Friday Digest

Digest

Aug. 31, 2001

Quote of the week…

“More and more, our Democratic chairman, Terry McAuliffe, reminds me of a sub-par golfer desperately in need of a mulligan. The strength of our party has always been our big tent, but lately our chairman seems to be shrinking that tent to the size of one of those snow-cone cups turned upside down. Well, maybe a little bigger than that, say, a dunce cap. Many people whom I respect tell me that Mr. McAuliffe is a good man…. But every time he speaks, it still sounds to me like fingernails across a blackboard. And he’s making more and more moderates see red – the color that dominated that 2000 election map.” –Sen. Zell Miller (D-Georgia)

On cross-examination…

“Would it not be better to have targeted killings of agents of ethnic cleansing and terrorists in hostile states than to launch attacks against entire populations that endanger and frequently kill civilians? Can we realistically punish children and the elderly for failing to rise up and overthrow those we prohibit ourselves from taking out?” –W. James Antle III

Open Query…

“…[A] word about foreign policy might not come amiss. A word, really, about whether the United States should worry unduly when it finds itself ‘isolated.’ Who’s to say the Russians and French are discerningly right and the Americans blindly wrong about issues of moment?” –Bill Murchison

The BIG lie…

“You talk about talking straight and tough choices. Are the Democrats prepared to make those same tough choices? You say there’s a big problem with the budget this year. Are you prepared … to come forward and say we have to repeal or delay parts of the tax cut to make sure we don’t tap the Social Security lockbox?” –ABC’s George Stephanopoulos

News from the Swamp…

It’s the last week of recess, and Congress is headed back into town. Hide your wallets and protect your daughters (and, in some cases, your sons)!

In the Executive Branch, Mr. Bush returned to the White House late this week, after a month’s working “vacation” at his Crawford, Texas, ranch. The Demos greeted Mr. Bush with a well-choreographed attack against the small tax cut he won for the American people – vilifying the cut for reducing the so-called “surplus,” and using that as the base for arguments against any increases in military expenditures.

The budget implications of the CLINTON RECESSION are now apparent. The federal budget through 2004 will rely on Social Security payroll taxes to remain in “balance,” according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. Among all the Sociocrat bellyaching about tax cuts, conspicuously, there has been NO mention of any relationship between central government spending and balancing the budget.

Judicial Benchmarks…

Not that the central government had a legitimate interest in this case, but U.S. District Judge James King agreed that the state of Florida argued a credible case that allowing homosexuals to adopt children is not in the “best interest of the child,” adding, “At the least, it is arguable that placing children in married homes is in the best interest of Florida’s children.” He noted, however, that “the court cannot accept that moral disapproval of homosexuals or homosexuality serves a legitimate state interest.”

In the halls of Leftjustice, just when it seemed that central government bench-warmers had already found every way to violate federalist principles, along comes U.S. Circuit Court Judge Daniel Moeser. He handed down an injunction preventing the first annual dove hunt in Wisconsin, after the “Wisconsin Citizens Concerned for Cranes and Doves” filed a suit against the Department of Natural Resources to protect the birds. Judge Moeser commented, “There will be irreparable harm if the motion for a preliminary injunction is denied.” Huh?

Court Jesters…

“Million Mom March” mogul Barbara Graham was sentenced to 10 years to life for shooting and paralyzing a 23-year-old man she alleged was responsible for the death of her son. Turns out the victim was innocent. The court record contains several interesting nuggets: first, several handguns were found in her home; second, she was convicted of a premeditated plot to commit murder; third, Million Mom supporters defended her throughout the trial, despite the group’s self-description as an “organization dedicated to preventing gun death and injury.” So what’s new about abject hypocrisy in Leftist feminist movements…?

The Commissars…

In the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, Department of Social Services workers, under police escort, seized Diane Ross’s newborn baby, Aaron, from her arms at Mary Lane Hospital, and plan to place the child in a gay couple’s custody. DSS officials cited as evidence of Ross’s “neglect” that neighbors witnessed one of her other two children walking alone in their front yard in 1999, which was the basis for agency officials’ removal of the children. Her 4-year-old is already placed with the gay couple, but her 5-year-old was mauled to death by a Rottweiler whose owners were given custody of that child. DSS officials commented, “Cognizant of Ms. Ross’s desire to care for her infant, we are nonetheless mandated to insure that the infant’s safety and best interests are protected in a safe environment.”

Regarding your IRS overpayment…

“Plunder is when people forcibly take the property of another,” notes economist Walter Williams. “It’s legalized plunder when people use government, such as our Congress, to do the same thing.” “Legal” – unless, of course, the Constitution, which that Congress has sworn to support and defend, makes no such provision for expending that plunder. Our Constitution does not authorize fully two-thirds of the current “plunder.”

From the department of military correctness…

Give a green inch, and you may lose a country mile. Our armed services have been trying to factor environmental concerns into their training and military base usage decisions. And how much green gratitude have our armed forces received in return for attempting to work with the environmentalists? This week, several environmental organizations filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, arguing that the Pentagon will violate federal environmental laws, including the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act, by testing and deployment of missile defense systems to protect the lives of U.S. citizens – and must comply with environmental impact reviews and statements that could delay emplacement of the defenses for more than a year. Greenpeace spokeswoman Melanie Duchin admitted, “Alaskans or anybody else who cares about the planet and the threat of a new nuclear arms race are not going to sit by while this administration threatens Alaska’s environment with a program that endangers the entire world. …Obviously, the hope is that delay will lead to cancellation.” Any doubts now about why we refer to eco-nuts like this as “watermelons” – Green on the outside, Red on the inside?

From the states…

Condit-ions are not so sunny out on the Left Coast, as there have been Condit resignations – but not the Congressman’s. Condit offspring Chad and Cadee on Tuesday resigned their positions with California Gov. Gray Davis, after the governor had expressed dissatisfaction with his erstwhile political ally’s handling of the messy scandal engulfing him: “I am disheartened that Congressman Condit did not speak out more quickly or more fully.” Of his resignation, Chad Condit noted loyally, “There is no honor is kicking somebody when they are down.” Or, we might add, when they are missing and incapable of self-defense.

This month’s “Political Correctness Uber Alles” Award goes to the Montgomery County, Maryland, school board. In a 7-1 decision this week, the board overturned a district referendum to stick with traditional team names, choosing instead to force all county schools to drop nicknames honoring Native-Americans, such as Braves, Indians, and Warriors. County officials reported that funds would be re-allocated for costs associated with changing labels, signs, and other representations. Hey, we thought all of us born here were “Native Americans”!

The “Dumb and Dumber” Department…

“I challenge Scott, besides being an embarrassment to us and to his family and to his community and to the Congress as a whole, Scott, what would you charge the man with to force him to resign?” queried Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York), in defense of Gary Condit, challenging Rep. Scott McInnis on his call for Condit’s resignation.

Culture comment…

Out Seattle way Tuesday, home of oh, so enlightened Leftists, a distraught woman leaped from a highway bridge – after being urged on by frustrated rush hour drivers. “Just do it!” and “Jump!” were among the milder injunctions screamed at her before she plunged into a ship canal, where police fished her out, then took her to a local hospital.

Faith Matters…

“By failing to discipline them, they have failed to defend the Christian faith,” says Rev. Tim Smith, rector of Christ Church of Mobile, Ala., the oldest Episcopal congregation in the state, on “the drift of the [Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.] away from biblical authority and lack of discipline of bishops and clergy who have rejected most every tenet of the creeds of the church.” The congregation voted to break away from the denomination because of the national body’s theological heresy, especially on homosexual issues. The congregation voted to affiliate with the Anglican Mission in America.

As The Federalist has previously noted, the Episcopal Church of USA has ventured so far from the churches Articles of Faith, that the world Anglican church now views the U.S. as a “mission field.”

On the frontiers of science…

A paper presented at this week’s annual meeting of the American Psychological Association in San Francisco reported findings that won’t astonish most good parents – mild spanking as discipline for young children has no lasting ill effects. The study observed families on three occasions between 1968 through 1980, when children in those families were 4, 9, and 14 years old. The majority of families disciplined their preschoolers with mild to moderate spankings, while 4 percent of families provided no physical discipline, and 4 to 7 percent of parents provided more severe disciplining that might border on or constitute abuse. The children who were mildly spanked demonstrated no cognitive, behavioral, or social decrements, and were not different on any measure from those children not given spankings. A co-author of the study, Elizabeth Owens of the Institute of Human development at the University of California, Berkeley, remarked, “A lot of people out there advocate that any spanking at all is detrimental, and that’s not what we found. We’re not advocating this is a strategy that should be used with kids, but we object to people wanting to ban it when we see no evidence that it’s harmful.” An expectant mother herself, Owens continued, “I don’t plan to use it, but if there are situations where I think it would be helpful, I wouldn’t be averse to using it.”

On the frontiers of junk science…

At the National Academy of Sciences, a panel – appointed by Bill Clinton when he was “president” – convened Thursday ostensibly for the purpose of a mission associated with its name: “Committee to Improve Research Information and Data on Firearms.” The panel’s goals are to: “(1) assess the existing research and data on firearm violence; (2) consider how to credibly evaluate the various prevention, intervention and control strategies; (3) describe and develop models of illegal firearms markets; and (4) examine the complex ways in which firearms may become embedded in the community.”

Notably absent from this list is any effort to report data on how private possession of firearms has a broad protective effect. And notably absent from the panelist list are any supporters of the Constitution’s Second Amendment, or – even worse – any researchers with background in the complete picture of beneficial effects of firearms ownership. Funding for this study includes $900,000 from the Leftist Joyce Foundation, as well as additional funding from the David & Lucile Packard Foundation, and the Centers for Disease Control. According to Dave Kopel and Glenn Reynolds, who have analyzed the composition of this study group and its likely preprogrammed results, “The reading packets which have been prepared for the committee are rife with antigun junk science.”

Memo to Team Bush: Deep-six this anti-Second Amendment propaganda machine!

Around the world…

The United Nations Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance convened in Durban, South Africa, late this week, with Secretary of State Colin Powell noticeably and announcedly in absentia. On Monday, that State Department made clear that Powell would not be in attendance, as the conference seemed likely to degenerate into an Israel-bashing fest, organized around the ludicrous and long-ago-discredited statement that “Zionism is racism.” (Would someone please tell us how a principle like Zionism, which favored massive exertions to rescue the Falasha Jews from Ethiopia, could ever be “racist”?)

“Mr. Bush made a fateful step for isolation by disallowing Secretary of State Powell to lead the delegation to the conference against global racism in South Africa,” intoned Jesse Jackson. Jackson’s argument is comical, when examined against his statements about continuing racism in the U.S. Jackson was attempting to make the case that the U.S. has a lot to offer other nations, in terms of advice and experience in combatting the most insidious forms of racism. But that’s not what he says about the U.S. at home!

Why was Jackson this eager to make himself a laughingstock? A clue: The Vatican Wednesday issued a statement in advance of the UN confab, supporting payment of reparations for slavery, another hot topic on the meeting’s agenda. “As an act of gratuitous love, forgiveness has its own demands; the evil which has been done must be acknowledged and, as far as possible, corrected. …[including] apology or expression of regret to the victim state by the state responsible for the wrong.”

Memo to Je$$e Ja¢k$on: What was it you called New York City – “Hymietown”?

Of greater interest, but not getting the attention it deserves, was another piece of the official Vatican statement – a declaration that experimentation on human embryos constitutes a new form of human slavery, in which unborn humans are treated as property to be used for the benefit of others.

And last, oops … a hysterical designation, or something like that, was awarded then quickly rescinded this week. On Monday, the Fresno, California, municipal dump was named to the National Register of Historic Places, joining 73,000 other prominent sites such as Monticello and Walden Pond. The city dump earned the designation, in recognition of its status as the nation’s first true sanitary landfill, opened in 1937. After being informed that the dump, closed in 1987, was also already on the Superfund toxic waste list, Interior Secretary Gale Norton withdrew its landmark status.

Now, if we could just get something similar done with that “toxic waste site” known around our editorial shop as “The Swamp”!

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