Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
March 24, 2005 - March 17, 2005

Thursday, March 24, 2005

You Didn't Make the World, You're Just a Lawyer

"Congress’ actions today are a clear threat to our democracy. More than 200 years ago, our forefathers designed our nation’s government with three separate, yet equal branches. Today, Congress is about to overturn the separation of powers so carefully constructed by our forefathers by disregarding the laws of Florida and the decisions of a judge that have never been reversed on appeal.
". . . The United States Congress is on the verge of telling states, courts, judges and juries that their opinions, deliberations and decisions do not matter."
Congressman Jim Davis

It has been fun over the past few days to hear the Democrats talk about the limited role of the Federal Government. Tell it to the builders of the Tellico Dam who had construction halted, by the Federal Government to protect the snail darter.

The above excerpt from Congressman Davis' statement seems childish to us. And, as the rhetoric over the Terry Schiavo case builds to a crecendo, it highlights the building annoyance of we, the people, with, them, the judges.

Just hold on a moment and get what is going on here. The Governor of a State, his brother, the President of the United States, along with the Congress of the United States want to do something. However, they are not doing it, because men in black robes say, "No."

Regardless of your position on this dreadful Terri Schivo case, the over-arching conflict between separate, yet equal branches of government, lauded above by Congressman Davis, is certainly reaching a point of absurdity.

Genuflecting at the rulings of the judges, even Supreme Court Justices, is a new phenomenon in America and certainly does not have the hallowed history Congressman Davis suggests with his, ". . . more than 200 years ago" talk -- as if the Schiavo case is the first interruption of this perfect balance of powers.

President Andrew Jackson is supposedly to have said of the Chief Justice John Marshall's Supreme Court ruling in the 1831 case Cherokee Nation v. State of Georgia, "Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it." Whether he said it or not, he completely ignored the Court's ruling and proceeded about his business as if the Court had said nothing, which it effectively had said -- i.e., nothing. He's featured on the $20 bill.

Also, another head of the Executive Branch would hold in utter contempt the "States, courts, judges and juries [AND ELECTED STATE LEGISLATORS IN LAWFUL ASSEMBLY] that their opinions, deliberations and decisions do not matter." That, of course, was honest Abe -- President Abraham Lincoln who took his Union conscripts into Southern lands and fought a bloody, deadly war to reestablish the Union. That civil war was fought less than eighty years after the ink dried on the Constitution and left 500,000 Americans dead at the hand of the Government they had created to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. O-o-o-p-s. President Lincoln only made the $5 bill.

We get all the nice things people say about rule of law, but we can't help but wonder if any subject of the Crown ever bowed so low for so long.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Historical Imperative of the Masses
Today, President Bush will meet with Vicente Fox of Mexico and Paul Martin of Canada for a little El Tunel sit down (Source Archive) at Baylor University in Waco, TX followed by a little BBQ at the ranch in Crawford. One of the items to be discussed is the little tunnel found just one month ago.

It seems that this particular tunnel, complete with concrete floor and an intercom system, ran nearly 200 yards from a house on one side of a rusty metal fence, under two streets and an apartment complex, to emerge in an unassuming tract home in California.

President Fox wants to keep the border open -- is this what he means? -- but, Porter Goss, the director of central intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that the United States is vulnerable to terrorists infiltrating through its back patio.

We know we're supposed to be all inclusive and all, but when you start finding los túnelos -- this isn't the only one -- don't you have to wonder if somebody isn't just taking advantage of you?

A Little Decency, Please.

GREETINGS, HARRIERS. I won't pretend to know, as so many presently do, what Terri Schiavo would want done about her feeding tube. Whether the courts have to be involved or not, this strikes me as a private family matter that should be resolved without the voyeuristic pontificating of every blowhard in the nation who has nothing better to do with his time. What I will pretend to know is that Mrs. Schiavo would NOT want photographs and video clips of herself as she now is being broadcast continuously on television and the Internet. The basis for my position is that no woman of my acquaintance would want to be filmed or watched by strangers in such circumstances.

Seem a trivial point? Well, if you followed the commentary on the case, I bet you'd discover a lot of rhetoric about human dignity. So be as morally pugnacious and certain as you like about your own views (pun intended) of this woman's plight, but I daresay not one of you can deny that whatever the outcome, all human dignity has been robbed from Mrs. Schiavo by everyone who has employed or sought out these images -- including both sides of her loving family, the press, the television networks, politicians, and bloggers. Yes, I know that an endangered woman may choose to be dragged out of a burning building naked and feet first in front of thousands of onlookers, but Terri Schiavo did not choose to be displayed like a pinned butterfly to every schlump with a TV. And who among you will claim on her behalf that continued subsistence of such a pitiful order is worth the kind of immortality that has been irrevocably forced upon her? Think about this question in particular, all you Christians who presume to know the difference between decency and indecency and all you liberals who make a sacred principle of privacy. Then turn your heads away in shame.

Object, fume, and fulminate all you like. Even the highest minded of you remind me of a vulture circling over a dying doe.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Danger of Guns -- part III
We've been talking about guns a little bit around here lately -- HERE and HERE.Please Walk Through Today we hear that a young man (alledgedly named, Jeff Weise), walked through a metal detector, and killed at least ten people. Of course, he had to shoot the security guard standing next to the metal detector and then proceeded to kill students at the school.

Now, we are not going to mention that Weise used three of the 196 million guns in the U.S. -- two pistols and a shotgun -- and how it really doesn't matter if he or someone else completed BATF Form 4473 because that would be piling on . . .

We are going to ask you to take the time to read Bahama Bull today. This piece is part of Shuteye Town 1999 and its analysis is vital to understanding happenings such as these.

Monday, March 21, 2005

You Can Get Away with Everything

Do you know this man?

His name is Jim Davis, that would be, "Congressman Jim Davis" to you. Congressman Jim Davis was elected to Congress in 1996, and, he tells us via his website that he "brought a wealth of legislative experience and a common sense approach to the House of Representatives." Not only that, before his fourth year of service was complete, the Tampa Tribune thought it wise to report that he is "a moderate lawmaker of unimpeachable character, an unpretentious man his colleagues naturally look to for leadership." Naturally.

Well, in a bit of irony, we looked up Congressman Davis. And, the first thing you see when you get to his website is this:

Of course, if you happen to be the parents of a desperately disabled child who is about to be denied the basics of food and water, well then, Congressman Jim feels it would be a "clear threat to our democracy" to get you any kind of empowerment. Thankfully, for the Schiavos, Congressman Jim's colleagues did not look to him for leadership -- naturally or otherwise -- The House voted 203 to 58 (Source Archive) for the bill that would empower the Schiavos to have their case heard in Federal Court which would require that she at least be given food and water while all this gets sorted out.

Maybe next time, Jimbo.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

He Grew to Boyhood in his Stepfather's Carpentry Shop
On St. Patrick's Day we received a request via the comments section to remember St. Joseph's Day. But, CLICK HERE to see the ad unless Guinness is planning some late promotions around St. Joseph's Day like they did with their St. Patrick's Day commercial, I doubt you'll hear a peep out of the Chain Gang about it.

But, I thought it was a good request, so I thought I'd post something for St. Joseph today.

From the Roman Breviary, a hymn for the day:

Joseph, the praise and glory of the
Sure pledge of life, and safety of the
  wide world,
As in our joy we sing to thee, in
List to our praises.

Thou by the world's Creator wert appointed
Spouse of the Virgin: thee he willed to honour
Naming thee father of the Word and guardian
Of our salvation.

When the Redeemer, whom the Prophets' chorus
Long had predicted, lay within the manger,
Glad was thy spirit, whilst in adoration
Lowly thou kneeledst.

God, King of kings, and Governor of the ages,
He at whose word the powers of hell do tremble,
He whom the adoring heavens ever worship
Called thee protéctor.

Praise to the Triune Godhead everlasting,
Who with such honour mightily hath blessed thee;
O may he grant us at thy blest petition
Joys everlasting. Amen.

It is a bit more subdued day, but important nontheless. Thanks to Alfa for pointing it out. We'll see what happens around here on St. Andrew's Day.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Romantics were Brits who Thought that it Might be Possible to Feel Emotions
From BBC News, some Georgian insouciance . . .

3 of 5

Post-Election Echoes

. It seems that John Kerry is now trying to rewrite the story of his failed presidential bid. At some kind of award ceremony covered by P. J. O’Rourke, the senator was asked about his defeat and responded:

"There has been," he said, "a profound and negative change in the relationship of America's media with the American people. . . If 77 percent of the people who voted for George Bush on Election Day believed weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq--as they did--and 77 percent of the people who voted for him believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11--as they did--then something has happened in the way in which we are talking to each other and who is arbitrating the truth in American politics. . . . When fear is dominating the discussion and when there are false choices presented and there is no arbitrator, we have a problem."

"We learned," Kerry continued, "that the mainstream media, over the course of the last year, did a pretty good job of discerning. But there's a subculture and a sub-media that talks and keeps things going for entertainment purposes rather than for the flow of information. And that has a profound impact and undermines what we call the mainstream media of the country. And so the decision-making ability of the American electorate has been profoundly impacted as a consequence of that. The question is, what are we going to do about it?"

Mr. O’Rourke does an excellent job of deriding Kerry’s argument and so it needn’t be done again here, but we did want to suggest that this article should be read (or reread) specifically in the context of the recent interview John O'Neill gave to American Enterprise Online. Most of us know the highlights of the Swiftboat Vets' campaign to counter Kerry's self-aggrandizing account of his military career. What's new in the interview is the details of what the Swiftboat vets had to overcome to get their story out, details that cast an ironic light on Kerry's pronouncements about the mainstream media and, by implication, himself.

TAE: At the Swift Boat veterans' May 4 press conference you had an open letter calling Kerry unfit to be Commander in Chief. It was signed by virtually all of John Kerry's commanders in Vietnam. Yet the story fell flat. The media ignored it. How did your group react to the media blackout?
O'NEILL: We were shocked. We couldn't believe it. I haven't been involved in politics or media relations, and I thought the job of the media was primarily to report the facts. It was obvious to me that many hundreds of his former comrades coming forward to say that he lied about his record in Vietnam and that he was unfit to be President would be important information for Americans. I only then became aware of the bias of the media.
TAE: How do you explain the media's response?
O'NEILL: The establishment media was very pro-Kerry. They were opposed to any story that was critical of Kerry, and I believe that they were captured by their own bias. We met with one reporter around that time. We told a story to him relating to Kerry's service. He acknowledged it was true and terribly important. And he told us he would not print it because it would help George Bush. That's when we began to realize we had a real problem on our hands.

Would this be an example of "a pretty good job of discerning?"

TAE: Did your group consider giving up?
O'NEILL: We couldn't give up because in the end our objective was to get our facts out. We had to be able to look at ourselves the day after the election and know we had done everything we could. If we were simply shouting in the desert, we would still have to shout.

Our analysis after the press conference was that the three major networks, the New York Times, and the Washington Post would under no circumstances carry a story like ours, no matter how well documented. The strategy we devised first involved use of a fifteenth-century method of communication; that is, writing a book, which may sound strange in the telecommunications age. But that book, Unfit for Command, sold over 850,000 copies. I've often mused how funny it is that the New York Times had to list it as No. 1 on its bestseller list. The second thing we did was run, with the small amount of money we had, our ad, which featured 15 of us.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Irish Whiskey

St. Patrick's Lorica

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

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