We Win, They Lose
The Wit and Wisdom of Three Guys Named Brent, Mark and Mike
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Horse Sense
This article is unbelievable. Go read it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Increasingly Conservative
Click here for an article which begins:

The Southern Baptist Convention website categorizes the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a ''cult" that is ''radically" different from historic, biblical Christianity.

A faith guide issued by the influential Christian right group Focus on the Family declares that ''God cannot be identified . . . with the Mormon religion's notion of god." And each year, evangelical organizers behind the National Day of Prayer bar Mormons from speaking at their proceedings.

As Governor Mitt Romney mulls a race for president in 2008, his strategists expect their ''family values" candidate -- who opposes gay marriage, abortion, and some forms of embryonic stem cell research -- to find a natural base of support among religious conservatives. ''As Mitt's traveled the country and tested the waters, he's gotten very strong responses, including from religious conservatives," said Michael Murphy, a political consultant who advises Romney.

Several interesting things -- first, I didn't know the Baptists officially referred to us as a "cult." I also didn't know about the Focus on the Family bit, or the National Day of Prayer.

Help, Help, I'm being repressed!!!! (Hat tip to Monty Python)

But did you notice how all of a sudden, Romney has managed to change his stance on abortion? Just a few months ago, he might have been described as 'pro-choice.' Today, the article automatically lists him as opposing abortion.

Later the article notes:

That's not to say Romney can't attract votes from evangelical Protestants by advertising his success running the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, his experience running a major state, and his increasingly conservative views on social issues such as abortion -- the three building blocks of his potential candidacy, according to advisers and other political leaders.

Apparently Romney is doing a good job leaving his past behind him. We'll see how this turns out. I really like him, but the whole abortion thing has me hesitant.

And there's his campaign theme -- Increasingly conservative. "Vote for me, I'm Increasingly Conservative. If you think I'm conservative now, just wait..."

The article also has this choice language:

Chief among those [conflicts with other churches] is the Mormon Church's assertion that early Christian leaders fell away from God's truth (a waywardness called the ''Apostasy") and that it took Smith's discovery of the Book of Mormon -- a historical account that asserts ancient Hebrew tribes landed here and became the ancestors of Native Americans -- to ''restore" true Christianity. The Book of Mormon refers to two churches: the Mormon Church is ''the church of the Lamb of God" and the other is ''the church of the devil."

"Landed here"? They make it sound as if they were aliens in UFO's or something...

Saturday, August 27, 2005
Mormon Inmate Suing Prison
The article begins:

A lawsuit filed Friday alleges that a Mormon inmate at the Louisiana State Penitentiary has been illegally denied access to church books and the prison has repeatedly refused to provide Mormon religious services.

Friday, August 26, 2005
What Would PETA Say?
Wonder if any animal-rights wackos would fight for the rights of the smoking chinese chimp?

The handlers of a smoking chimpanzee in a zoo in northwest China are trying to get her to kick the habit.

The 26-year-old female chimpanzee has been smoking for 15 years. Her mate died recently, which caused her to smoke even more.

Now, the chimp's keepers are worried about her health as a result of her intense smoking. So, they're trying to give her milk instead of cigarettes.

She started smoking years ago by picking up butts from tourists.

And were all the butts really from "tourists"? Surely, there are at least a few native Chinese butts thrown in? And who lit the butts for the chimp? And if she started smoking by picking up butts, has she since graduated to full packs of cigarettes? The story implies that she has, because her smoking is "intense." If so, where does she get them? The story implies that she has been getting them from her handlers -- the same handlers who are now "trying to give her milk instead of cigarettes."

Well, boys, there's your solution -- if you don't want the chimp to smoke, don't give her any cigarettes. Sounds easy enough. What's she going to do, drive her car down to the corner grocery and get them herself? Geez....

Exercising his right to choose?
Here's another story about a man who killed his girlfriend after she refused to undergo an abortion. How sad.

Wonder if his attorney might try the "pro-choice" defense -- that is, hey how do we really know that my girlfriend was a "person" in the 14th Amendment sense?

I wonder if the Supreme Court has ever defined person, in the sense of listing required attributes of personhood. In Roe v. Wade, they only stated that the unborn are not inclouded within the term, they didn't define it further.

Thursday, August 25, 2005
The Jurisprudence of Justice Stevens
SCOTUSblog notes this upcoming conference.

Personally, I'd prefer a little less juris, and a little more prudence. But that's just me.

Two Crazy Stories
First, The New York Times finds a black lining with every silver cloud. Next, why haven't we heard more about this ATF operation?

Hat tip to CrimLaw.

Provo - Most Conservative City in the Country
Click here for the report.

From page 6:

The Bay Area Center for Voting Research finds that the top twenty five conservative cities in America share many common characteristics, including larger that average Caucasian populations, a large percentage of married couples, smaller city size, and higher income and education level than average.

From page 8:

The twenty-five most liberal cities in the United States share much different characteristics than their conservative counterparts—many have large African American populations, large portions of the populations are single, many are larger cities located in urban environments, and lower average levels of income and education are prevalent.

Funny how liberals always want to act as if they know so much more than the rest of us.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005
If the People "Want" it, it must be Constitutional
Check out this idiocy from Senator Feinstein:

She said the Rehnquist court had used the Constitution's interstate commerce clause and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to weaken or invalidate at least three dozen federal laws in the last decade. She said those included the Violence Against Women Act and the Brady handgun law.

She described those two constitutional provisions as the "the primary sources of congressional power" to enact social policy.

Whether Roberts favored such an approach would heavily influence her decision on whether to vote for him, Feinstein said.

"I would like to come away with the view that he was not going to be one who would further restrict and bind lawmakers' hands and keep them from enacting legislation that the people of this country want," she said.

Ummm.... Actually, the Supreme Court has used the commerce clause and the 14th Amendment to enact all kinds of crap. In fact, these two clauses are the primary source of supreme court power to enact social policy.

And by the way, Senator Feinstein, you seem to equate what the people want with constitutionality -- are you suggesting that if the Congress enacts it, it must be upheld? What about the Congressional ban on partial-birth abortion? Should Roberts uphold it because to do otherwise "would further restrict and bind lawmakers' hands and keep them from enacting legislation that the people of this country want"?

Once again, we see the myth to which liberals cling -- namely, that the American people support their agenda, including abortion on demand. But if that is true, why are they so deathly afraid of a vote on the matter? And why is a single supreme court justice such a big deal if the American people support so many liberal ideas?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005
The British are coming to menace the ancient British right to abortion!
Stuart Buck points out this quite-funny piece by George Will, which includes this bit:

Judging by the river of rhetoric that has flowed in response to the court vacancy, contemporary liberalism's narrative of American constitutional history goes something like this:

"On the night of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere galloped through the Massachusetts countryside, and to every Middlesex village and farm went his famous cry of alarm,

'The British are coming! The British are coming to menace the ancient British right to abortion!' The next morning, by the rude bridge that arched the flood, their flag to April's breeze unfurled, the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world in defense of the right to abortion. The Articles of Confederation, ratified near the end of the Revolutionary War to Defend Abortion Rights, proved unsatisfactory, so in the summer of 1787, 55 framers gathered here to draft a Constitution. Even though this city was sweltering, the framers kept the windows of Independence Hall closed. Some say that was to keep out the horseflies. Actually, it was to preserve secrecy conducive to calm deliberations about how to craft a more perfect abortion right. The Constitution was ratified after the state conventions vigorously debated the right to abortion. But 74 years later, a great Civil War had to be fought to defend the Constitution against states that would secede from the Union rather than acknowledge that a privacy right to abortion is an emanation loitering in the penumbra of other rights. And so on."

NY Times on Partial-Birth Abortion
Kenneth Woodward, who apparently served as Newsweek's Religion Editor for thirty-eight years, has written an interesting piece in the Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy. It is called "What's In A Name? The New York Times On 'Partial-Birth Abortion.'"

In the article, Woodward discusses the long history at the Times of avoiding, however possible, the use of the term "partial-birth abortion." When it is used, it is invariably used with a qualifier, such as referring to "a type" or "a form of abortion which opponents call 'partial birth abortion.'" It makes for an interesting read. The piece concludes with this line:

[W]hen ideology determines what is written as news, language and its integrity are the first to suffer.

But not the last. The article can be found on Lexis with the following cite: 19 ND J.L. Ethics & Pub Pol'y 427. It can also be found on the interesting website Get Religion here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
The New Pledge Case
can be found here (pdf format). One passage from Judge Karen Williams' opinion:

Moreover, in the context of this case it is perhaps more noteworthy that, given the vast number of Establishment Clause cases to come before the Court, not one Justice has ever suggested that the Pledge is unconstitutional. In an area of law sometimes marked by befuddlement and lack of agreement, such unanimity is striking. (emphasis by Court)

AP story here.

Sunday, August 07, 2005
To the two people who read this blog (Mike and Brent) I thought I would explain my extended absence. I was taking the North Carolina bar exam. I'll have the results in a month or so. As for blogging, I hope to post once a week or so.

Speaking of Libraries...
is there any government institution better than the library? It's the only institution on which you can get a solid return for your money. I love libraries -- you can get anything.

Good Book
You should read Hadley Arkes' Natural Rights and the Right to Choose. Check it out at your local library, or buy it.

Friday, August 05, 2005
This Guy Rocks!!!
If John Roberts still feels the same as when he wrote this, I'll take him. Check out these juicy quotes:

"It is certainly appropriate to protect judges from popular pressure if their task is limited to discerning and applying the intent of the framers or legislators," he wrote. "The federal judiciary today benefits from an insulation from political pressure even as it usurps the roles of the political branches."

His criticisms weren't limited to lifetime tenure. Writing to Fielding earlier that year, Roberts scoffed at a proposal by then-Chief Justice Warren Burger to lighten the Supreme Court's caseload.

Burger suggested creating a "special temporary panel" of federal appeals court judges to hear cases referred by the Supreme Court.

In a Feb. 10, 1983, memo, Roberts wrote that "a new tier of judicial review is a terrible idea." The justices were to blame for taking too many cases and issuing "opinions so confusing that they often do not even resolve the questions presented," Roberts wrote.

To cut its caseload, he suggested that the high court consider "abdicating the role of fourth or fifth guesser in death penalty cases."

"So long as the court views itself as ultimately responsible for governing all aspects of our society, it will, understandably, be overworked," Roberts wrote. "A new court will not solve this problem."

However, we've seen before how a guy with awesome quotes can be a crappy justice.

Speaking of changing one's mind....
click here for a link to the transcript of Hugh Hewitt's interview with Mitt Romney. A portion:

HH: Would you welcome the overturning of Roe v. Wade Governor Romney?

MR: Well, I would welcome the overturning of that portion of Roe v. Wade that says abortion has to apply in every single state and removes from the state the opportunity it has to make important decisions of its own. I believe in democracy. I believe in the right of states to deal with difficult issues in different ways, state to state. Fundamentally, that's one of the things that allows our country to hang together --that we allow each state to choose its own course when there is controversy. When we come together with a national connsensus, well then we can do something at a national level, but when there is a great deal of controversy, let's let the states deal with it through a democractic process rather than have a judiciary make a pronouncement of one size fits all.

Okay -- what portion of Roe v. Wade would you like to see remain intact, then?

Teddy, pt. II
As a follow-up to Mike's post below, click here for an article I wrote in 2001 noting the same quote from the Kennedy letter. I wrote:

In 1973, when Roe was decided, even many liberals adhered to the common sense view that a human life begins at conception, and is worthy of protection. Indeed, in 1971, even the ultra-liberal Senator Ted Kennedy could write his constituents that "the legalization of abortion is not in accordance with the values which our civilization places on human life." He went on, writing that, "human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized – the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old." Presumably, Kennedy, one of the most reliably pro-choice votes in the Senate, has since changed his mind regarding the sanctity of human life.

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