Friday, January 27, 2006

Silver Spoon?

From today's White House briefing:

Q: Can I also ask you, on Senator Kerry's comments, what is your reaction to the filibuster call by Senator Kerry, on Judge Alito?
MR. McCLELLAN: On his call yesterday? It was a pretty historic day. This was the first time ever that a Senator has called for a filibuster from the slopes of Davos, Switzerland. I think even for a Senator, it takes some pretty serious yodeling to call for a filibuster from a five-star ski resort in the Swiss Alps. (Laughter.)



Saturday, January 14, 2006

Judges gone wild

American's are blessed to have strong constitutional protections. Unfortunately some persons, including federal judges have gone wild concluding that very reasonable searches are illegal in their view. Here is an excellent example from the Weekly Standard. Read the whole thing.

As presented to the three-judge panel, the case revolved around the following issue. In applying for the search warrant, the two officers had filled in a box entitled "specific description of premises and/or persons to be searched." The language is taken from the Fourth Amendment and officers must be very careful in filling it out. Warrants are routinely thrown out by appeals-court judges who decide that the application did not adequately describe "the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

By the time the officers had finished describing the suspect's premises and listing his name, address, physical description, and Social Security number, they had no room left to include any further information. "As you can see, that box is filled," testified one officer in court. "You can't include everything. . . . It's impossible to fit everything we want in these little boxes they give us."

In order to continue their application, the officers attached an affidavit in which they added a request to search "all occupants" of the house. Fulfilling the Fourth Amendment's requirement that "no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause," they stated that, in their experience, drug dealers, when faced with "impending apprehension," often gave evidence to other persons present in the hope that "said persons will not be subject to search when police arrive." The judge signed the warrant and its accompanying affidavit.

Unfortunately, two of the judges on the appeals panel decided ipso facto that it wasn't valid to attach an additional piece of paper to describe the search.

I saved the best for last. The dissenting judge, who argued that common sense indicated that the police had sought, received and executed a valid warrant ... his name: Alito.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Democrats Lie, People Cry

Democrat lies and slander drive Alito's wife to tears.

Which party is qualified to lead this country?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Applying the "Broken Windows" Theory to Terrorists

David Medienkritik writes a moving blog entry quoting the brother of Robert Dean Stethem. Petty Officer Stethem was a fatal victim of the terrorist hijacking of Trans World Airlines Flight 847 on June 14, 1985.

Mr. President,

I would like to provide you with an explanation as to why Muhammed Ali Hammadi's recent release by Germany, and your Administration's lack of any attempt to prevent it, is so upsetting to our family and to Americans everywhere. (...)

You have rightly said, "Whether we bring our enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done." You have truly said that "We are in a fight for our principles, and our first responsibility is to live by them." Robert lived by them. Robert also died by them. The motto of the USS SSTETHEM (DDG-63), named in Robert's honor, is "Steadfast and Courageous." I hope that his example, and the example of other heroes like him can inspire you to understand why allowing Germany to release Hammadi was a wrong. Justice was not done, Robert was not honored and Americans are not safer by allowing Hammadi to return to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

You know this, we know this and the American people know this.

The Stethem family

You can read the whole sad, but brave tale from the web site of the Navy Destroyer named in his honor.

In a cruel twist the German government has released the terrorist responsible for killing Robert, one Muhammed Ali Hammadi. I wonder if we should apply the "broken windows" theory to terrorists acts as was done in cleaning up NYC. We could put particular energy into finding and dispatching Hammadi using secret agents as ordinary judicial means seems to have failed at this point. Perhaps, if this policy were pursued without exception, this could serve to provide a deadly effective disincentive to terrorists. I think this policy should be pursued in addition to other approaches (legal, military, etc.) but that in no case should any terrorist ultimately be allowed to be free.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Bush consults Dems on Iran?

I think that Lorie Byrd has nailed the real reason the GW Bush is meeting with promenent Democratic and Republican national security experts.


I commented:

GWB has said that he would act preemptively to prevent future 9/11s that could include WMDs. Iran should have gotten the message when we took care of Saddam, but the present leader of Iran is building Nuclear Weapons – if we take him at his word. I’m not a UN diplomat, but I’m pretty sure that’s a treaty violation – not that the NNPT is the only relevent issue here. Bush will act to proactively protect the US from Iran’s Nuclear capabilities, much like JFK acted to force the missles out of Cuba. JFK was ready to go to war.

THe Dems in the meeting will have their words recorded, but I am sure the president will extend them the courtesy of keeping everything off the record. (I also suspect that he has a similair conversation on tape about Iraq from 2002, but with the same off the record agreement). It would be very interesting to see what they say. I am sure that there are a few true pacifists/isolationists – probably Jimmy Carter types. I am sure there are a few that sway with the wind (Kerry). And there are some Liebermans too.

I don’t know what the options are; but I suspect that the military options are fraught with lots of negatives: civilian casualties, low likelyhood of completely destroying all WMD related items, Iranian backlash, European backlash, Democratic backlash. But this has to be balanced against the possibility of a nuclear 9/11 in Tel Aviv, or Rome, or London, or Washington DC.

Perhaps a miltary naval/air blockade. This would be ugly on TV, as the pictures of starving children would appear in days but it might be better than bombing.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Understanding our Enemies...

Much as been made of the fact that terrorism and the underlying, supportive philosophy of Wahabism has been funded by the oil wealth of the house of Saud. Many have argued that we should do our part to defund the Saudis by reducing our use of oil.

While this argument has merit on its face, as 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia and the ring leader Bin Ladin hails from there, it draws the incorrect conclusion -- that the problem is oil -- not that the problems is Islamo-fascism. A superb analogy demonstrating this point comes from "Gates of Vienna"
Look at it from another angle: For the past thirty years Norway has received enormous revenues from North Sea oil. Therefore it would be a good idea to cut back on petroleum usage in order to de-fund the export of Scandinavian terror, and keep the Viking zealots from imposing strict Norse law on the rest of the world. If they had their way, we'd all be eating lutefisk and climbing into the sauna with --gasp!-- — members of the opposite sex.

Obviously, the problem isn't the transfer of wealth, but the behavior of the recipients.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Day 337 of captivity...

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This is a joke, but I hear stuff like this everyday