Thursday, June 30, 2005

CNN gets one right

Click on the headline above for a CNN article about Republican efforts to curb the effects of the Supreme Court's disasterous, wrong, and one-step-from-manning-the-brigades decision in Kelo v. City of New London. A good and unbiased account - noteworthy in its own right. But it is even better than that. Gotta love the courage of the article's writer for throwing in this line - the polar opposite of obfuscation:

"In a 5-4 ruling last week, the Supreme Court said municipalities have broad power to bulldoze people's homes and put up shopping malls or other private development to generate tax revenue."

Yup. Nail on the head.

The one fault in the article is the comment, "The Supreme Court has overturned other congressional attempts to supersede its decisions." A non-lawyer probably does not understand the distinction I explained so masterfully in my previous post, so I won't fault this reporter for failing to note that the Supreme Court would have no business overturning the proposed bill - though given the Supreme Court's penchant for doing things it has no business doing, maybe the remark wasn't the result of ignorance after all.

How do people this ignorant/stupid get leadership posts in the U.S. government?

Granted, Nancy Pelosi is only a leader within the Democratic party, but the minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives really doesn't understand law or the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Kelo. Click the headline above for the transcript of Ms. Pelosi's comments regarding a proposed bill by Republican House leaders and Senator John Cornyn that would prevent federal funds from being used for "eminent domain" of the type approved in Kelo - take from one American and give/sell it to another American to whom it does not belong (a line shamelessly stolen from Walter Williams, gotta love the moral clarity).

First, Ms. Pelosi hears the facts wrong, thinking the bill would defund the Supreme Court (which the Congress can do, just not lower the Justices' salaries - maybe they could use a few less clerks, or hold court in the basement of OSHA).

Then, after the interviewer explains the proposed bill to her, she thinks such a bill would "nullify" a decision of the Supreme Court because it would withhold funds from "enforcing" the decision. Boy, what a moron.

For all you non-lawyers out there, here is how the Kelo decision works. The U.S. Supreme Court just said that the U.S. Constitution does not prohibit local governments from taking property from one American and giving/selling it to another to whom it does not belong. The opinion says nothing about whether such robbery . . . er, eminent domain, must be used. The actual controversy - between a city in Connecticut and local homeowners - involves no federal funds that I can conceive of (except maybe to publish the case in the official register). Thus, the particular case decided by the Supreme Court would not be affected by the proposed bill.

But there is something more fundamental here as well, which given the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Raich v. Ashcroft, could turn out to be a delicious irony. The U.S. Supreme Court just held that purely intrastate activity even remotely touching upon something that might possibly have the slightest effect on interstate commerce is 100% within the governing power of Congress. I would think that if growing corn on one's own land for purely personal consumption affects interstate commerce enough for Congress to regulate/prohibit it, then it is clearly within the governing power of Congress to outlaw eminent domain of the type used in Kelo.

Ms. Pelosi and her ilk may object to this reasoning thusly: But Mr. Pugh, the Supreme Court just said that the Constitution grants local governments the power of eminent domain in situations like Kelo, so a bill to wholly prevent such use of eminent domain would "nullify" the Supreme Court's decision, just like I said.

If you made this argument, you would be wrong. Nothing in the U.S. Constitution, or the Kelo decision, says that local governments have an absolute Constitutional right to steal property like the Kelo's and give it to Pfizer. (Boycott Pfizer!) The decision says that nothing in the Constitution prohibits such theft. There is a huge difference between a Supreme Court decision holding that the Constitution grants an absolute right (say, abortion) and a decision that merely holds that some activity is not prohibited by the Constitution. In the latter situtation, Congress is free to make laws prohibiting the activity, provided Congress has the power to regulate the activity under Article I, section 8.

According to Raich v. Ashcroft, Congress is free to outlaw local governments from using eminent domain to take property from one American and give/sell it to another to whom it does not belong. Don't hold your breath on such a law passing, however, as many Republicans in Congress who swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution have some integrity and would find such an outright prohibition of Kelo-type eminent domain unconstitutional, regardless of what the Supreme Court thinks.

Blogging in Santa Cruz

Let's try this again.

I'm on vacation hence I'm not working hence I have a smidgen of time in between watching my 13 month old daughter to blog. However, I'm staying in Santa Cruz at the house of my wife's aunt, uncle and two cousins, one of whose computers I am using to blog. The thing has some sort of filter that doesn't let through nasty words like "murder" and "grenade." So I can't fix the below post until I get back from vacation to my nice filter-free computer at home. I take pride in my error-free writing so trust me that where a post is missing a word, the computer ate it.

(Interestingly, the first time I tried to post this, the computer ate the whole post. Maybe there's a "conservative" filter on the computer, too.)

I thought you needed UN approval before using unilateral, preemptive action

Little Green Footballs has a post (click headline above) about idiot Ward Churchill's advocacy for U.S. troops in Iraq ing their officers, like the scumbag Sgt. Hasan Akbar who rolled a into the tent of his fellow soldiers at the beginning of the war, Army Capt. Christopher S. Seifert of Easton, Pa., and Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone of Boise, Idaho. (Had I been the officer in charge there I would have shot Sgt. Akbar in the head right there on the spot.) The story got me to thinking -

It is the position of liberals and the UN that unilateral preemptive military action is illegal and thus those responsible should be prosecuted in the Hague for war crimes. This is the liberal position no matter what the cause for the preemptive military action - in the case of the U.S.'s invasion of Iraq it was self defense with an added helping of saving other lives (the Iraqis). So, the position of liberals is that preemptive military action is never justified, either for self defense or the defense of others, unless the UN (or other apropriate governing body) approves in advance, like the U.S. invasion of Kosovo under Bill Clinton. (Oh, wait, the UN didn't approve that. Don't hold your breath on the ICC indicting Clinton for war crimes.)

Hopefully you can see where this is going. A soldier taking the law into his own hands by ing his fellow soldiers and/or his superior officer(s) is just as "illegal" and just as much of a war crime under the liberal view as U.S. preemptive military action in Iraq. Has the UN (or any governmental body anywhere) approved of U.S. soldiers ing other U.S. soldiers - even assuming, as the Ward Churchills of the world do - that U.S. soldiers would be morally justified, in the perverse liberal world view, because of self defense (not applicable) or the defense of others' lives (again, a factually false assumption, but an assumed fact for liberals)? No, the UN has not so approved. Therefore, the unilateral, premeditated action Ward Churchill advocates that U.S. soldiers take is no different in his and the prevailing liberal view of international law than the U.S. invading Iraq.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I sure hope this happens

There should be a constitutional amendment that prevents members of Congress from exempting themselves from the laws they make. Likewise, every Supreme Court Justice who voted in the majority in Kelo should have this happen to them. I'll keep track of this and see if the city council follows through. If not, it's time to start running candidates who will.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Muslim world's reaction to Koran "abuse" offends my cultural sensibilities

At the risk of having a fatwa placed on my head, please read this article over at Tech Central by Douglas Kern (hat tip: Patterico). The best line, and one which I wish someone from our government had the guts to say, is this:

"If the bad guys have information, I'd do anything short of torture to get it out of them. I'd take to those Korans like Gallagher to watermelons. I'd use rendering plants, pigs in yarmulkes, Vegas strippers, wood-chippers, sumo wrestlers, leather-clad perverts, battery acid, Jesuits -- everything! I'd feed every last Koran in the world to rabid aardvarks if it would save the life of even one of my men. And if that ticks off the 'patriotic Iraqi protestors,' maybe somebody better tell them that in the civilized world, lives are worth more than books."

And then some. As many bloggers have noted, but little if any MSM outlets have, the bad guys have absolutely no respect for our culture or things sacred to us - like the Twin Towers and 3000 innocent lives. By "bad guys" I include the majority of the muslim community, who we all know celebrated in the street or casually reflected that we had it coming. I think this article sums up the attitude of the typical muslim. I have seen absolutely nothing to persuade me otherwise.

Bottom line: It is absolutely silly to "respect" other cultures as equals (in goodness and badness) - as multiculturalists think we should - when those other cultures do not feel the same way about us. The dominant muslim ideology is that their culture is superior to ours, ours is not one to command equal respect from them, and we deserve to die unless and until we convert to islam and Koranic law. The only real difference among those in the dominant muslim ideology is the level of participation.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

LA Times writes about teen unemployment, can't figure out why it exists

The LA Times should force its reporters to read Thomas Sowell after writing this article. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that the minimum wage destroys entry level jobs. California's minimum wage is $6.75 per hour. That's $1.60 more per hour than the Feds require. California is one of 13 states, coincidentally all "blue" (except Alaska) with minimum wage laws higer than the fedeal government requires. Only Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Vermont are dumber than California - i.e., have higer minimum wages. Yet the LA times never picks up on the only reason teen unemployment is a problem - the only reason.

New SEC Chairman Christopher Cox

From my own backyard, Newport Beach, comes the new SEC Chairman, U.S. Representative Christopher Cox. Even though he got held up by Boxer and Feinstein from being nominated a federal judge, the SEC position is too low-profile for any Democrat filibustering.

Anyway, one thing will happen here that will be truly enjoyable to watch. All of Orange County's congressional seats are "safe" - that is, gerrymandered to ensure that one party always wins the seat. Orange County has lots of conservative Republicans and lots of politicians with their eyes on a higher seat. We will soon be deluged with a great sucking sound as these numerous people all vie for this "safe" Republican seat.

Here is my list of potitential candidates:

Todd Spitzer - brother of Eliot from New York, currently a CA assemblyman. A politician on the move in OC. I would be stunned if he didn't run for this seat.

Tom Fuentes - a 20-year long Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party. When he resigned last year, he was the longest serving county chairman in the country in America's most Republican county. Run Tom Run!

Chuck Devore - won a hard-fought assembly seat in Irvine against a liberal Republican backed by Big Money. Dedicated public servant, but just got elected.

Scott Baugh - Curent Chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, former House Republican leader. He'd have to move out of his nice house in Huntington Beach (Dana Rohrabacher's district). Definately the political skills and collections to win if he ran.

Me - Hell, I'm over 25 and I know what I'm doing a hell of a lot better than nearly everyone on Capitol Hill. Don't tell my wife, though.