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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, April 29, 2005

The Governor

The L.A. Times reports that Governor Schwarzenegger has praised the job done by the private border patrol group "Minutemen." The Governor said, "They've cut down the crossing of illegal immigrants a huge percentage. So it just shows that it works when you go and make an effort and when you work hard. It's a doable thing." The Governor is also reported as saying, "It's just that our federal government is not doing their job. It's a shame that the private citizen has to go in there and start patrolling our borders."

As can be imagined, certain groups have used the Governor's comments as an opportunity to attack him. The Times reports:

The leader of a Mexican American group called the governor's comments "shameful" and "nothing short of base racism."

"I think we're seeing the real Arnold Schwarzenegger. The mask has now fallen," said Nativo V. Lopez, state national president of the Mexican American Political Assn. "Those of immigrant stock should have no illusions about what his real sentiments and feelings are toward them."

Base racism? There is no mention of race in the Governor's comments. The Minutemen and the Governor oppose illegal immigration because it is I L L E G A L. Perhaps Mr. Lopez is suggesting that it is only proper to object to illegal activity so long as the perpetrator is not Hispanic. Though, I doubt that, because such a position is "nothing short of base racism." Quite simply, Mr. Lopez's comments are shameful, and the manner in which the Times grants litigimacy to such comments is equally shameful.

Fumed by Thursday at 9:32 AM. |

Thursday, April 28, 2005


Hat tip to NRO's The Corner. Finally...someone has made a film about what happens when you shoot scuba tanks with a rifle. Was the scene in Jaws accurate? You find out.

Fumed by Ryder at 11:51 PM. |

Spy Satellite

If you are looking for a decidedly catholic wallpaper for your computer screen, why not an image of the seat of the Universal Church from space? Space Imaging's image of the week for March 27, 2005 is a bird's eye view of St. Peter's and the Vatican on a crystal clear day. They have images of various sizes to download. I wish they had an image of St. Peter's either during John Paul II's funeral or Benedict XVI's election. The crowds were immense.

Fumed by Thursday at 11:42 AM. |

Bush really is pro-life.

The current issue of Culture and Cosmos, put out by the Culture of Life Foundation & Institute (link in left menu, second from top) demonstrates that this administration really is pro-life and committed to upholding the dignity of life.

Those who complain about the apparent lack of vigor with which the President pursues pro-life policies fail to understand the enormity of the problem, the limitations of the office, and the putrescence that is otherwise known as Supreme Court precedent.

Fumed by Thursday at 10:18 AM. |

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Democrats determined to block first Arab-American nominee to federal circuit bench

I though ethnicity meant something to Democrats. I mean, don't they claim to be the most diverse political party? The party of inclusion? The protectors of P.C.? Then why are Democrats behind an effort to deny confirmation of 6th Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Henry W. Saad? Judge Saad would be the first Arab-American judge to serve on any of the federal circuit courts, but Democrats are doing all they can to block his confirmation, while allowing others from Michigan to proceed. Today, Sen. Reid and the Democrats offered to allow a vote on all Michigan nominees to the Sixth Circuit except Judge Saad. The reason? Political Correctness only matters when you like the person you're protecting. Ain't hypocrisy grand?

Just who is Judge Henry Saad, that Democrats would block what otherwise would be hailed as a worthy milestone in the pursuit of ethnic parity? Allow me to excerpt from the statement Sen. Orrin Hatch made before the U.S. Senate last July 21, just before Judge Saad joined others as the latest victims of the Democrat filibuster machine:
It is long past time for the Senate to consider Judge Saad’s nomination. He was first nominated to fill a federal judgeship in 1992, when the first President Bush nominated him for a seat on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The fact that he did not get a hearing may have worked to his benefit, since he was appointed in 1994 by Governor Engler to a seat on the Michigan Court of Appeals. He was elected to retain his seat in 1996 and again in 2002, receiving broad bipartisan support in each election.

On November 8, 2001, President Bush nominated Judge Saad for a seat on the Sixth Circuit, the position for which we are considering him today. When no action was taken on his nomination during the 107th Congress, President Bush renominated him to the Sixth Circuit on January 7, 2003. [Editor's Note: Judge Saad was re-re-re-nominated by President Bush in February 2005] All told, Judge Saad has been nominated for a seat on the federal bench [four] separate times. It is high time the Senate completed action on his nomination.

Judge Saad’s credentials for this position are impeccable. He graduated with distinction from Wayne State University in 1971 and magna cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1974. He then spent 20 years in the private practice of law with one of Michigan’s leading firms, Dickinson, Wright, specializing in product liability, commercial litigation, employment law, labor law, school law and libel law. In addition, he has served as an Adjunct Professor at both the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and at Wayne State University Law School.

Judge Saad is active in legal and community affairs. Some of the organizations he has been involved with include educational television, where he serves as a trustee, the American Heart Association, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and other nonprofit organizations that serve the elderly and impaired. As a leader in the Arab-American community, Judge Saad has worked with a variety of organizations in promoting understanding and good relations throughout all ethnic, racial, and religious communities. He is an outstanding role model.

Judge Saad enjoys broad bipartisan support throughout his state, as evidenced by endorsements in his last election by the Michigan State AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers of Michigan. He has received dozens of letters of support from leading political figures, fellow judges, law professors, private attorneys, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of other groups. [Emphasis added.]
Then why are Democrats blocking Judge Saad's nomination? You mean other than the fact that he is "a member of the Board of Visitors at Ave Maria School of Law, which focuses on incorporating Catholic values into the study of law? The answer to this question has to do with the power bestowed on individual senators due to the Senate's "blue slip" rule, wherein a home state senator can try to kill a judicial nomination. Initially, before the compromise proposal floated today by Democrats in the Senate, all of Michigan's nominess to the Sixth Circuit -- including Saad -- were obstructed by Sen. Carl Levin and Sen. Debbie Stabenow in retaliation for a Levin family member not being confirmed to that court during the Clinton years. Now Sen. Stabenow appears to have a personal vendetta against Judge Saad after an unfortunate e-mail exchange last year revealed the nominee's understandable frustration with Sen. Stabenow for her complicity in the obstruction of Pres. Bush's Michigan nominees.

I don't know why I mention this here, but for some reason I think it's relevant that Sen. Frist's DC office number is 202-224-3344, and his office in Nashville can be reached at 615-352-9411. I only wish there was a way we could let the Senator know how much we support Judge Saad, and how we are praying for every senator...that he or she might have the fortitude to avoid compromise at the expense of this four-time nominee (who enjoys the support of a bipartisan majority in the Senate, mind you) to the federal bench. I wish we could express to Sen. Frist how much we desire to see the Democrats spared yet another embarrassing bout of utter hypocrisy. If you have any ideas, please let us know!

Fumed by Ryder at 12:38 AM. |

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Fumare: "cum odore suavitatis ascendat!"

I look forward to good conversation in the grand tradition of our order. Regards to all.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 5:41 PM. |

Bush's private investment accounts for Social Security

As the Social Security debate comes to a head in the Senate, it's important to realize why the Democrats are so opposed to the idea of private investment accounts: investors vote republican. So says Richard Nadler of NRO, Ramesh Ponnuru of TCS and Geoff Colvin of PBS's Wall $treet Week. Predictably, Daniel Gross of Slate disagrees, citing some strong research. This article on the AP wire, linked by Drudge, speaks of how the Democrats want to focus on other savings plans, such as automatic enrollment in corporate 401(k)s and a private savings plan styled after the federal employees thrift savings plan. The Democrats, though, don't really have a proposal, and the article mentions how the Democrats are forced to come up with some alternative after derailing Bush's idea because their constituents want to know what the alternative is.

My experience is that the Haves tend not to want the government to take what they have, while the Have Nots tend to expect the government to give them what they don't have, even if it means taking it from the Haves. The poor tend to vote Democrat and the Democrats stand for more social benefits and more taxes. Republicans stand for less government and less taxes. It seems to follow, then, that the Haves, or investors, would vote republican. Of course, this syllogism doesn't follow for Haves like Senator Kerry, but then again, socialist leaders are never truly socialist.

Fumed by Thursday at 4:22 PM. |

Hey, where did my comments go?

In upgrading our comments (now with trackbacks!) system, blogger unexpectedly dumped the few comments people had left already. Mea culpa! Please feel free to re-post. That means you, Mr. Distinguished Gentleman from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Fumed by Ryder at 5:02 AM. |

So wait...what's the definition of a hate crime again?

More proof that you should just keep your mouth shut while bludgeoning other kids on the playground: Michelle Malkin has the wrap up on a recent hate crime that's made headlines across the country...uh...I mean that nobody's heard of before. Wonder why.

Fumed by Ryder at 4:23 AM. |

Monday, April 25, 2005

New school treats children, teachers as equals

While driving home from work today, I was listening to a NPR story on what's known as Big Picture high schools. Link here. The schools rely more on an apprentice type program where the students are encouraged to explore their interests and find their passion; there are no classes, no tests, and no grades. Although the approach is interesting, and I can see it being effective for certain disillusioned kids, what really struck me was a particular parent's praise for the program. The mother praised the school's treatment of children, teachers, and parents as equals. In other words, when the parent-teacher conference came around, or when the student had to choose an interest to pursue, the student's decision and opinion was treated as on par with the teacher's or parent's.

At first this stuck me as rather off the mark. After all, the lack of authority imposed, and obedience expected of children is the root of the educational system's crisis, no? Surely this is just another example of pop-psychology empowerment? Yet, it was the comment of a school administrator that made me see it. He said that society has a habit of separating children from adults. Sure enough, at a young age, authority must be imposed on a children at all times. The reason, though, is because we expect no independence from a young child, nor, quite frankly, do they want it. With a high-schooler, however, we should expect independence, otherwise, we can we demand no responsibility. After all, the goal in these final formative years is to teach the student to behave like an adult. Being experiential, maturity is only learned through practice.

So comes my question: We say that kids grow up fast these days, yet they seem to be terrible new adults. Could the problem be that we hold them to a different standard, expecting less of them? Treat a man like a slave and he will act like a slave. When was the last time you heard of a young man who was ACTUALLY expected to be the man of the house, because of some tragedy?

Fumed by Thursday at 11:37 PM. |

How do you know the conclave chose the right man for the job?

Click here.

Fumed by Ryder at 1:01 PM. |

"The Borking of Bolton"

Bill Kristol has a thought-provoking piece comparing the treatment John Bolton is currently receiving with that sustained by our esteemed professor, Robert Bork. Aside from an astute analysis of the latest liberal effort to preserve mediocrity and corruption at the United Nations, Kristol has much to say about the effect of the Borking of Bork. Choice quote: "Bork's defeat had real consequences: 18 years of intellectual mediocrity and constitutional incoherence from the Supreme Court." Is it too much to hope that Bork's assistance in spreading awareness of Ave Maria School of Law, and the school's subsequent success due in part to his position on the faculty, might ultimately return to haunt Sens. Kennedy, Biden, et al?

Fumed by Ryder at 12:24 AM. |

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Why "fumare"?

From Charlton T. Lewis, Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary:

fūmo , āre, v. n. [fumus] ,

I. to smoke, steam, reek, fume

While I am particularly partial to "to reek", especially after cleaning up from a certain roommate's bachelor party, "fumare" also means "to smoke." How many evenings did we enjoy each other's company while puffing a fragrant pipe or cigar and imbibing a glass of something older than the internet.

It is my hope that this weblog will become an extension of those exchanges of ideas regarding the highest things, though without exclusion of the humbler things. During our years at Ave Maria School of Law, each of us has grown in our appreciation for the beauty of Catholicism, with the love of culture, and in our knowledge of the law. With that firm foundation in mind, let us go forth and blog.