Tuesday, March 29, 2005

It's Late and...

...I'm feeling a bit surly, but it's 1:43 AM EST and while working, I'm watching a show on the Military Channel on Iwo Jima.

Every single one of us, including me, but especially every single one of you liberal zealots out there who can spew your venom without fear of oppression (real oppression, not your imagined victimizations), needs to go and volunteer at a VA hospital before more of these great men die, like the great Ben Stein did.

Anyone who thinks negatively of what they did should pack the heck up and leave. The sooner the better.
posted by Dennis at 1:41 AM (permalink) 2 comments

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Real Issue with Social Security

While not totally absent from the whole Social Security Debate, the argument for the Constitutionality of having it in the first place seems to have way too small a place for my taste. It's simple logic, and it's a simple matter of Constitutionality. I love how clearly Walter E. Williams makes the case here and here. Notably:
"There's a moral dimension to Social Security that few have the guts to address. What moral principle, consistent with liberty, justifies forcing a person to set aside a certain portion of his weekly earnings for retirement and jailing him if he fails to comply? Retirement isn't the only important item for which we should budget. How about a congressional mandate that we set aside a certain portion of our weekly earnings for housing, food, entertainment or our children's education?" [Emphasis mine]
A "right" was created where none should ever have been allowed, and the real rights of others were trampled in the process. Unfortunately that's the status quo from our government, and we as a country have become far too complacement about it.
posted by Dennis at 3:46 PM (permalink) 0 comments

Friday, March 04, 2005

Too Much Credit

I saw this at TCS by Tim Worstall. I like what Mr. Worstall has to say about "poverty" being natural:
"...what is unusual, what is unnatural and what is man made is wealth, this thing we've only been able to do reliably and consistently since the Industrial Revolution."
However, I think he's being way too generous to the manifesto writers of Make Poverty History and their ilk (who recommend against capitalism as "unfair" and claim that it has "never been proven to reduce poverty"):
"I am often very cynical about such matters, but I do hope, pray even, that these people are misguided, ignorant even, rather than think that they know what they are doing and think that their prejudices are more important than helping 2 billion people out of absolute poverty."
Mr. Worstall, I don't think you're cynical enough. I think these people are ignorant. I believe the real crime however is that they don't care whether or not they are wrong. Let's compare the "impoverished" here in the mostly-but-not-enough capitalist U.S. to those truly impoverished in third world countries. Contrary to the manfiesto from Make Poverty History, the evidence is absolutely clear, and ignored.
posted by Dennis at 11:02 AM (permalink) 0 comments

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Supreme Court vs. The Constitution

Once again, our Supreme Court has decided to use its power to uphold a personal idealogical opinion instead of upholding the Constitution.

In the 5-4 decision to bar the execution of minors, the Court uses a flimsy argument for a "national consensus" against the juvenile death penalty, the fact that other "nations that share our Anglo-American heritage" have overwhelmingly abolished it, and that juveniles are not culpable for their actions because of inherent immaturity.

Now, as far as the consensus, it uses the fact that 30 of the 50 states do not allow the death penalty for juveniles (defined as those under 18). Of those 30, 12 have no death penalty whatsoever. While true, what is missed is the fact that of those that have a death penalty, only 47% (18 of 38) do not allow juveniles to be executed. (That ratio is noted, but it is dismissed by saying basically that even in those states that allow it, the death penaly for juveniles is not used very often).

This is hardly a consensus. But even if it were, deference to the Constitution is ignored. The point here is that the Constitution has nothing to do with a juvenile death penalty, and the states should be allowed to choose. The fact that those states that allow a juvenile to be executed do so rarely only bolsters the fact that allowing a state to choose will not start some rampant string of teenagers being executed.

Then we have the further justification for the court's decision that the world-at-large (well, those "civilized" nations of Western Europe so many liberals wish to emulate) condemns the execution of juveniles. This is absolutely asinine in that the court's own opinion asserts that the reason it can use the opinion of the world to help justify it's decision is because it has used that same approach before! It is cited as precedent, but it is a precedent that should never have been set.

Using purely logical and Constitutional reasons for a decision may be bosltered by stating that other countries have reached the same conclusion. However this is hardly always a good thing. The countries of Western Europe have also embraced socialism quite handily, so using their opinions as part of a justification is hardly something to be proud of. Maybe we should start using the fact that France and Germany partake in certain cultural practices as a justification to decide against such a practice. I'm sure the very notion would cause loyal lefties to choke on their espressos and spit up all over their copies of the New York Times. Yet the other way 'round is perfectly fine in Constitutional matters. It's absolutely ridiculous.

The Constitution is there to protect us from the tyranny of the government, and also the tyranny of the majority. We should always err on the side of the most local government possible, the ideal being self-government. The default for consideration in federal matters should be: Does the Constitution specifically state that this is the realm of the federal government? If not, let the states decide.

Finally, this notion that all juveniles that commit heinous crimes can be assumed to be acting simply out of immature exuberance for which they are not responsible and over which they have no control is preposterous. To quote Justice O'Connor's dissenting optinion:
"Adolescents as a class are undoubtedly less mature, and therefore less culpable for their misconduct, than adults. But the Court has adduced no evidence impeaching the seemingly reasonable conclusion reached by many state legislatures: that at least some 17-year-old murderers are sufficiently mature to deserve the death penalty in an appropriate case."
It seems to me (as well as mainstream conservative pundits like Rush and Jason Lewis - and anyone with a fucntioning brain for that matter) that the liberals supporting this decision should rethink the "right" young girls have to an abortion if they are all so inherently immature and unable to make responsible decisions.

posted by Dennis at 9:16 AM (permalink) 0 comments