Wednesday, July 20, 2005 - Politics - Justice Roberts nomination

Let the games begin. The nomination of DC Circuit Justice John G. Roberts is not even seventeen hours old, and already the battle lines are forming.

And all of this is distressingly familiar.

I'm not just talking about judicial filibustering--not, that is, in the traditional sense. I'm talking about a remark that Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) made in a joint interview that he and Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) granted to the Washington TV corps last night. I want you all to concentrate on this remark:

I'll meet with Judge Roberts tomorrow. I'll ask him a number of preliminary questions. I suspect that, just like others, I'll probably have other questions I'll ask him prior to the hearing. And I expect to be spending much of August up at my farm in Vermont where I can sit in my jeans and a T-shirt, but I'll be reading all his opinions and everything that he's written.
Now I'll tell you what this sounds like:

In ancient Rome, whenever either of the two consuls, the two most senior regularly elected magistrates, determined that he needed to watch the skies (literally!) for astronomical signs, all business was supposed to stop during that time. Well--in the year 59 BC (Julian reckoning), and more particularly during the Consulship of Gaius Julius Caesar and Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, the junior consul Bibulus did just that: retired to his home in April of that year (April according to Rome's old calendar, that is) to "watch the skies." He then stayed away from the Senate for the rest of the year, thinking that the Senate would agree that no business would be legal during that time. Of course, Bibulus, like just about all of Caesar's enemies, underestimated Caesar--because Caesar had some important legislation passed anyway and had plenty of support from the talking heads of his day, who dubbed that year "The Consulship of Julius and Caesar."

So when Pat Leahy made that remark, and especially when Rush Limbaugh mentioned it on his radio program--well, if I didn't know any better, I would assume that Leahy has been reading Plutarch's Life of Julius Caesar and a few other ancient Roman histories, and trying to succeed where Bibulus failed. Fine! Then this session of the Judiciary Committee will get the tag "The Chairmanship of Arlen and Specter" as this puerile display drags on, and Leahy and every other Democrat will look more asinine than they already look. (Haven't I said before that the Democratic Party mascot is aptly chosen?)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

WorldNetDaily: Mexico's help with terrorists? Not unless U.S. enacts reforms

And what reforms is Jorge Castaneda (once the foreign minister of Mexico, their equivalent of our SecState, and now a professor at NYU) talking about?
amnesty for all Mexicans living illegally in the U.S., the admission of some 5 million additional Mexican citizens to the U.S. over the next 10 years, and massive increases in U.S. aid to that country.
That, WorldNetDaily heard from the Federation of Americans for Immigration Reform.

Oh, yeah? Well, we'll see about that! The next time any untoward event happens in this country, maybe a Second Mexican War will change their tune. If WorldNetDaily's other scoop is true, that some Latino gangsters have already smuggled in some nuclear devices across the Mexican border, and if one of those bombs goes off, then no one will with any justice be able to deny that we would have casus belli.

Monday, July 11, 2005

BreakPoint | Wolves in Berlin

Wolves?? In Berlin?? That's what Chuck Colson now warns about. Here's an excerpt:
Elsewhere in Germany and the rest of Europe, the emptying landscape provides an opening for an unlikely immigrant: the wolf. German biologists expect the growing packs to head soon toward Berlin.
And why, you ask? Because in Europe they're not having nearly as many children as they need to replace their populations. Last time I checked, they're down to 1.5 children per woman-of-childbearing-age, and that counts all the children she has, from menarche to menopause.

Japan is in even worse shape. According to Colson, they're down to one child per family. And because they refuse to countenance immigration, their population will continue to shrink, unless--well, I'll say more about that below.

How are these societies coping? Well, the Japanese are making do with glorified talking dolls, some to take the place of the grandchildren that many elderly Japanese never had, and some to take the place of office receptionists. (I have heard persistent rumors that the Japanese have developed a true robot that can handle file clerking and other white-collar office jobs, but never once have I seen a reliable report of so much as a working prototype.) But in Europe they're welcoming Muslim immigrants. And in that regard, Colson says this:

But as last week’s bombings in London illustrate, turning millions of Islamic immigrants into "Europeans," however you define the term, is a dubious proposition.
I'll say. What must Charles the Hammer think? Or El Cid, or King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, or Richard the Lionhearted? The enemy whom they fought in battle--and most of them defeated--will now take over the lands the defended by default! (Or will they? Again--stick with me.)

What does the future hold? Colson ends with this warning, which he quotes from a columnist named Mark Steyn:

Europe’s decline is directly linked to its hostility towards Christianity. Its rejection of what Christianity teaches about the family has made the continent safe for another kind of family: four-legged ones who howl at the moon.
Or keffiyeh-clad ones making bombs in their basements, and maybe getting stoned on hashish and serviced by affectionate houris as a reminder of the paradise that, according to the Koran and Hadith, awaits them for going and killing in the name of Allah. (Warning: some of the quotes are highly salacious, and the names of some of the authors of those quotes will shock you. And to be fair, at least one person who claims to have studied the Koran in detail disputes that notion.)

All right, then--let's talk about what might really happen. I see three possibilities:

  1. The dire possibilities that Colson warns about could yet come to pass. Revelation 6:7-8 speaks of a Tribulatory event in which wild beasts ravage the countryside and have a paw, or more likely a claw and tooth, in the killing of up to a quarter of the population then alive. That would fit with Colson's wolves-in-Berlin scenario. But it's hard to feature East Asia becoming extinct, because Revelation 16 says that eastern armies will march across the dried-up Euphrates River to take part in the Battle of Armageddon.
  2. In a few generations, unless the immigrants take over completely (in Europe, that is), a core of fertile natives will see their deliberately non-fertile neighbors die off, and they, having children at more than the replacement level, will inherit their society and start to repopulate it. How many generations that will take depends entirely on what portion of the population is actually having more children than are necessary to replace those who die--generally 2.1 children per childbearing woman, the extra .1 being necessary to replace the occasional child who dies before he or she can ever get married and have children of his or her own. This might be the experience of the USA. We are at replacement level, and an ever-larger proportion of children coming of age today are coming from large families, and they have large-family mindsets. Blame--or credit--the "Roe Effect" that many have written about elsewhere--namely, that those who are suffused either with selfishness or the idea that "people cause pollution and are the pollution" are dying off, while the conservatives have been breeding a new, more fertile generation.
  3. The Rapture and Tribulation will intervene before any of this takes place. In that event, except for the Beastly regime having the sort of headaches that Colson mentions in his piece (like the one in which the sewage system breaks down because not enough people are flushing their toilets!), none of the above discussion will be relevant.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

WorldNetDaily: How O'Connor got her job

Joseph Farah bluntly says that she lied about being a Constitutional originalist--which she proved not to be--and she also got fraudulent character testimony from Ken Starr.

Read the commentary for yourselves, and judge Ken Starr's actions as best you might. But the big point here is that no one, who was a real Constitutional originalist in the last twenty-four years, would ever have been "a swing vote." "Swing votes" on the Supreme Court represent Justices who can't make up their minds--and who, therefore, sway with political winds. The politics here might be national partisan politics, or a simple matter of getting a "club reference" from her particular social circle. More than once have I felt that certain institutions in Washington are far too clubbish for the country's good. Sadly, the Supreme Court of the United States of America is one of them. (The Senate is, or at least used to be, another--though whether the Senate will remain as congenial as a private gentlemen's club once was is anyone's guess. Some of the language I hear bruited about on the floor of the Senate is the equivalent of a young Turk pouring beer into another member's lap. But I digress.)

The larger point is this: George W. Bush needs to appoint to the Court someone who will not continue to condemn tens of millions of babies to death just because he thinks that precedent demands it. I can understand naming someone to the Court willing to advise it on a middle ground between surrender to terrorists and destruction of civil liberty. But Alberto Gonzales is not the best person for that job. Janice Rogers Brown would be far preferable.