Sunday, June 26, 2005

It will be interesting to see how the Left-wing pressure groups spin the issues when the time comes for Bush to nominate someone to the Supreme Court. You'll get the usual presentation of false choices:

liberal leaning = grants rights = Good
conservative leaning = prohibits rights = Bad

You'll get the usual hyperactive boilerplate about how

women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids

if the Bush nominee was to gain confirmation.

All of this is terribly false and will do this process and the country a disservice.

The left-wing groups love to present the choices as either between conservative nominees versus moderate, centrist, or liberal nominees. You'll also often get the choice characterized as "strict-constructionist" versus "loose-constructionist" which unhelpfully harkens back to high school social studies definitions - providing that level of understanding as you would expect. Again, I say it will be interesting to see how the left-wing groups spin the issues simply because they will have a hard time squaring their positions against some recent decisions that the Supreme Court has handed down. Clinton's two appointees: Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader-Ginsburg passed the left-wing sniff test with nary a mention from these groups that these nominees would bring back the days of the back-alleys, lynch mobs, and other horrors. Yet interestingly enough, both these Justices, in recent cases, have sided with the majority in allowing for increased federal law enforcement against medical pot producers and approved broader powers for local governments to seize personal property. Important to mention is that Justice Clarence Thomas, oft-mentioned by left-wing groups in negative tones, dissented in both cases - believing that the Constitution affords the federal government no expansion of powers in both these cases. However, regarding the two Clinton judges, was it right for the left-wing groups to paint these Justices as protectors of rights?

I can imagine that the left-wing pressure groups will spin it this way come election time: The Rehnquist Court has determine it okay for the federal government to allow for added powers of property seizure and encroached on state's rights to decide what methods of medical care is appropriate for their citizens. I doubt they will honestly inform their ideological kin that it was their own leftist judges who made these decisions possible. I also highly doubt they will inform their ideological kin that it was the conservative judges on the Court (Rehnquist, Thomas, O'Connor) who dissented from these decisions.

I believe these groups may be wondering if they have gotten too much of what they wished for. My question to leftists is, when all you allow for is the President and the Senate to send up nominees who are viewed as "right protectors" you're probably also siding with a nominee whose philosophy views the exercise of federal power and oversight favorable - how else to best protect rights? If that's what you want they you better also accept that federal power will grow in instances where leftist politics may have demanded otherwise (medical pot versus expanded federal enforcement to prevent medical pot; private property rights of poor and middle income homeowners versus expanded federal and municipal approval to seize property for private economic development/big business interests). In essence, if you're comfortable with expanded federal power for some things, then you'll have to also accept expanded federal power for other things (things that you may not have wanted the feds to stick their noses into). Those are the breaks.

It would be interesting to see if after these decisions and a few more if leftists begin to find favor with the philosophies of federal and judicial restraint. If so, they better ask their pressure groups to keep them better informed and not present such ridiculous false choices as they have in the past. That would make for a far better nomination and confirmation process and perhaps build a Supreme Court that truly is able to protect rights for individuals against the bigger powers. Just a wish, but I don't think they have it in them. The test will be what rhetoric they employ in the upcoming elections/nominations.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

40 Watt Years
When somebody mentions, "Hey, remember the 80's?" I remember the usual things: synthpop, John Hughes films, Ocean Pacific and JAMS shorts, etc, etc, etc. But I also remember a different 80's, an earlier, poorly-lit 80's - an 80's that was more like the 70's. I remember our house had really large heavy wooden furniture. Lamps had thick fabric lampshades that tended to glow rather than shed light and cast helpful illumination. In fact, it seemed like everything was illuminated with a 40 watt bulb - even streetlamps (fewer then than today) were useless and lacked candlepower. There seemed to be a lack of shiny things though there was no lack of chrome. Most cars had a flat matte finish rather than the gloss coats that today's cars gleam with. Everything looked drab, dusty, and covered with dirt. I remember far more house with chipped paint jobs than what you see today. And if I remember correctly, it appeared that bolts of paisley curtains hung everywhere.

I sort of miss those days - that dark and lived in look. You can't escape the newness of today - constant home improvement; roads full of brand new cars partially due to popularity of lease programs; the phenomenal attention put into stylish and modern looking industrial design. Things have a clean bright look - even wood accents at places like Starbucks and Panera shine with a just-waxed finish. No way did you see this back in the early 80's. Oddly enough, you can still get a sample of the way things were - just go to a House of Pizza that hasn't updated itself. You tend to see a lot of dusty wooden banisters and accents everywhere. You will be hard-pressed to find a hint of Burnt Sienna anywhere in the place.

My impression of things may be explained by the darkness of memory - memories from childhood. It may also be simple nostalgia for a different time. Its sort of wild just to think about it though. Man, how did we get by back then?

All the News that's Fit to Edit
Rumor has it that Deep Throat originally wished for Woodward and Bernstein to refer to him as Long Dong Silver, but Ben Bradlee told his cub reporters to find a pseudonym more suitable to the readers of the Washington Post.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Citizens on Patrol
Kreblog, where were you driving to the other night?

Beavis & Butthead Photography Moment

A thunder hole indeed!