Friday, July 29, 2005

All you need to know about questioning John Roberts about Roe v. Wade

1. Can/should John Roberts say if he thinks Roe v. Wade was rightly/wrongly decided? Yes.

2. Can/should John Roberts say if he will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if confirmed? No.

3. Can/should John Roberts tell us his his view of when, and using what rationale, it is appropriate to revisit/overrule a wrongly-decided Supreme Court opinion? Yes.

Keep in mind the distinction between these three very different questions whenever someone asks whether it is appropriate for John Roberts to comment on Roe v. Wade at his confirmation hearing.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Aaron the liberal slayer agrees with me

Mainstream Islam is not a religion of peace. Click on the title of this post to see for yourself.

Xrlq - Go wish his family well

If for some bizzare reason you read this website and not Xrlq, go over there and read this post about the recent untimely death of Xrlq's father in law, and then, by all means, read the story he links to. An excerpt:

"What're you guys doin' here?" a gruff voice bellowed. Two policemen got out and sauntered up to us. The fat one, with three gold stripes on the sleeve of his blue uniform and a large brass badge at the front of his peaked cap, was plainly accustomed to command. "Who're you guys anyhow?" he demanded.

From the pavement, I gazed up at the cop through the bright beam of his searchlight. "Officer," I said, "you would not believe who we are."

"Well, try me out, sonny," he said sharply, "and you'd better do it damn fast, because I'm about to run you in."

"Okay, sir," I said, savoring the moment, "this is a majority…of the United States Supreme Court."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Yes, we are at war with Islam

One thing that infuriates me more than most is the refusal to acknowledge reality. Denial of reality is what causes extinction. Cold, hard reality wins out over any philosophic theory every time.

With that brief foray into philosophy over with, the specific denial of reality that most infuriates me coming from the Bush administration - and indeed, most normally right thinking people - is the continuing insistence that Islam is a religion of peace, we are not at war with Islam and the vast majority of its adherents are peace-loving, terror hating good people. This is merely assumed and stated. It is never proved, or even supported by evidence. The Bush administration appears to be acting on this assumption as if it were true. If is not, then cold, hard reality will inevitably punish us for our ignorance.

At the risk of having a fatwa placed on my head (like anyone reads this blog - maybe I'll get some FBI hits by using words like "fatwa"), my belief is that Islam, as it is currently practiced by the vast majority of its adherants, is not a religion worthy of world respect. Why, you say? One simple, fundamental reason: adherants of Islam tolerate no dissent. Mainstream muslims believe that non-believers are infidels and all other religions are wrong and not to be tollerated. What makes me believe this?

Stories like this. (Hat tip: Absinthe & Cookies.)

Indonesia - a supposedly "moderate" muslim country - has laws that it apparently enforces preventing the proselytizing of any other religion to muslims, with stiff jail sentences for violators (at least it's not execution). I know of no other major religion - or indeed any other non-muslim country - that has such a rule. Just as with political ideologies, if your religion cannot stand up to dissent, criticism and/or the views of others who think you are wrong then you have no business claiming it is the one, true faith. If it is the one, true faith, Islam ought to come out on top in any open exchange of ideas among religious people. What does Islam have to fear?

Islam will not be a tolerable religion until the mainstream position is one of tolerance of all other religions and the tolerance of proselytizing those other religions to muslims, as other religions tolerate the proselytizing of Islam to their members. I have seen nothing to persuade me that the typical mainstream muslim believes that other religions are worthy of tolerance and respect. The only difference I can see is that radical muslims want to kill non-believers (even ones not making any waves against Islam) while moderates want to merely throw non-believers in jail when they so much as question the one, true faith.

Bush should come out and say that Islam will not receive any world respect unless and until any and all laws such as the one in Indonesia are abolished and dissent and criticism of Islam is freely allowed. Until then, if Islam will not tolerate us, why should we tolerate Islam?

Update: I don't want to be completely negative. There are many muslims who are on the side of good. One group worth noting is Free Muslims Coalition. If only they were the mainstream.

I can't tell you how much this story warms my heart

John Roberts, stealth candidate no more - at least if he hasn't changed his beliefs since his 20s.

This article in the Washington Post (hat tip: The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru) gives a summary of numerous documents released by the White House on John Robert's stint as a special assistant to the AG in 1981-82. It shows a young man unafraid to express and defend his beliefs, even to superiors, and even to, surprisingly, Ted Olsen.

My earlier post about Robert's niceness, speculating that he would therefore be an easy target for the left's persuasion, is no longer apt, apparently. Rather, as John Derbyshire noted (also quoted in my earlier post) it appears that John Roberts does have a distinct "streak of opinionated crankiness and contrariness." And, the views he expresses in these writings (unless the WaPo reporters only took selections of the documents showing Roberts at his most right-leaning moments, and did not report a host of center-leaning writings) are uniformly correct - i.e., originalist.

Perhaps, just this once, a stealth candidate will turn out OK.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Are we serious that we are at war?

I've been reading Dafydd's post over at Captain's Quarters about Rep. Tancredo's suggestion that one option to think about if some islamo-jihadist detonated a nuclear bomb in the U.S. would be to nuke Mecca. Despite his flogging in the blogosphere, what Rep. Tancredo actually said was that nuking Mecca might be an option to consider. The general consensus is that nuking Mecca would be a tactical mistake. I agree - there is no military value to nuking Mecca and you obviously won't find many jihadi's hanging around there after they nuke us. But what about a strategic mistake?

The jihadis are already off the deep end - no threat at all, especially the threat of death, will deter them. They simply have to be hunted down and killed. How to do this most effectively is the primary question. They will not be deterred by nuking Mecca or a threat to nuke Mecca.

So, for the "nuke Mecca" argument to make any sense, the question is, will we persuade any moderate muslims to "take care of their own" by either threatening or actually nuking Mecca in response to a nuke explosion here in the U.S.? This is a strictly empirical question - but of course has no answer. We're all guessing. My guess is that it would not help motivate moderate muslims to stop jihadis, but would rather inflame them.

But back to Dafydd's post. Swede has an excellent comment:

"Don't misunderstand me. I don't want to nuke anyone. But if there is no nuclear option for us when struck first by such a device, as you say. Then tell me what viable options we have in such a scenario. To my knowledge, none of those critical of Tancredo's idea have offered any - including you."

Dafydd's only response is to escalate the conventional war. Which gets me to thinking, and which inspired me to write this post.

In a real war, enemy combatants (usually called "soldiers") can be killed indiscriminantly unless surrendering. If I, an American soldier in WWII, see a German in uniform, I can shoot him. No questions asked, no quarter taken, no warning, no regret and most importantly, no due process. This is possible because under the rules of warfare, enemy combatants are required to wear a uniform. I, while wearing my uniform, am empowered with the unilateral ability to kill the enemy on sight. "Spys" - i.e., enemy combatants caught out of uniform - can be summarily executed once their identity is discovered.

In this war, the enemy combatants do not wear uniforms. But nevertheless they do identify themselves. How do they do this? By what they say. Every imam who preached death to the infidels, every arab "street" mob member burning an American flag, Al-Jazeera, etc. have all "outted" themselves as on the side of the enemy. Are they "combatants" though? That depends on whether one thinks that propaganda, recruiting, indoctrination, etc. are part of the enemy's war making strategy. Of course they are. Just because back line supply troops aren't doing the front line shooting does not mean they are any less of a legitimate military target.

If we were serious about this being a war, we would institute policies that identify jihadis as enemy combatants using criteria other than uniforms, which criteria would include preaching propaganda designed to help the jihadi's win the war. Once we indentify these propaganda preachers we should do what we do to all enemy combatants - shoot the bastards dead on sight. (Unless they surrender, of course, and claim their free vacation at Club Gitmo.)

Did I say I liked LaShawn Barber?

What a gift for words the woman has. This one sentence from a post a couple of days ago just destroys affirmative action:

"I can say with 99.9 percent certainty that those who endured billy club beatings, lynchings, firehose spray, and dog bites didn’t do it so that one day their children and grandchildren could be deemed pitiable, too inferior for equal treatment, and too dumb to strive for the American dream on their own merits."

If only LaShawn had been on the Supreme Court instead of Sandra Dee, er... Day, when Gratz/Grutter were decided.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Witty Roberts

NRO's Corner has some delightful quotes from John Roberts' writings while he was in the White House counsel's office lo 20 years ago.

In one, dated 1983, he takes on the idea that Supreme Court justices just work so very, very hard: "While some of the tales of woe emanating from the court are enough to bring tears to one's eyes, it is true that only Supreme Court justices and school children are expected to and do take the entire summer off."

Another quip: "The generally accepted notion that the court can only hear roughly 150 cases each term gives the same sense of reassurance as the adjournment of the court in July, when we know the Constitution is safe for the summer."

Boy, is this a pet pieve of mine that Roberts hits squarely out of the park - Judges who don't work as hard as the rest of us. Lest I be misquoted here, and my reputation among judges ruined, many, many judges work extremely hard and do a wonderful job. But many, many do not, rely on their clerks entirely too much, get decisions out way, way, too late, etc. The worst part is, how can a lawyer properly complain to the judge deciding the lawyer's client's case that the judge is taking too long? You can't, so you just have to repeat some quotes from a Supreme Court nominee expressing the same sentiment on your blog.

Friday, July 22, 2005

More on Roberts from Powerline

Powerline's initial reaction to John Robert's nomination was utter joy. Now, they are not so sure. But, as usual, they provide very useful factual information that tends to pull me back towards approving of Roberts. They relate an annecdote from a former law clerk of Roberts at a private firm. The key quote is:

"All of that said, my best guess is that he would be a very conservative justice. And because he is so gifted and so decent a human being, he might become incredibly influential on the Court, moving it in ways that justices like Scalia and Thomas have been incapable. In short, he could ultimately be a progressive's worst case scenario."
It would, of course, be fabulous if Roberts could get a smart justice like Breyer, or even a spineless justice like Souter, to join conservative opinions via his charm.

Contrast this with John Derbyshire's observation on DerbRadio on NRO:
"Y’know, I don’t have a good feeling about Judge Roberts. When the news first came through, I smiled happily — Hey, W didn’t go for a diversity hire! Our President has guts! Then I got a good look at Roberts. Squeaky clean, or what? Looks like a male model, picture-book family, devout, unblemished career… Whew! Nothing wrong with any of that, of course, but… Where’s the mean streak? The guy’s going to have to stand up to a lot of pressure to “grow” — you know, like “grow.” Some stand up to that pressure better than others. The ones who stand up best seem to be the ones with, well, not exactly a mean streak, but a streak of opinionated crankiness and contrariness. Does JR have that? If he has, he’s kept it well hidden. But let’s hope."
Will Robert's nice guy schtick allow him to pull lefties to the right or will it make it more likely that lefties will pull him to the left? Given all of my vast political experience and observation, Derb's guess is WAY more likely. The Left is ruthless, sociopathic, evil. Charm don't do squat.

Add Charles Krauthammer to the list of John Roberts skeptics

In an article very similar to Ann Coulter and Ben Shaprio's articles, Charles Krauthammer has now joined the list of John Roberts skeptics, pretty much echoing exactly what I said in my post yesterday - Roberts is an unknown who will probably fall somewhere in between O'Connor and Rehnquist on the conservatism scale. It is possible, but from what we have seen thus far unlikely, that Roberts will be a Scalia or Thomas-type justice, which again is what Bush promised us.

Add The Claremont Institute to the list of Robert's skeptics

Three excellent posts from The Claremont Institute's blog, Local Liberty, explain and summarize why John Robert's nomination is a disappointment. Please read Dennis' comment as well. An excerpt from the first post indicates why Harry Ried is a complete jerk:

"For all of Judge Roberts’ fine qualities, we conservatives must not settle for less than Clarence Thomas-level jurisprudence."

Here it is, The Claremont Institute, a highly influential academic think tank praising the jurisprudence not of Scalia, but of Thomas. And they are right. It is amazing what a secret it is that Thomas is actually the one most pulling the Supreme Court back to originalism, not Scalia. In light of Thomas' clear written record, only a racist can conclude that he is merely Scalia's lacky, which is how Thomas' jurisprudence is taught in law schools today. Harry Reid is a racist.

A longer excerpt from one post by Richard Reeb:

"Doubtless Judge John Roberts is a good man, else President George W. Bush would not have nominated him to serve as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court yesterday. Doubtless, too, he is not only better than someone a liberal Democrat would nominate but maybe even better than Sandra Day O'Connor. Of course, this is not saying much, since the Court and the nation need much more than a loyal Republican or a well-meaning conservative. We have been down this road before wherein a Republican President assured himself that his nominee would interpret the law, not make it up; follow the text of the Constitution, rather than some "evolving" doctrine; decide the case only and not legislate from the bench; and even follow the intent of the Framers of the Constitution. These are, at best, but necessary conditions for good jurisprudence and hardly sufficient. Earl Warren, William Brennan, Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun, Lewis Powell, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Souter have all been major disappointments, yet they were all nominated by Republican Presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George H.W. Bush.

The judicial mantra recited above will not do; we must know whether the nominee understands that the Constitution was intended to establish a republican government dedicated to the principles of the Declaration of Independence. However brilliant William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia have been they lack the understanding that animated the founders of our constitutional order. They know the contours and uses of the constitutional structure, but they do not know what it is for beyond what the people have authorized in the constitutional text. They do not know, in other words, that the legal positivism of the Oliver Wendell Holmes school is wholly inadequate for recapturing the natural rights political philosophy that informs both the American Revolution and the American Constitution."

WSJ doesn't adequately respond to Ann Coulter re John Roberts

Opinion Journal online has an article today from Manuel Miranda, a special reporter hired to follow Robert's confirmation process. The point of the article is ostensibly to respond to the criticisms from both the left (Ralph Neas of People for the American Way) and right (Ann Coulter). He fails miserably with respect to Ann.

Here is the text of an email I sent Mr. Miranda in response to his column (slightly revised to make sense):

You write: "No, there is no clear read on how he will rule on this or that issue (most especially abortion). But that is what makes conservatives the good guys. We want judges who will be judges, not judges who are a sure thing. That's the way they do things in other countries, where the rule of law is whatever the political class says it is."

Wrong! Boy are you conflating two issues that have nothing to do with each other. Yes, conservatives want judges whose rulings we can predict with a good measure of certainty. That is because a judge who is prediciable is a judge who follows the law as written. I can read the Constitution and know what it says. With a modest amount of historical research, I can easily discern what those words meant to the people who ratified the Constitution. Only an unpredictable judge can invent a right of privacy in the Constitution where none is found. If you think Roberts is unpredictable on abortion, then you concede he does not follow the law as written, and you concede that he may very well disregard the original meaning of the Constitution whenever he sees fit.

Being a predictable judge has NOTHING to do with taking orders from the political branches on how to rule, except in so far as that is the exact job of judges when applying and interpreting legislation. A predictable judge, with a clearly announced intention to follow the original meaning of the Constition, is far less of a threat to take orders from politicos, or to rule based on political considerations, than an unpredictable judge. In stark contrast to your analogy, judges controlled by politicos in other countries are far from predictable, but instead their rulings will abandon the clearly written law whenever an (unpredictable) political consideration arises.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Roberts is not a member of the Federalist Society

Well color me a fool for believing what I read in the newspapers. Virtually everyone has accepted the fact that John Roberts is a Federalist Society member and reported on that fact acceptingly, including yours truly.

It turns out it's not true (at least according to the Washington Post).

Count me squarely in with Ann Coulter and Ben Shapiro.

Hat tip: Patterico.

It's not just Ann Coulter

In addition to Ann Coulter's negative take on John Roberts, columnist Ben Shapiro has also joined the anti-Roberts side.

There is not much in either column that I disagree with. Roberts is a stealth nominee, and I don't think that will change. Yes, he is much more connected to conservatives who know and care about the Constitution so their assurances have more weight than assurances of Souter's bonafides. Yet I don't see anyone claiming that Roberts will be a justice like Scalia and Thomas, which is what Bush promised us.

Most commentaters are suggesting that Roberts will be another Rehnquist, the justice for whom Roberts clerked. Bush could have run his campaign on the pledge to nominate justices like Scalia, Thomas and Rehnquist, but he did not, to my knowledge, ever cite Rehnquist as the type of judge he wanted his justice nominees to emulate.

Based on my very unscientific analysis of the information in the blogosphere on Roberts, I offer the following handy chart showing, in pecentage chance, the type of justice Roberts will turn out to be:

Souter - 5% (I don't think anyone believes Roberts will turn reliably liberal and moronic)

O'Connor/Kennedy - 25% (Just using current Supreme's here, but really this category should equate to the judging of Byron White, a centrist with great integrity, and Roe v. Wade dissenter)

Rehnquist - 50% (Would this be so bad? Well, yes, as Rehnquist tended to vote conservative on occasion over enforcing the Constitution. One example, Texas v. Johnson, the 1989 flag burning case. Scalia voted in the majority. Though reprehensible, burning the American flag for political expression purposes (as opposed to burning someone else's flag, or burning it on someone else's property) was protected by the First Amendment. Rehnquist dissented, exempting the American flag from political expression for no good reason. Not voting with a consistent view and application of the Constitution weakens opinions from a justice that rely on an originalist interpretation. Scalia and Thomas' correct view of judging will take a step back - will be a step further out of the "mainstream" - making it harder to nominate and approve true originalists to the bench.)

Scalia/Thomas - 20% (Will John Roberts consistently interpret the Constitution as written and as "dead"? Only time will tell. We are taking a chance here, and everyone seems to know it. The real issue here is, will John Roberts vote to overturn wrongly-decided cases that Scalia and Thomas would/will vote to overturn or will he defer to "precedent"? The question I would most like asked of Justice nominee Roberts is his view of when, and using what rationale, it is appropriate to revisit/overrule a wrongly-decided Supreme Court opinion (without mentioning any particular opinion). I suspect he will not be a "slash and burn" justice willing to overrule wrongly-decided cases with anything near the frequency and vigor that Scalia and Thomas would (if the Supreme Court was made up on only Scalia and Thomases))

Justice nominee Roberts and the Federalist Society

I am a proud card carrying member of the Federalist Society and I sit on the Board of the local Orange County, CA Chapter. The Federalist Society, while being completely non-partisan and apolitical, nevertheless promotes a particular - and indisputably correct - viewpoint about the business of judging. As stated on the Orange County Chapter's website:

"The Orange County Lawyers' Chapter is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be."

Thus, I am anxiously awaiting any analysis from Federalist Society members (the society as a whole does not take positions, but merely provides a forum for others to express their views) as to Justice nominee John Roberts. I expect to be getting some soon. The New York Times reports this tidbit about the President's outreach to conservative leaders to help promote John Roberts:

"By 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, as Mr. Bush was informing important members of the Senate before his 9 p.m. televised announcement, Karl Rove, the president's political adviser, was calling key conservatives to tell them that Judge Roberts was the pick. One of Mr. Rove's first calls was a conference call with Mr. Gray; Leonard Leo, the executive vice president of the Federalist Society and the head of Catholic outreach for the Republican Party; Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, an evangelical group; and former Attorney General Edwin Meese III of the Heritage Foundation."

I've met Leonard Leo many times and he is as rock solid as they come. If Leonard - after his investigation and review - is convinced of John Robert's worth, then so am I.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts

Sadly, I was wrong. We'll have to wait until Rehnquist retires, or Ginsburg or Souter, or Stevens dies, to get Justice Brown.

Nothing against John Roberts. I don't know much about him. Will post more later.

Update: Go here for more info on future Justice Roberts. It's like a ping-pong game for me - will he be a Souter or not? I'm leaning more toward not, especially since he appears to be a card-carrying member of the Federalist Society.

Update II: Paul at Powerline says, "trust me, though; Roberts is not at all Souter-like" but - and this is a big "but" - admits in a different post that he has "limited first-hand knowledge" of Judge Roberts.

Update III: More info on Judge Roberts from NRO here and here and from Stuart Buck here. It seems pretty clear that Judge Roberts is a fabulous guy and an excellent lawyer. For a Supreme Court nominee, sadly, neither of these qualities matters much anymore. They should matter, but only because in an ideal world the role of a Supreme Court justice should be clear to all - interpret the law as written with no influence of personal policy preferences. Because the left has abandoned logic, reason, and basically the entire collected wisdom of western civilization in their pursuit of power, a Supreme Court nominee must, first and foremost, be committed to the rule of law and committed to stay committed to the rule of law (I hope you follow that). That is the litmus test beyond which no nominee who fails should pass. Once past, then all the other nicities will come into play. But as yet, I still do not have a firm comfort level that Judge Roberts is and will forever be committed to the rule of law.

That being said, my prediction is that I will reach that comfort level before he is confirmed. An educated guess given a lot of factors (not least of which is that he's from Indiana - Souter, born in Massachusetts). Please check this site regularly throught the process. I will collect, distill and explain all the info on Judge Roberts as it comes out.

Bush times Hurricane Emily's landfall to deflect media attention from Karl Rove

Just today I've seen two of the more ridiculous moonbat conspiracy theories out there.

First, Reuters (who else?) opines in what masquerades as a news article:

"Sources said the timing of an announcement had been moved up in part to deflect attention away from a CIA leak controversy that has engulfed Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove."

Oh, "sources" say. That must mean it's true. After all, an anonymous source has never been full of BS. Plus, what kind of "scoop" is this? Do these "sources" have any actual factual information upon which to base this assessment? This is just pie-in-the-sky conspiracy theory mongering that the reporter put in a purported news article because of the reporter's own political leanings. This is even more blatantly obvious given the fact that there there is no Karl Rove story.

Is the "source" the same one who said the following in the article's next paragraph:

"'It helps take Rove off the front pages for a week,' one Republican strategist said."

Oooo, one Republican staffer who is apparently so dense that he/she thinks that the Supreme Court nominee story will last a mere one week.

Next, we get the moonbats over at who have this to say about the Iraqi Special Tribunal's announcement of its prosecution of Saddam Hussein:

"Providing a happy distraction for the Bush administration (which always needs one, this time because of Karl Rove) . . ."

Yea, Bush timed the announcement of Saddam's prosecution (like no one knew it was coming) to deflect attention from Karl Rove. Of course, TalkLeft could mean that it is a mere happy coincidence, but I doubt it.

So, in the grand tradition of mainstream Democratic thought, I proudly announce my first scoop as a blogger - Bush timed Hurricane Emily to deflect media attention from the Karl Rove "scandal." How did I get this scoop of scoops? Like all moonbat conspiracy theorists, I heard it from "sources."

Scrappleface, feel free to run with this one.

Bush has made his pick!

Wanna know who it is? Tune in this evening. I haven't been able to find the time for the press conference, but apparently (if the AP is correct) Bush will hold a press conference tonight announcing the nominee. For all of you in the Pacific time zone, the announcement may come before you leave work, so keep an eye on this site. I'll post the name as soon as it is announced.

My bet: Janice Rogers Brown.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Must read article on the London bombings

Go read Andy McCarthy's article on NRO for an explanation of why liberalism ingrained in the law of the UK and most of continental Europe aids terrorists. My contracts professor in law school, Alan Gunn, said there was one fundamental difference between English law and US law - they're crazy and we're not. After reading Andy's article, I bet you come to the same conclusion.

Here's just one choice quote from Andy's article:

"Of course, detaining enemy operatives until hostilities are over is not simply acceptable under the time-honored laws of war; it is common sense not to release militants so they can kill more of your soldiers and civilians. Too often, in Britain and throughout Europe, the humans whose rights are the subject of obsessive concern are the ones doing the killing rather than the ones doing the dying."

Reporters shield laws are a bad idea

Checkout my comment over on Wizbang! To it I'll add the following quote:

There are laws to protect the freedom of the press's speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press. -- Mark Twain

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Be wary of Greeks (or Communists) bearing gifts

Here is the text of my response sent to the editors of the Wall Street Journal in response to this article by Fu Chengyu, chairman and CEO of CNOOC Ltd. , the PRC controlled (70.6% ownership) oil company seeking to buy Unocal.

Mr. Fu,

Your article does not even attempt to address the one and only reason Americans are worried about your company's bid to buy Unocal - 70.6% of your stock, a controlling interest, is owned by the Peoples Republic of China, an evil Communist dictatorship. Even granting you the benefit of the doubt that everything you say about your future intentions is true, should circumstances change, you are replaceable and/or answerable to a government that most certainly does not have the best interests of your company's other shareholders in mind, and, most importantly, has long-term political ambitions that will certanily trump your company's purely economic concerns.

The fact that your management has fiduciary duties to shareholders means little without an effective means to enforce those duties, and given that the PRC's courts are not independent, but under the arbitrary control of the PRC dictatorship, there is no guarantee that those fiduciary duties will be recognized if breached.

The private investors who own shares in your company may accept the risk that their equity interest is entirely dependent upon the goodwill of the PRC dictatorship revokable at will and with no recourse. But when the U.S. government has legitimate national security concerns about the availability of a strategic resource such as oil controlled by a U.S. company falling under the control of a not-so-friendly foreign regime, it is entirely appropriate for our government to prevent such a transfer. Perhaps you have good answers to the U.S. government's concerns and my concerns expressed herein. I suspect you don't, otherwise you would have addressed them forthright in your article.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Why don't they ask themselves, why do they hate the UN?

Hmm, I wonder when liberals will ask that question after the bombing of the UN headquarters in Kosovo. When will the UN learn to understand the grievances of the Kosovo murderers and change its policies to appease them? Oh wait, the UN does that all the time.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Justice, then Justice again, then Judge, now Justice Janice Rogers Brown!

Speaking unofficially for the Federalist Society as a whole, and the Orange County, CA chapter in particular, the nominee for Sandra Dee, erm, Day O'Connor's recently-vacated Supreme Court spot should go to newly-confirmed D.C. Circuit Court Judge Janice Rogers Brown. Now is the perfect opportunity for W to nominate Judge Brown (first Justice, as an appellate judge in California, then Justice again on the California Supreme Court, then Judge on the D.C. Circuit) to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Does she meet Arlen Specter's diversity quota for women? Check. The prevailing wisdom among the Republicans is that the Democrats won't filibuster no matter the nominee, or if they do then the nuclear option will be invoked. The best part about the whole thing is, do Democrats seriously think they can demonize a black woman from Jim Crow Alabama who lifted herself up to the highest pinacle of her profession just because they don't like her ideology? The Democrats likely know this, and the Republicans better understand, that middle America pays no attention to Washington except for the big things - like a Supreme Court nominee, and will see the personalities involved as much more important than the ideological principals involved. And the best part of all is that she was one of the compromise 3 in the filibuster deal and was recently confirmed by the majority of the Senate.

With the nuclear option in play, Judge Brown is an easy confirmation.

The whole point of us grass roots activists and Federalist Society members is to get people like Judge Brown nominated to the Supreme Court - strict constructionists who interpret the Constitution according to its original meaning, not their own personal policy preferences or the fashions of the East Coast intelligensia. If W lets us down on this one, I will no longer look past his prolfligate spending and corresponding massive increase in the size and power of the federal government. I will join those at the OC Register's editorial page.