Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Monday, April 04, 2005

Michael Dorf makes important observartion, loopy goofball right-winger just lies 

eggs, beans, cheese, rice, vegetables

I came across a couple essays from a while ago, that I thought were interesting. First, from 2000, Michael Dorf points out that throughout American history, people have accused justices of "judicial activism" whenever they've been at odds with the Supreme Court,

For conservatives, "judicial activism" is epitomized by the leading liberal Supreme Court decisions. The most prominent, of course, is Roe v. Wade, recognizing abortion rights.

... [But in] the first half of the Nineteenth Century, defenders of southern, agricultural interests decried the nationalizing, pro-commercial impulses of what they saw as an activist Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice John Marshall. In the second half of the Nineteenth Century, abolitionists railed against what they saw as the Taney Court's activist invocation of the Constitution to extend protection to slavery in the territories. From the late Nineteenth Century through the first third of the Twentieth, Populists, Progressives, and finally New Dealers challenged what they saw as the Court's activist view that the Constitution required laissez-faire capitalism. After a very brief post-War quiescence, in 1954 Brown v. Board of Education fully launched the period of the liberal Warren Court's "activist" decisions.

The second essay is by David Limbaugh from 2003 and is a great example of how right-wing media luminaries plain old lie to their audience. This too, is about "judicial activists". Limbaugh wrote,

Democratic presidential contender Sen. John Kerry said last week that he is concerned that if President Bush is re-elected he will appoint pro-life judges to the federal bench. That, he says, demonstrates Bush's "unwavering commitment to refashioning the court in the ideological image of the far right."

So we now have a powerful senator, a major player seeking the highest office in the land, going on record saying that anyone who supports the unborn's right to life is "far right." Translation: Those who support human life are extremists.

Kerry did not attempt to deny that he would attempt to block the nominations of all judges who are pro-life. Up to this point, most Democratic politicians have talked around the issue, vigorously opposing pro-life nominees, but denying they were engaging in a de facto litmus test to that end. With Kerry out of the closet, it will be more difficult for the left to deny its anti-life judicial agenda.

I don't know about Republican Party honchos and the quarterbacks of the Bush re-election effort, but I'm ready to take this fight to the American people. I think the voters need to understand that a vote for Democratic presidential and congressional candidates aids the cause of the radical feminist movement and the militant pro-abortion lobby.

I think a majority of Americans, these days, are pro-life, especially in view of recent and ongoing scientific data supporting the obvious reality that the unborn are live human beings, entitled to dignity, respect and, yes, life.

David Limbaugh "thinks" a majority of Americans are pro-life. I don't think he does - he may wish a majority are pro-life, but he is lying when he says he "thinks" a majority of Americans are pro-life. If he really "thought" that, he could explain why. He's entitled to his opinion, but it's not worth much if he can't explain it.

Maybe he could have pointed to a poll. He wrote in October 2003. In that month, CNN/Gallup/USA Today found that only 17% of Americans thought abortion should always be illegal. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll had months earlier found that only 9% of Americans thought abortion should be always illegal, with 88% believing it should at least be legal when the life of the woman is at risk and in cases of rape or incest.

Did David Limbaugh accurately rephrase Kerry's thought that pro-lifers wanting to ban abortion are extremist? Yeah, probably! Was Kerry right? Yeah, probably! Being that those identifying themselves as anti-choice were somewhere around 9-17% depending on how the question is asked, I believe that segment could be accurately called "extremist" - one out of every six or ten people constitute a group at the extreme end of a scale.

Conversely, referring to a group of 9-17% of Americans as a "majority" is just a lie or an act of ideologically driven incompetence. But oh yeah, I just remembered - right-wingers don't believe polls. Now we know why: they don't always fit into their fairy-tales.

It also seems wildly unreasonable for Limbaugh to accuse the vast majority of Americans of aiding "the cause of the radical feminist movement and the militant pro-abortion lobby". That's just over the top. If 80-90% of Americans support something, it's looney to call that something "radical." Unless you're a right-wing media commentator. Then it's simply effective propaganda.

And all that "ongoing scientific data supporting the obvious reality that the unborn are ... entitled to dignity, respect and, yes, life"? To what does Limbaugh refer? Certainly he's not speaking of scientific polling data. He seems to simply have made up a ludicrous claim that legal rights are somehow subject to the scientific method and labs have determined that human embryos have legal right to life. Or maybe that science has discovered the soul and found it is present from fertilization onward. What a goofball.

Maybe he's asserting that scientists know fertilized eggs are live human beings as opposed to live box turtles or live chrysanthemums. This science does indeed know, but it lends nothing to the debate over whether or when a fetus has rights distinct from the woman carrying it.

Pictured above are Kuner's jalepeño black beans with lime juice. I put a layer of Monterey Jack cheese over them while they were heating over low heat in the pan. Awesomely tasty. Also pictured is some of my Y2K jasmine rice, which as the name indicates was purchased to temper my transition back into the stone age.

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I wonder, if Roe v Wade was ever overturned by the Supreme Court, what would you call those judges?
I don't know. Supreme Court justices, maybe?


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