say, not what it does say.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Blacklisted!

I suppose it was bound to happen. After a couple of months of sniping back and forth, True Blue, the womyn(?) who blogs at Blue Flypaper has Blacklisted me.

No more shall I be able to draw a clean breath, now that the shame of the Blacklist is upon me. Now all the people who would have come to my blog to gaze in rapturous wonder upon the wisdom of my thoughts will shy away, frightened off by the foolish words, spoken in haste, of a naive young girl.

But all is not lost. I've been in secret communication with the only good Sith Lord, Darth Rove, and we have a plan. I can't divulge its secrets; True Blue may be reading these words even as I type them. But if we can convince True Blue of her desperate plight, then maybe, if the Force is with us, we may yet rescue her from the Dark Side.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Women: You Can't Live With Them, ...

When I was about four, my family lived on the second and third floors of a three story house (another family had the basement and first floor). And I and my kid brother used to play in the front yard. One day I was playing in the yard by myself when a little girl who lived up the street from us stopped by (she was about six or seven). We started playing together, but after a while we got into an argument over a toy jeep (actually, more like a Landrover) that I had. It was painted a light green, had real rubber tires and was otherwise all metal (steel, I think). We both wanted to use it at the same time. Well, one thing led to another and she finally relented and let me have the jeep. Right across the bridge of my nose.

I spent the next little while (days or weeks--I don't remember) walking around looking like Rocky Raccoon. And ever since then, my voice has had a distinctly (and to me, annoying) nasal quality to it.

That was my introduction to relations with the fairer sex. And it's been all downhill ever since.

More Miers

Check this out.

Update: Forget about it. It was a review, allegedly by Harriet Miers, of a book called "Supreme Court for Dummies", at Amazon.com. However, somebody at Amazon who was obviously born without a sense of humor must have seen it and took it down. Killjoy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Honoring Our Troops

A beautiful video here at My Take On Things. Stay until the end and click on the link to see how you can help support the troops.

h/t to Pat @ Brainster's Blog

Bork On Miers

Robert Bork has written this in the WSJ (registration required):

"With a single stroke--the nomination of Harriet Miers--the president has damaged the prospects for reform of a left-leaning and imperialistic Supreme Court, taken the heart out of a rising generation of constitutional scholars, and widened the fissures within the conservative movement. That's not a bad day's work--for liberals." Strong words, perhaps, but not uncalled for.

Judge Bork writes, as have others, that Miers has no known experience with constitutional law and no (publicly stated, anyway) judicial philosphy. In short, her first few years on the court will be on-the-job training. The Supreme Court is not the place for that. Moreover:

"As president of the Texas Bar Association, she wrote columns for the association's journal. David Brooks of the New York Times examined those columns. He reports, with supporting examples, that the quality of her thought and writing demonstrates absolutely no "ability to write clearly and argue incisively."" Thus it's highly unlikely that even if Miers is a strict originalist that she'll be able to convince other justices of the soundness of her arguments.

The administration's defense of her--she's a past president of the Texas Bar Association, she shares Bush's judicial philosophy (whatever that might be), she's a deeply religious evangelical Christian who's contributed to pro-life causes-means little. None of that provides any clue as to how she'll vote on the cases that come before the court. It doesn't even guarantee "...that she would vote to overturn that constitutional travesty (Roe v. Wade-ed)." Bork noted:

"Reliance upon religious faith tells us nothing about how a Justice Miers would rule. Only a commitment to originalism provides a solid foundation for constitutional adjudication. There is no sign that she has thought about, much less adopted, that philosophy of judging." In short, we could end up with another Kennedy or O'Connor, whose judicial opinions were, and are,often based on what they think the law should be, not what the law is.

As for the advice from supporters of the nomination to wait and see how she performs at the confirmation hearings, I refer you to the Roberts hearings. Or the Ginsburg hearings. Or just about any Supreme Court confirmation hearings since Bork's. We're not going to learn a thing at those hearings, except maybe that Miers opposes "..."legislating from the bench." The Senate is asked, then, to confirm a nominee with no visible judicial philosophy who lacks the basic skills of persuasive argument and clear writing." And:

"By passing over the many clearly qualified persons, male and female, to pick a stealth candidate, George W. Bush has sent a message to aspiring young originalists that it is better not to say anything remotely controversial, a sort of "Don't ask, don't tell" admonition to would-be judges. It is a blow in particular to the Federalist Society, most of whose members endorse originalism." That's probably the worst thing this nomination has done. It tells a whole generation of potential federal magistrates, judges and justices not to dare say or do anything that could possibly come back to haunt you. If you do, you can kiss that federal judicial appointment or promotion goodby. (editor's note: Judge Bork is co-chairman of the Federalist Society.)

As for the "trust me" attitude taken by the President and his supporters, I can only ask: why? As Judge Bork observed:

"The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq aside, George W. Bush has not governed as a conservative (amnesty for illegal immigrants, reckless spending that will ultimately undo his tax cuts, signing a campaign finance bill even while maintaining its unconstitutionality)." Judge Bork suggests, for those reasons, that supporters of the Miers nomination should re-think their position.

Judge Bork closes with this:

"It is said that at La Scala an exhausted tenor, after responding to repeated cries of "Encore," said he could not go on. A man rose in the audience to say, "You'll keep singing until you get it right." That man should be our model."

Agreed.

h/t to Patterico's Pontifications

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Patterico's Pledge

Look up. Underneath the title of my blog. In small letters (put on your glasses), you'll see this:

"If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules."

Those words first appeared at a blog called Patterico's Pontifications. Outraged, as a lot of other bloggers are, at the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, more commonly known as McCain-Feingold, Patrick Patterico (pronounced Patter-EE-koh) announced last March that he would ignore any attempts by the Federal Election Commission to regulate political speech by bloggers. This is such a hot-button issue that even polar opposites such as redstate.org and the daily Kos (no link for that slimeball) have banded together to fight it.

Potential rules by the FEC could include banning bloggers from linking to candidates websites or endorsing candidates or encouraging monetary donations to candidates.

Now, as I said, Patterico first issued his challenge to take the pledge last March. I didn't start blogging until August. And I just recently found out about the pledge. But as my grandpappy would say, "Better late than never." (He'd also say, "Better never late.", but that's a discussion for another day.) Anyway, I'm in. Who's with me?

Of Sheep and Wolves and Sheepdogs

When I grow up, I want to be able to write as good as this guy.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Harriet Miers?

John Hawkins of RightWing News has gathered quotes from around the ether to support his oppostion to the confirming of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. I, for one, agree with him.

Not because Miers isn't a conservative. I suspect she is. Not because of her religious views. I sure don't share them, but anybody, even an atheist like me, who says their world-view isn't shaped by the exposure to religion(s) that they've had is being disingenuous, to say the least. And not because she isn't or at least won't try to be a strict originalist at interpreting the Constitution.

I just don't think she's qualified. She's never served as a judge. She's never worked or taught as legal scholar (to my knowledge). She's never published anything about the law (again, to my knowledge). Heck, she's never even argued a case before the Court (even Roberts had done that, at least). The only thing she's got going for her is that she's George W. Bush's friend. And for me, that's just not good enough.

h/t to Kevin Aylward at Wizbang for the tip on the Hawkins piece.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Laffs From The Looney Left

Welcome to the Official fatman chronicles *Looney Leftist List* where we prove that liberalism is the handmaiden of insanity.

First on the list (drumroll, please): Blue Flypaper. True Blue, the "womyn" (?) who runs this blog, is certifiable. She has, in recent months, advocated John Kerry as the director of NASA, John Edwards to head up relief efforts for the victims of Katrina and Rosie O'Donnell for Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the Supreme Court. She also wants the minimum wage increased to $71,000 anually, says we should give plasma televisions and free Netflix subscriptions to people who might otherwise go out and commit crimes (like selling crack) and thinks that we lost our last, best chance at peace in the Middle East when Brad and Jennifer split up. Mel Brooks in his prime couldn't write better stuff than this.

Next up: Blame Bush! I'm not as familiar with Liberal Larry, the nutjob behind this blog, as I am with True Blue. Still, anyone who thinks that Bush was behind the removal of Britney Spears' jewel-encrusted brassiere from an on-line charity auction on eBay, is angry that instead of naming a cross-dresser to the Supreme Court, Bush named a woman who apparently has never had an abortion or a lesbian affair and who thinks that "Katrina + Iraq + Tax Cuts" were the cause of the collapse of an old chain link fence at a high school football stadium in Turtle Creek, PA isn't all there. Neither is someone who calls for a boycott of Fredrick's of Hollywood because one of their stores won't let him *lurk and ogle.*

That's it for now. But I'm sure I'll back with more. There's always more. (Btw, I've placed a permalink to this post in my blogroll under the above title. That way, everyone can find it easily.)

Update: I'm not exactly sure when it happened, but sometime while I was sick, True Blue folded up her tent and crept off into the night, leaving Blue Flypaper behind as a monument to her looniness. Pity. That site was more fun than a barrel full of...well, liberals! I'm gonna miss her.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Yeah, Yeah, I Know...

...I haven't done anything here in a week and a half. It can't be helped. Aside from my ongoing problems with Internet Browser (I don't really want to go through the hassle of uninstalling it and installing something else, but I may have to), I've been sick. Not I'm-on-my-deathbed-call-a-priest sick; just your everyday, garden variety my-weight's-balloned-even-higher-and-I'm-having-a-bad-reaction-to-a-new-medication sick. Word to the wise; if you ever have problems with your HTL (or *good*) cholesterol being too low and your doctor prescibes Niaspan, run for the hills.

Anyway, I'm feeling a little better lately, so I think I'll be able to get things in gear here. I hope.