Thursday, June 30, 2005
I WAS BLESSED AT SCHOOL
After reading this article, I didn't realize how blessed I was when I went to school at Cal Poly. If the facts are true in this story, then I can say I only received the opposite when I wrote my papers. The one thing I wanted to do, when and if I had to mention God, was to not preach. Some of my Christian friends do not realize this when they wrote their philosophical essays. As true as Christianity is, and the gospel must be proclaimed, Christianity is also a comprehensive philosophy. It has a metaphysical commitment, an espistemological commitment, and an ethical commitment. In the purely academic sense of Christianity, hundreds of thousands of papers could be written in addition to the redemptive aspect of Christianity. Preaching has its place, but I was careful not to do that in my papers.
Among the department faculty, I had the respect of the most atheistic and the most agnostic but scientifically minded professors. In fact, after reading my paper on Christian metaphysics, he wanted to discuss more about the Christian worldview. It was a start, and hopefully, a seed was planted.
That there are professors who are hostile to God and Christianity is not a big shock: Christians lost those higher education institutions to the ENlightenment and then postmodernism a long time ago. However, the best way to challenge them is with the pen, while at the same time being faithful to God, so that their foolishness may be silenced.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
WHERE TRUE CONSTITUIONAL FREEDOM WAS LOST
The United States of America: July 4, 1776 - April 9, 1865
Molech: April 9, 1865 - ???
Just thought I'd post a picture or two from Appomattox (click to enlarge). The above is the McLean House. Here is where the country died and a sadistic nation was born when General Robert E. Lee surrendered the remnants of the Army of Northern Virginia to General Grant's Army of the Potomac.
"[I]f I had foreseen the use [the Northerners] designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me...Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand."
---General Robert E. Lee
ISN'T IT IRONIC?
Let's see how hard the good Justice will fight this. I recommend people invest large sums of money. (Hat tip to Rush Limbaugh's radio show)
Monday, June 27, 2005
A FALLEN CRIMEFIGHTER
Deputy Luis Gerardo (Jerry) Ortiz
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
Date of Birth: September 16, 1969
Appointed: February 9, 1990
End of Watch: June 24, 2005 (murder)
Deputy Ortiz was working his normal patrol in gang enforcement in Hawaiian Gardens. He was searching for a wanted parolee at large who was also a suspect in a shooting in the area earlier in the week. He went to a house and while he was questioning a man and woman at the front door, the parolee, hiding behind the front door, pointed his gun at Dep. Ortiz through the hinged opening, and shot him at point blank range. The events took place so quickly that the deputy had no time to react to defend himself.
Although cops, especially in Los Angeles County, have taken a public image beating, some are still hard working and work in the most dangerous areas to get the most dangerous criminals off the street. May God comfort Dep Ortiz's family in this trying time.
Now, may justice be done against this case's murder suspect and Ofc. Pavelka's (alleged) murderer.
"When it comes to murdering one of our police officers, we don't forgive, we don't forget, and we don't surrender."
-- Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, 2003.
Update: I changed the picture and added some bio info. All is taken from the LASD website.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
QUEUE THE LAUGH TRACK
"When judges are attacked unfairly, it's proper for the bar over the course of time, in a professional and elegant way, to explain to the public the meaning of the rule of the law." --Justice Anthony Kennedy, here.
Well, if you and your colleagues actually followed the rule of law, maybe, just maybe your words would mean something other than the empty winds they are.
GOD BLESS LAURA
Laura Ingraham underwent her first chemo therapy for breast cancer. Although she is expected to be back on the air on Monday, say a prayer for her. And ladies, as she tells her female callers, don't forget the monthly exam.
Friday, June 24, 2005
THE KELO DECISION PART 2
A year or so ago, Cottonwood Christian Church was in a battle with the City of Cypress because of the same issue here: tax revenue. At the time, I supported the Church's stance when they sued in federal court. However, a trying to be a true constitutionalist, it was wrong becuase this was not a 5th Amenment case since it applies to the federal governmant. Hence, was there any recourse? THis is how pathetic our country has come. We immediately go to the federal courts. We are trained to be nationalized, and this was not the intent of the founding of the country. To wit, here are a few States who have eminent domain laws:
Alabama Constitution Article 1, Section 24
Alaska Constitution Article 1, Section 18
South Carolina Constitution Article 1, Sections 3 and 13
Nebraska Constitution Article 1, CI-21
Florida Constitution Article 1, Sections 2 and 9 (no explicit 5th Amendmnent language)
Idaho Constitution Article 1, Section 14 (very explicit in public use)
Colorado Constitution Article 1, Section 14.
I can probably source all 50 states and find some protections of private property in their respective constitutions. The point is, even though the Supreme Court has said (uncontitutionally, of course, and especially immorally) that local governments can take land for revenue use consitant with the 5th Amendment, who say that it is legal under the State Constitutions? And what is better, if grotesque decisions are made at the State level, there are remedies much more accessible than at the federal level. For instance, here in California, voters ousted the Chief Justice and two Associate Justices of the Supreme Court when they failed to uphold the death penalty law despite it being codefied into the State Constitution. These three were so opposed to the death penalty that even if the circumtance were exact in cases where the case were upheld, they would still vote against the death penalty and fine someway to vacate the sentence. Hopefully, the people in Connecticut will do this and oust the Justices of the State Supreme Court.
All the hubub seems to come down to: I hate your extension of the federal government, but I love it when it suit me just fine."
THE KELO DECISION
I guess I am really going to find out how much fidelity I truly do give to the Constitution in this article. In writing this, I will be going against some fellow conservative bloggers who have written on this case, especially bloggers I consider friends and whose writings I do thoroughly enjoy, especially Josh. However, I think most of the opinions regarding this decision are wrong on a philosophically foundational basis.
To begin with, on the constitutional Order that exists now, the decision was a disastrous one. The train of thought that the Court majority used to justify its reasoning goes against nearly all traditional legal interpretations of the takings clause and eminent domain of the 5th Amendment. Since there is no explicit limitation on when property can be seized, it comes as no surprise that cities will use this to their advantage to increase revenue for themselves.
However, the real question is whether the Supreme Court had any real jurisdiction to hear this case at all. The answer is yes, but not for the reasons that conservatives think. They view this decision as an extension of government power, and on that ground, they are certainly correct. However, basing their opposition of a city's quest to take property on the 5th Amendment is the result of an overextension of the federal government. Of course, I mean the U.S. Supreme Court. As I wrote in this blog on Jan 29, 2005, if the Supreme Court can unconstitutionally extend the Bill of Rights to the States where there is no constitutional authority, then it can just as arbitrarily take those rights away. Hence, to say that this is a 5th Amendment case falls into the lap of the same over-reaching government. The Court had no rule of law when the Bill of Rights applied to the States; hence, with no law, the Court becomes the arbiter of what is and is not constitutional, even making decision that seeming go against the very constitution it comically swears to uphold.
The 5th Amendment protects us from the federal government; so now, the federal government can come in and take your land. That is a scary proposition. Of course, if the Constitution were truly held to as the compact among the States that it was originally, this would never happen. The States would come together to resolve this. As Thomas Jefferson said, the ultimate authority in what the constitution says lies with the States and not with the federal government because if it were the latter, then its own discretion, and not the Constitution, would be the rule of law.
So, what should have been the correct constitutional decision by the Court? It would be similar to the Kansas case I mentioned a few entries ago. The Connecticut Supreme Court relied its decision on the 5th Amendment. Although the State can use prior U.S. Supreme Court reasoning on 5th Amendment jurisprudence as a guide, it cannot base its decision on the 5th Amendment itself since it does not apply to the States. In fact, the Court should note that Article 1, Section 11 of the Connecticut Constitution is identical to the 5th amendment's taking clause. Hence, they should base their decision on the document that created the State, and not the U.S. Government. Hence, the ruling would be vacated as an unconstitutional extension of a State's power where the US Constitution does not allow a State to tread.
Here lies the problem: The Connecticut Supreme Court allowed for the taking to proceed. Hence, the matter should have been settled there, and a note to the country would be passed: there is no true private property in Connecticut. Yet, this is the correct decision based on the principles the country was founded on. As Josh wrote on June 7, "Each State...is considered a sovereign body, independent of all others." Connecticut is a sovereign state, and hence, the questions on Connecticut law are decided by those remedies the Connecticut Constitution provides, not the U.S. States will do wacky things, but the remedy is not to nationalize the country into a United State, which we have now. It is far easier to get things done on the State and local level than it is on the federal level, and one would hope that the people of Connecticut would remedy this problem.
Josh further writes, "The emergence of progressivist liberalism in the early 20th century has accelerated the growth of the power of the State, though often in the name of altruism." Too true; however, it's also during this period that the Supreme Court extended the Bill of Rights to the States. Although this began with the Slaughterhouse Cases, it wasn't until the 1920 and 30s when the Court did this at an accelerated pace. It is this time period that provides the paradox for conservatives and libertarians: they have a true sense of fidelity to the constitutional idea of limited government, but their ideas of individual liberties based on that Constitution is based on the growth of the federal government during this period.
There are some things that must come about if I am to be a consistent constitutionalist. For instance, the flag burning case (the first, Texas v. Johnson) was wrongly decided. There is no constitutional prohibition for Texas to pass laws against burning US flags. (Notice I said the first one. The second one, U.S. v. Eichmann, was based on federal law, and hence, the Court has an obligation to make sure that "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech." The federal government cannot do this. The States, however, can, depending on their laws.
But hey, I'm willing to bite the bullet. Are you?
Sunday, June 19, 2005
DEAR SENATOR DURBIN:
My letter to the Honorable Senator from Illinois.
The Honorable Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator
332 Dirksen Senate Bldg.
Dear Senator Durbin:
I am not a citizen of Illinois, but I am a United States citizen who is genuinely concerned about the direction that this country has taken since the attacks on September 11, 2001. I think that you and I may have some common ground in our views on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am concerned about the constitutional authority that your colleagues in the House and Senate, both past and present, have ceded to the Executive Branch when it comes to the country’s war-making abilities. The President, regardless of whether one supports the Administration position or not, has pursued unconstitutional wars and no one in the only branch of government that has legitimate war powers ability has said anything about this. As a citizen who loves the Constitution, I would support impeachment of this President, and any President or member of Congress, that acts unconstitutionally.
However, once someone has started a war, it’s difficult to stop. Hence, we need to think about the way to oppose the war without undermining the morale of the troops. Of course, my issues are constitutional in nature, and could be solved by Congress declaring war on both the former regimes of Afghanistan and Iraq. Yes, it would be too late, but Congress would at least be following the Constitution. However, I do not think that these are your concerns.
Of course, I speak of your remarks on the Floor of the Senate when you compare the treatment of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to those methods used by Pol Pot, the Nazis, and Stalin. In fact, let me quote you:
“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”
I am no psychologist, but I don’t think you really believe this. I think you are more driven by your seething hatred for President Bush that made you say these remarks rather than any rational discourse. Whether the techniques used by the interrogators at Guantanamo Bay amount to torture is certainly an issue that must be discussed. The United States has always shunned torture in the treatments of its enemy detainees, and hopefully, this will continue. If there have been incidents of torture, then those responsible should be court-martialed.
However, to say that these techniques amount to the techniques of Stalin and the Nazis are absurd. Again, let’s quote what you said on the floor:
“On a couple of occasions, [the FBI Agent] entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold....On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor.”
Are these incidents of torture? Maybe, maybe not. But to compare this to the death camps in Nazi Germany? Sir, in case you have forgotten, they gassed Jews there. Six million innocent Jews were killed for the sole crime of being Jews. Are these people at Guantanamo Bay like the Jews? Some estimates have Stalin’s regime killing 61 million at the gulags. Is this similar to being naked in a cell while having nitric acid drip on you, which was routine on Saddam Hussein’s regime?
No, Senator, you simply hate President Bush with such an unbridled passion that you don’t care what you say, and you don’t care how it comes across. I don’t blame your actions since you live in a safe State, and it’s highly unlikely that those in Chicago and Springfield would vote against you. That, therefore, gives you a nice safe cushion. You couldn’t do this if you represented Nebraska, and we have already seen what the people of South Dakota have done to your former leader. I can see why you despise the President; he goes by what he truly believes to be morally right. He is not driven by polls or opinion pieces. He governs by the ways he think are objectively right. Of course, I don’t agree with him, either, but at least I can understand why he is acting the way he is, as opposed to calling him a moron, or just hating his guts. The Democrats are no different that the Republicans were during President Clinton’s Administration.
You call the techniques equal to Nazi techniques. Well, the problem is, the troops are agents of the Nazis, so your remarks that “our soldiers around the world and their families at home deserve our respect, admiration and total support” is simply absurd. They are Nazi agents---they are like the KGB. Well, at least according to you, if you were consistent.
I used to be a Democrat, and I am no friend to the Republicans. The actions of you and your colleagues have made me glad of the decision I made in 1992 to leave the party because it was beginning to be controlled by ideologues. Sad to say, that is still the case.
Good day to you, sir.
I obviously do not expect a response. Check out Michelle Malkin's blog for links to others who have posted on this subject.
Friday, June 10, 2005
THE RELIGION OF PEACE
I got this story from Michelle Malkin's blog. I read her blog, and I recommend it. (I really should update that list on the left.) Anyway, I suggest you add Jihad Watch to your blog roll, or bookmark it. What he writes on the right hand side is true, and if no one believes me, just read the introduction to The Translation and Meaning of Sahih Al-Bukhari (a.k.a the Hadith, the second holy book of Islam) by Dr. Khan.
Monday, June 06, 2005
Here is the contradictory piece to consider for those who want to impeach Bush solely on the Downing Street Memo: Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq. This shows that a case for impeachment based on deception is full of holes. COntrary again to what Paul Craig Roberts wrote here, this is not abundant evidence. For instance, if Roberts takes the phrase "[B]ut the intellignece and facts were being fixes around the policy" to mean that the Bush Administration was intentionally planting evidence, then if this truly is the opinion of Matthew Rycroft, then Rycroft should come to the front and substantiate the charges. As I mentioned below, crimes against the constitution are a serious ofense, and if evidence was fabricated to pursue a (let's assume for the moment) constitutional war, then the President has certainly committed a high crime worthy of impeachment. However, this is not the only interpretation tis phrase can have. It can also mean that evidence has come about to support the administration policy of regime change in Iraq.
Furthermore, and not like I am friend of the neoconservatives, but the policy of regime change in Iraq did not begin with Bush. The ouster of Saddam Hussein did not begin with him and the neocons. It began with Clinton who signed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998, and this position was heartily endorsed by members of Congress on all sides of the spectrum. It seems Bush's true crime was actually going through with it.
Hence, just a few questions to consider. One, why was the evidence Hussein's WND capability downplayed when the common knowledge was that he had these WNDs? Two, this is the opinion of Matthew Rycroft and his summary of a meeting. Why is this more credible than the Senate's exhaustive investigation?
Yes, impeach Bush, but on the grounds he and Congress has pursued an unconstitutional war.
THOUGHT ON IMPEACHMENT, AND THE WAR
This is more of a response and thinking about another good post that Josh wrote here. It's a well written article, and is thought provoking regarding how we legally should handle the current status.
The problem with the Downing Memo is that it seems to contradict all the other evidence available prior to 2002 that Saddam Hussein did in act have weapons of mass destrution. For instance, in this post, I reprinted three quotes from two of Bush's political enemies. Now, I was not reposting them because I believe them, but to show that their claim that Bush lied about the WMDs was hypocritical because it seemed to be common knowledge that he did have the WMDs. President Clinton on more than one occasion remarked on the same things, and furthermore, the fact that Hussein gassed the Kurds after they placed their blind faith in the first President Bush's call to revolution in 1992 gave some credence to this.
Secondly, this does not mean that the intelligence at the time was good. If Hussein never had WMDs, then the intelligence was always bad, and everyone chose to believe it. However, believing bad intelligence and acting on it, and then suddenly being called a liar when the truth of the intelligence becomes know, is simply disingenuous. Secondly, it is possible that the intelligence in the UK began to turn in 2002, but that does not make Bush a liar. Hence, contrary to Mr, Roberts claim, the Downing Street memo is not enough to convince Bush.
However, does the constitutional question make the case to impeach Bush? It should be noted that not every constitutional violation is met with impeachment. or instance, in the Kansas SUpreme COurt case a few days ago, it's decision was unconstitutional, but this does not mean the remedy is impeqachment of the Kansas Justices. There is a constitutional remedy: it's called the U.S. Supreme Court. As I mentioned in my hypothetical example, the Court vacates the decision as unconstitutional. But what o an unconstitutional war?
This is different because stopping a war ater its begun is kind of like trying to unring a bell: it can't happen. Still, it should be perfectly clear that the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan are unconstitutional, but given the use of the military in the last years, it's hard to think that. Josh wrote, "As Congress rejected a resolution introduced by Ron Paul to declare war on Iraq, the Iraq war was simply unconstitutional. In retrospect, then, as a constitutionalist I should have opposed the war." I should have, too, but the problem is, it did do a good thing. Most people, like Mr, Roberts, don't care about the people of Iraq. They talk about the deaths if Iraqi's the war has cause, but in reality, they don't give a rat's butt about the Iraqi's because if they did, they would have said something long ago about the deaths during Hussein's reign. Secondly, military action is something we are used to, and with the exception of Beirut in 1983, the United States has been relatively successful in its military operations since Vietnam. We expect the military to make it all better. As Rev. Steve Wilkins said, we turn to literal blood atonement to try to vanquish the evil from the world. The true blood atonement that will cleans the world of evil occured 2000 years ago on a cross. However, dropping bombs is more fun that sending missionaries, and it's something we are used to. Remember, even the left under Clinton used the military to try to wipe away the evil in Yugoslavia.
Should Bush be impeached, then? Yes, but on constitutional grounds. He began an illegal war in both Iraq and Afgahnistan. I remember this excahnge that took place:
Ritter: Ryan...computer tampering is a serious offense.
Ryan: So are crimes against the Constitution.
Crimes against the Constitution are serious indeed. There is no true freedom when there is no law. This may sound counter-intuitive, but it makes perfect sense. Without law, then we are subject to the arbitrary whim of man. The law...the Constitution, places restraints on the federal government, and when the law is ignored, there are no restraints. A land with no law is not freedom; it is a lawless land that wll be ruled by the whim of the mighty. Hence, why the Law of God proclaims during the Jubilee to proclaim freedom throughout the land. True freedom is in the Law of God.
Impeach Bush? Sure, but let's also impeach most of the other 538 Congressional members also.