Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Pot, meet kettle

Doug Bandow, writing in National Review, explains (with many examples) why Al Gore and Bill Clinton have no scruples for attacking the Bush Administration's civil rights record. He points out, based on their track record, why a Gore administration would be just as bad.

The Clinton administration trampled over the rights of anyone who dissented from their views, and were given a free pass from most of the media. Ashcroft's initiatives are mild compared with the draconian oppression of the previous administration, but the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the vast constellation of left-of-center pundits, ponitificators, and publicity-seeking stars have all warned us of the grave dangers to our civil liberties since September 11 of last year. Leftist myopia (or pure sophistry) prevents them from seeing the seedy side of their hero's watch.

(Link courtesy of Eugene Volokh.)

posted at 01:03 PM | permalink | Comments (4)

The Clinton Administration was terrible for civil liberties. Absolutely terrible.

The Bush Administration, however, has managed to be even worse. Take, for example, the indefinite detention without charge of American citizens by the Department of Defense and without judicial review -- the suspension of habeus corpus. Is this not one of the worst abuses in our history?

posted by George Paine on September 18, 2002 09:01 PM

"Worst abuses in our history"?

How many citizens are so detained? A handful?

It's a bad thing, but I can't help but think that calling it one of the worst abuses of civil liberties in the history of the Union is a bit hyperbolic.

posted by Sigivald on September 18, 2002 09:11 PM


I said it was one of the worst offenses in our history. Certainly there have been cases -- the Civil War and World War II -- when worse happened. There were thousands and thousands detained by the military without charge, the suspension of habeus corpus, a man shot for speaking out against the draft. There were even banned newspapers and the arrest of newsboys.

Does that diminish the abuses of today? They're not of the scale of those two periods in our history, but they certainly rank in the Top Five.

posted by George Paine on September 18, 2002 10:59 PM

George, I really think you'd better read the NR article before spouting off any more.

posted by Toren on September 22, 2002 08:01 AM

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Remembering Shiri Negari

Shiri was a very special person. Gifted with beauty, joy, talent and goodness of the heart.

Shiri was a proud Jewish Israeli young woman. She was murdered on Tuesday, June 18th 2002 by a Palestinian suicide bomber on her way to work.

Remembering Shiri Negari

(Note: I am not the first person to link to this website; Somewhere on A1A blogged about it in early July, and Instapundit and Amish Tech Support have linked to it as well. However, I received an e-mail recently asking me to help keep Shiri's memory alive. I am very choosy about what I blog, but this is certainly something that I support, and feel for her family.)

posted at 05:37 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Berkeley strikes again

Yes, Berkeley has managed to come up with yet another mind-numbingly stupid idea. They have declared Berkeley—and the space for 60km above it—a weapon-free zone. As Dave Barry would say, I'm not making this up. Here is the website with the resolution, which passed on 10 September (symbolism?). I am unable to adequately convey my feelings on this.

Dona Spring, the councilwoman who sponsored this, makes Maxine Waters look like Ronald Reagan. She makes the socialists in Sweden look reactionary. Look at every idiotic proposal to eminate from Berkeley in the last few years, and she is either the sponsor or a supporter of the measure. She is astonishingly stupid.

I wonder how Berkeley plans to enforce this law. Are they going to sue the DoD if a weapon flies overhead?

(Link courtesy of Andrew Sullivan.)

posted at 04:34 PM | permalink | Comments (3)

The Berkeley ordinance is especially futile since anything with an orbital height of less than 60 km won't be in orbit very long.

posted by steevil (Dr Weevil's bro Steve) on September 17, 2002 11:33 PM

Have they considered they may have to arm themselves to enforce it?


posted by Wind Rider on September 19, 2002 03:11 AM

No kidding. You can have all the laws in the world, but if you can't enforce them they don't mean squat.

posted by Paul on September 22, 2002 11:23 PM

The Echo Chamber

Saw this on The Safety Valve, and it is too good (and too true) to ignore.

This gets filed under the echo chamber because I'm blogging something from another blog, who blogged something from another blog, which was blogged by yet another blogger...

Lynn Sislo is the original author; she posted at On the Third Hand.

UPDATE:17Sept/5:07pm—Lynn says she didn't write the quote, and I see no reason for her to lie about such an issue. Sorry about that, Lynn.

posted at 02:17 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

Thanks for the link but the comment about "compromise" that was quoted at The Safety Valve wasn't mine.

posted by Lynn on September 17, 2002 05:06 PM

CroooowBlog delivers the goods

Henry Hanks (Media Minded's source for the previous post) lays waste to a Scooby Davis trope that touches upon a host of issues, particularly Rush Limbaugh. Henry brings out the big guns on Terry McAuliffe, who surely deserves a lot more bashing than he currently receives; McAuliffe is one of the most slimy, duplicitous, ethically bankrupt individuals to ever head one of the major parties (he makes Clinton and Nixon look good). There are many links in this post; be sure to check it out.

posted at 11:35 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

More Media Double Standards

Media Minded links to a piece in the Wall Street Journal by John McWhorter, about the dichotomy in treatment between Cornell West and Clarence Thomas, two undeniably well-known (and polarizing) black luminaries.

MM also points out where more of McWhorter's work can be found. Check it out.

posted at 11:09 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

ETA Leaders arrested

Two leaders of the Basque terrorist organization ETA have been apprehended in a joint French-Spanish raid, according to this CNN report.

This is a major victory against one of the most active terrorist organizations (other than the Islamic extremists based in the Middle East). ETA is especially fond of targeting politicians; only FARC (in Colombia) is more likely to kill a political figure.

posted at 10:41 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 16, 2002

Wag the Dog redux

The Washington Post has this incisive post about the timing of the Iraq issue in reference to the upcoming elections. While all of the usual suspects (Daschle, Biden, B. Clinton, Lehane) are accusing Bush of using the war as a campaign issue (why shouldn't he?), Dana Milbank, the author of the piece, points out the obvious—the Democrats painted themselves into this corner earlier this year.

Democrats brought some of the difficulty on themselves, administration officials say. In July and August, when it appeared there were divisions within the administration about whether to involve Congress and the United Nations, Democrats clamored for a full debate on Iraq. As Fleischer put it: "The Democrats, to their credit, asked the president to make his case. He's doing what they asked him to do."
"The Democrats responded to what they perceived as administration confusion in July and August, but they did not think out the consequences," said Hudson Institute analyst Marshall Wittmann. In a "massive blunder," Democrats demanded exactly what they got from Bush: a debate on Iraq that diminishes Democrats' issues.


It's interesting that Paul Begala, Clinton's former press secretary, is now accusing the Bush administration of the same conduct of which Clinton was accused; he claimed that the GOP was engaged in a vendetta against his boss. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, however, he must feel it is valid, since the target is a Republican.

posted at 02:45 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

The Democrats clearly asked for this debate, and they're getting it. That's simple.

The timing of Gulf War Redux has been questioned by many because Bush didn't seem so hurried to go after Saddam pre-9/11. This, of course, is a load of hooey -- he wanted to go after Saddam before 9/11, this is just his excuse.

The fact is that the Dems were in a corner -- they could not ask for debate and thus be attacked by their left, or they could ask for debate and thus get attacked by the right. Either way the Wag the Dog scenario holds no water.

posted by George Paine on September 16, 2002 06:07 PM


Once again, Greenpeace's addled leaders have subverted common sense to their principles. CNN reports that Greenpeace "activists" (are they the same kind of activists as Reuters' "Palestinian Activists"?) are sailing to intercept two transports filled with spent nuclear fuel.

The fuel was originally shipped to Japan, intended for use in a nuclear facility there. BNFL discovered, during shipment, that some of the pellets were inadequate for use in the Japanese plant, and agreed to refund the customer and pay for the return of the assemblies to Britain.

Now, Greenpeace is launching a flotilla of more than 20 ships to intercept the two purpose-built tankers, although it is not clear what they plan to do, other than create a media circus; Greenpeace has mastered the art of manipulating the media, who are already sympathetic to their cause.

Greenpeace alleges that the assemblies are vulnerable to terrorist attack, and therefore should not be transported by sea. Of course, they also allege that it should not travel by rail, and the sheer size of the assemblies (80-100 tons each) precludes their transport by air, which is not at all safe either. Of course, by preventing their transport by any method, they hope to make it uneconomical to use nuclear energy for any purpose whatsoever, despite the fact that it causes far less pollution than any fossil fuel, and does not require special environmental conditions (such as sunshine, wind, flowing water, or geothermal energy) in contrast to their preferred renewable energy sources.

Greenpeace has one of their celebrity puppets dancing for the media; this time it is Jim Corr, of the Irish band The Corrs.

Among the protesters is Jim Corr, a member of the Irish rock band The Corrs, who told Reuters: "The Irish Sea should never be used as a nuclear highway ever again."

Please stick to music, Jim. At least you have some credibility there.

CNN provided a link to BNFL's website, which has an exhaustive review of the whole brouhaha. Included is this statement, under "Environmental inpact":

A study by the Japanese Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry shows that even in the highly implausible circumstances of a vessel sinking and the cask being breached in coastal waters, the impact on those living near the incident would amount to one millionth of natural background radiation. If such an incident occurred in deep waters, the impact would be equivalent to one ten-millionth of background radiation.

So much for danger.

BNFL also has a section, entitled "separating facts from fiction", that carefully dismisses each overblown claim by the enviro-extremists. Some of these claims are ludicrous, and at least one of them is offensive and recklessly irresponsible. Implying that the ships are of substandard construction is an insult to every British Steelworker and every British shipbuilder who participated in the construction of these vessels.

posted at 02:14 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

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