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FUMARE

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

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Somebody needs new coporation counsel

The Salt Lake Tribune has this on the travails of writing employment contracts for corporate CEOs:

Leading economic indicators: In June, Co-President Stephen S. Crawford of the financial giant Morgan Stanley (who was installed in the job in order to ensure management ''stability'' during the company's currently shaky status with investors) signed a two-year contract at $16 million a year which allowed him, if he changed his mind, to resign and promptly collect all $32 million. A few days later, he resigned. The ''stability'' was needed at faltering Morgan Stanley because longtime CEO Philip J. Purcell had just been eased out, but his contract called for $113 million in severance pay.

Fumed by Thursday at 8:14 PM. |

Ouch.



CAPTION CONTEST! Post your submission as a comment.

(AP Photo/Ryan Remiorz)

Fumed by Thursday at 7:31 PM. |

Friday, July 29, 2005

Millstone of the Month Club, July Award Winner: Ann Furedi



Ann Furedi:

“Women today want to plan their families and, when contraception fails, they are prepared to use abortion to get back in control of their lives...Motherhood is just one among many options open to women and it is not surprising that younger women want to prioritise other things. We should stop seeing abortion as a problem and start seeing it as a legitimate and sensible solution to the problem of unwanted pregnancy."

and...

"Women do not request abortion because they are ignorant about foetal development but because, for some reason, they find their pregnancy intolerable."

Personally, I find Ms. Furedi intolerable.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 5:20 PM. |

300 Dorm: In Memoriam














No, this is not the interior of one of those abandoned buildings in downtown Detroit. This is the 300 dorm, my glorious abode for two and a half years while a student at Thomas Aquinas College. Sadly, the 300 dorm was removed from campus approximately four years ago. I guess cleanliness is not necessarily next to Godliness.

Fumed by Sine Metu at 5:03 PM. |

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Is this a Promise???

Not that I would advocate such conduct, but perhaps this is the way that we might be able to get rid of media bias.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:52 PM. |

The Pope's First 100 Days

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:04 PM. |

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Blankley: Homosexuals and Feminists En Route to Rendering Roe v. Wade Irrelevant

Check out this interesting column by Tony Blankley, arguing that the definition of 'viability' used by Justice Blackmun in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), namely "potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid," is poised to be undermined by the very same artificial womb technology championed by homosexuals and feminists to avoid natural pregnancy. Id. at 160.

Two separate advances in this technology, on two different projects, are described by Blankley. Either of the two would have the effect of rendering weeks-old, if not younger, human children potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. And as those who have studied Roe are painfully aware, viability is paramount in determining whether a state can limit the "right" of a mother to have her unborn child killed. Already, the point of viability has moved backwards nearly two months from where it was at in 1973, and children only halfway through gestation are now able to be saved. How great would it be, though, to use the same technology that was developed to assist those who would harm the culture of life-- by enabling motherless gestation -- as a tool to bring Roe to its rhetorical knees?

Oh, sure, they would try to parse the wording of Roe, claiming that "live outside the mother's womb" really means "live outside any womb," and so on. Let them try. Though I'm not a big artificial womb fan (okay fine I'm not a bit artifical anything fan), their existence completely deflates the "rape, incest, and life of the mother" objections so often used to chip away at a truly pro-life position. Conceived in rape? Artifical womb! Conceived in incest and/or mother is still a child? Artificial womb! Mom needs emergency cancer treatment/surgery but is pregnant? You got it...artificial womb!

I'm not an ethicist, and I haven't studied these technologies in any great detail, but it really seems like this could put the lie to just about all the abortion excuses out there. The result? Adoption might occur prior to birth if it meant saving a child from abortion, and money will become the sole basis upon which someone will try to justify an abortion. Even then, it will be much easier for good samaritans to step in and "sponsor" the artificial gestation of the child, removing the final excuse for having an abortion. I mean, if a mother plans to have her child removed from her womb dead, what possible excuse could she have for resisting removal of the child alive?


Fumed by Ryder at 6:10 PM. |

Liar, liar.

Senator Patrick Leahy is at it again. Click here for a previous post regarding Leahy's crooked name-game.

Fumed by Thursday at 4:22 PM. |

Tell Your Friends in Illinois About This One!!!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 10:23 AM. |

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Update Needed

While driving today, I saw this sign:

The image “http://members.aol.com/rmoeuradot/200x200/warn/W15-1.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

I cannot remember the last time I saw a see-saw on a playground. How long before people see this traffic sign and simply say, "Huh?"

Of course, what can you expect from a government that has standardized such traffic signs as this:

Fumed by Devil's Advocate at 11:04 PM. |

Fr. Mentula Commentary

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 3:30 PM. |

S. Anna, ora pro nobis.


Prayer of St. Ann

O God, who didst vouchsafe to endow blessed Ann with such grace that she was found worthy to be the Mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, grant in thy mercy that we who keep her festival may be aided by her intercession with thee. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who livest and reignest with thee in unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 10:38 AM. |

This Just In:

TERROR ALERT IN FRANCE

Paris, July 12, 2005- AP and UPI reported that the French government has raised its terror alert level from RUN to HIDE on their four level danger scale. The two higher French danger levels are SURRENDER and COLLABORATE.

According to informed sources, the rise was precipitated by a fire yesterday which destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing its military. In light of the recent attacks in London, it is widely anticipated that the terror alert will be elevated to the third level before the weekend.

(Source: anonymous)

Fumed by Thursday at 10:37 AM. |

"Turn your test booklets over...you may begin."

This is it, folks. The first of 2 (or 3) days that will forever change the lives of the 2005 law school graduates. Today is the essay portion (and performance test in some states) of the exam. Tomorrow...yep...the MBE. Keep our AMSL '05 brethern in your prayers these next couple of days, as well as any other alumni that might be taking a bar this week. You remember the stress of these days.... I don't envy those hand cramps for a second.

"Time's up...pencils down. Stay seated until the examiners have collected all the answer sheets and exam booklets." Whew...THAT's over!

Fumed by Ryder at 1:18 AM. |

The Man Who Was...Half Off...

Audible.com, from whom I receive no kickbacks, is having a buy one get one free sale on many of their titles. Probably the vast majority of titles that have been out more than a year...in other words, look for some classics you've always wanted to read.

If you have anything in the way of a commute...or if you're like me and you end up driving to court 2 or more times a week in various counties...snatch up some of these deals. Average book price is around $20, so you can have 2 for that price. I'm a few hours into C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces and am marveling both at the great story and narration, and at how much this lit major has missed in the literary department.

And if nothing else gets your attention, I am happy to report that The Man Who Was Thursday, by the Blogfather of FUMARE, G.K. Chesterton, is among those on special. Finally! Now we can understand where our beloved brother Thursday is coming from! Okay, well, we'll be better equipped to try at least...!

UPDATE: I just noticed that Audible.com carries the installation mass of Pope Benedict XVI...all 2 hours 36 minutes of it. And the price? $0.00. I knew they carried a lot of free programs of civic importance (Bush v. Gore oral arguments, political convention speeches, etc.) as a public service, but this is a nice touch.

Fumed by Ryder at 12:50 AM. |

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fr. Mentula and His Superiors

Here's a rare story of priest heterosex-abuse! Let's hand it to Father Mentula and his superiors for his stunning legal arguments...Wow!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:35 PM. |

NARAL is funny.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:24 PM. |

"I hear 'ya"...Check out the Magic Rocks

Thanks to Diogenes today for this one. Another one from the "Res ipsa loquitur" department. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Unbelieveable.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:07 PM. |

"Wanna Bet?"

With apologies to the Californians who read this blog (you'll see why), I commend to you this fantastic story, with a tip of the hat to the Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club blog Against the Grain.

What a wonderful man leads this Church of ours!

Fumed by Ryder at 10:07 AM. |

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sour Grapes Become Bitter Whines

AND IN SPORTS NEWS...

I try not to blog much about Drudge stories that everyone here has already seen, this whole Lance Armstrong flap (hat tip: you-know-who) has me chafing. You know the story: American gets really good at cycling, gets really bad cancer, overcomes said cancer, gets good at cycling again, wins the Tour de France each year from 1999 through 2005, retires, and has his success blamed by his bitter European former competitors on wholly unsupported allegations of "performance enhancing" drug use. Yeah, that story.

According to this AP story,
Some spectators would shout obscenities or "Dope!" To some, his comeback from cancer and his uphill bursts of speed that left rivals gasping in the Alps and Pyrenees were too good to be true.

Armstrong insisted that he simply trained, worked and prepared harder than anyone. He was drug-tested hundreds of times, in and out of competition, but was never found to have committed any infractions.

I can't help but wonder if the root of the bitterness is due more to Mr. Armstrong's nationality than any actual concern that he's been juicing up. If Mr. Armstrong were from any other nation, what is the likelihood that there would be anything but parades and accolades for a man who has come so far and achieved so much? It's a fair question.

Memo to Tour de France losers: If there is a shred of proof that Lance Armstrong has used performance-enhancing drugs, bring it forward and let the chips fall where they may. Put up...or shut up.

Oh, and hey John Kerry, if Lance Armstrong becomes a politician it will be in spite of you. A love for cycling is about all you two share, sir. If Mr. Armstrong had emulated your Vietnam-era courage, he would never have mounted a bicycle again after his cancer.

Fumed by Ryder at 7:33 PM. |

Friday, July 22, 2005

"Rehnquist Redux"

Manuel Miranda for the WSJ on the far left and far right's take on Roberts.

Fumed by Thursday at 3:30 PM. |

Must-read article on the motives of the Muslim terrorists

A great op-ed piece by Olivier Roy that has me re-thinking some of my presumptions: Why Do They Hate Us? Not Because of Iraq. (Hat tip, Southern Appeal.)

Fumed by Thursday at 3:26 PM. |

Got to get me

one of these.

Fumed by Thursday at 2:17 PM. |

Gertz reporting on London's Lessons.

From today's Inside the Ring, by Bill Gertz:


London's lessons
Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, an author and terrorism analyst, says al Qaeda could execute a London-type train bombing "within 24" hours in the United States.

"But why attack here," Gen. McInerney said in an interview, "when you have leftists in America who have aided and abetted the enemy more than Tokyo Rose did in World War II? They don't need to set off bombs. If they set off bombs, they would
silence the shrill of leftists in the United States."

Gen. McInerney says the July 7 London bombing was an attempt by Muslim militants to bring down Prime Minister Tony Blair and see him replaced by a left-wing Laborite who would pull troops out of Iraq.


The militants want to own Iraq the same way Saddam owned it. They want the west to pull out so they can return Iraq to tyranny and have another Syria. The lives of innocent Iraqis mean nothing to them, nor do the wishes of Iraqis for self-government. That is why they murder them in the hundreds, by cowardly bombs. The militants are no different then Mafioso, who will trash a shopkeeper's store until the shopkeeper hands it over.

Fumed by Thursday at 12:09 PM. |

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Judges, Lies and Democrats

William Bloomfield from Thoughts from the Right has this commentary on an article by Mario Cuomo. What's disconcerting is this portion of Cuomo's article regarding judges who have legislated from the bench:

But some senators who will be required to vote on confirmation are persuaded that Judge Roberts and the other candidates would use their judicial positions to achieve their political ends, especially because Bush had promised to select judges who would, in their decisions, emulate Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

This labeling of originalist judges as activists appears to be a new talking point of the Democrats. The day after Bush's nomination of Judge John Roberts, I heard Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont appear on NPR's Morning Edition and say that he is wary of Bush appointing judges who would legislate from the bench and promote their own political agenda. Leahy specifically named Justices Scalia and Thomas as examples. (Audio available here.) A quick Google search picked up Thomas Sowell's commentary on this "Calculated Confusion."

Wormtongues.

Fumed by Thursday at 1:57 PM. |

Ted on Judicial Nominees

Gives a new definition to the term "Corpus Delicti."

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 1:19 PM. |

"Legal Conservatism"

A recurring theme in this blog as well as in private conversations amongst ourselves over the years has been the adequacy of the terms "Liberal" and "Conservative." Both are obviously political terms and are easily prone to manipulation. In general paralance and as a shorthand, common sense thinking types know the basic distinction in our contemporary political discourse. Well, that may change. Sen. Ted "Swimmer" Kennedy may now start calling himself a conservative.

Just as there are the 4 Loves, according to Prof. Jeffrey Rosen of George Washington University Law School and Legal Affairs contributor to The New Republic, there are 5 types of legal conservatism. I was listening to this explicatio on NPR as I was driving into one of our Nation's finest FORSCOM installations. The Left never ceases to amaze. Since their agenda is and has been utterly rejected by most Americans, they begin the word games. It seems that in order to gain legitimacy and make their legal views and judicial views more palatable, they start to call everything "conservative," but add fine distinctions:

A "Orginalist Conservative" is one who seeks to understand the Constitution in the manner that the founders understood and crafted it, and apply the law and rule within such a framework. Scalia and Thomas are of this camp.

A "Traditionalist Conservative" is one who finds stability in the law (ala' stare decisis) to be the most important duty of the judiciary and hesitates to change "settled law" (i.e., Roe v. Wade). Representatives of this camp are Kennedy, Souter and O'Connor.

Then there are "Pragmatic Conservatives" who are more interested in the empirical here and now and results of judicial rulings, that they rule on what seems most in accord with evolving standards. (Why are they called conservative again?)

There are two others, but after these I was in such a haze that I turned on Mozart's Haffner just to restore some clarity to my skull before I began work. Anyway, let the games begin! Hopefully, those pillars of jello--Republicans--will not fight the battle on the turf of the Kennedys, Schumers and Durbins of the world. I hope that they finally stand up to the Left and start framing the debate themselves. Otherwise, the Left will forever continue to frame the debate. Nice try, Jeff!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 10:25 AM. |

Girls like guys with skills

"You know, like nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, computer hacking skills. . ."

Or fearless dancing skills.

GOP Vixen has the scoop on why Bush smirked during his announcement of Roberts' nomination.

Napolean has nothing on this kid.

Great take on it here.

Fumed by Thursday at 9:25 AM. |

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

More on Roberts

K of C likes him, interesting facts on his family. Still, Rush is saying that he is quite friendly in the D.C. social circuit--hmmm....I can smell the emanations formed from the penumbras of that very crowd. Still don't know what I think.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:40 PM. |

Ann's Take

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:11 PM. |

Sen. "UpChuck" Schumer's Questions

Perhaps the Judiciary Committee would do well to read Professor Charles Fairman's Does the Fourteenth Amendment Incorporate the Bill of Rights? The Original Understanding 2 STAN. L. REV. 5 (1949). I would venture to guess that many of the Senator's questions would be answered.

(Nod to Professor Rice on educating his students of Jurisprudence on this very important law review article.)

(N.B. The nickname "UpChuck" for Sen. Schumer is not original. Noted legal, political and cultural commentator, radio personality, and all-around gorgeous babe--
Laura Ingraham--is the true author of this nom de guerre. Other witticisms include Sen. Dick "Pol Pot" Durbin, among others.)

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 11:36 AM. |

As I was saying. . .

From a Telegraph article: The men who blame Britain.


Anjem Choudary, the British leader of the militant Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, said that Muslim leaders should not meet Mr Blair for talks while Muslims were being "murdered" in Iraq.

Speaking on Radio 4's Today programme, he declined to condemn the London bombings, which killed 56 people, and said there was "a very real possibility" of a repetition.

"The British Government wants to show that they are on the side of justice and of truth, whereas in reality the real terrorists are the British regime, and even the British police, who have tried to divide the Muslim community into moderates and extremists, whereas this classification doesn't exist in Islam."

These Muslims are delusional. The murdering of Muslims in Iraq is being committed by Muslim suicide bombers. Before that it was Sunni killing Shiite and Shiite killing Sunni. It is not Muslim deaths that are fueling Muslim hatred of the west, but the position muslims hold on the world stage. Muslims are the underdogs and they resent it. For them, Islam must gain prominance. And, it need not gain prominence as other religions must, by the free, informed assent of an individual's will, but by any means necessary, such as by seizing power and making all other religions illegal. The divine right is there in the Koran and so are the instructions.

What is so crazy about this all is that it is specifically the Muslim religion that has made them the underdog. How can a nation of people possibly hope to develop if they persist in retarding the development of one half of their people, their women? The Koran keeps them a backward people. Instead finding ways to rectify this, they simply wish to make everyone else backward.

--Yet another article here. ("Cursing in Arabic, el-Amir also denounced Arab leaders and Muslims who condemned the London attacks as being traitors and non-Muslims.")

Fumed by Thursday at 9:34 AM. |

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

So. . .

Did anybody see it coming? I sure didn't.

Fumed by Thursday at 9:52 PM. |

The more things change, the more they stay the same

Familiar faces, familiar places. It's good to hear that he's still rattling the Ann Arbor establishment.

Fumed by Phidippides at 4:27 PM. |

About those Pope Benedict XVI bumper stickers...

Those of you who have been asking about the Pope Benedict XVI bumper stickers, fear not! They are back from the printer and look fantastic. A website has been set up at www.PapalShop.com to take orders for these great 15" wide bumper (or backpack at World Youth Day) stickers. Price is $3.95 each (with postage of $1.50 for 1-2; $3.50 for 3-10; $5.50 for 11-20; etc.). Send the link around! Get your stocking stuffers early! Show solidarity with the pilgrims during WYD next month! And remember, any profits realized by this poster will go to Fumare costs first and foremost, and then to supporting solid Catholic legal education. (But profit is far from guaranteed at this point.) Thank you!

Fumed by Ryder at 10:51 AM. |

Monday, July 18, 2005

What Liberals Don't Understand



The reality.

(Spc. Ashley Beatty, 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion chaplain's assistant, tries to comfort a crying baby during a CA visit to the baby's family March 31. Photo by Spc. Katherine Robinson. (US Army photo.))

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:46 PM. |

The One War, The Real War

This past weekend, my in-laws went to Mass in their home state of Wisconsin and were treated to the usual fare of what the New Oxford Review would call "Fr. Flapdoodle." In his homily he spoke on the War on Terror and the recent bombings in Great Britain. Then it happened; he made the statement that "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom-fighter." Another case of a priest not wanting to take sides. Another case of a "I don't know what's going through their minds, so I won't judge" mentality. God gave you an intellect, Father: #1. Acknowledge it. #2. USE IT!

Such a display of stercus should make any Catholic want to vomit. One has to wonder where Father learned his philosophy and moral theology. Did he learn philosophy or moral theology? Perhaps during his seminary years he was otherwise engaged in listening to the Strawberry Alarm Clock's "Incense and Peppermints," or perhaps he was going to a Mass led by a rather limp-wristed Jesuit and a light-in-the-loafers Lutheran minister back in '68--way cool, man! Revolutionary! Whatever, this lighweight's background, he was not being in the least bit pastoral--which is the favorite word of those who want everybody to hold hands and pretend that Jesus didn't get nailed to the Cross.

Did it ever occur to the padre, that there are soldiers and marines serving--some dying--in Iraq and Afghanistan whose parents are parishioners of his church? I suppose that it is ok to kill innocent civilians and children if you are a "freedom fighter." If this is the case, NOW, Planned Parenthood, NARAL are all freedom fighters. (No doubt this is the way they see themselves.) I digress. Father Schall, commenting on clerics and their views of the President and the war, put it well:

What is remarkable to the clergy about the president, I suspect — what confuses those who have no real responsibility to protect anyone — is that he can act on principle. The clerical world is a world of inaction in that Aristotelian sense that "thought of itself causes no action."

Putting the best possible light on the clerical voices, we might say that they have been helpful in making sure that the actors in war and peace make every effort to know the situation, the law, the principles, and the proper means. On the other hand, there seems to be a strange lack of reality coming from a quarter that has often spent the past decades warning us to see the actual problems. In part, we have absolutized "war" to the extent that it has become an abstraction of evil instead of an element in the analysis of justice.


War is sometimes necessary and as such cannot be evil, but rather a good. There are good guys and there are bad guys. The bad guys kill little kids. The bad guys murder themselves and innocent people. The bad guys are hell-bent on destroying our civilization. The good guys defend those who cannot defend themselves. The good guys are our brave men who stand in harms way so that others may not live in fear. The good guys are the true freedom fighters--those who fight to free the world of murderous and evil men who try to bind innocents with their chains of terror. So, Father, I reiterate once again: Acknowledge your intellect and use it. Begin by reading Fr. Schall's article (supra).

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 12:13 PM. |

Marital Ups and Downs

First the positive:

* Congrats to Sine Metu and Mrs. Metu on the recent baptism of their second daughter ("Mini Metu II"). She was baptised at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel church, on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, in the presence of several of the Fumarati. Offer up an Ave or two in thanksgiving for the burgeoning Metu clan!

* While you are saying those Aves, keep Susan Torres and her family in your prayers too. Susan, whose story was recently discussed here, is considered brain dead but is being kept on life support while her unborn daughter is in gestation. According to USA TODAY, delivery may need to occur in the next few weeks because Susan's cancer is spreading throughout her body. Despite the $1500 a day hospital costs, Susan's husband has not wavered since making the decision weeks ago to do what his wife would have wanted and try to save the couple's baby. The sacrifice of this University of Dallas alumni couple and their families is nothing short of heroic, and I hope word continues to spread about this example of the importance of just one pre-born life.

And now for a downer or two:

* Today's McPaper of Record, USA TODAY, also carries a full-page feature, Cohabitation is replacing dating, on the growing number of cohabiting couples in the United States. The piece is disheartening, in that it gives short shrift to studies that show a correlation between cohabitation and increased divorce rates, and states that those number seem to apply only to "serial cohabitors," those who move from partner to partner...literally and figuratively. This dismissiveness, though, ignores both the title of the article and the statement, just a paragraph earlier, that serial cohabitation is on the rise as well. No mention is made of the extensive Rutgers University study of marriage, The State of Our Unions: The Social Health of Marriage in America, which has been annually updating these very numbers and which -- in the most recent (2004) update -- had this to say:
The belief that living together before marriage is a useful way "to find out whether you really get along," and thus avoid a bad marriage and an eventual divorce, is now widespread among young people. But the available data on the effects of cohabitation fail to confirm this belief. In fact, a substantial body of evidence indicates that those who live together before marriage are more likely to break up after marriage.
Further inconsistency arises when Sweden is held up as an example of cohab "success," with it's 28% cohabitation rate and relatively low divorce rate. Only in passing is Sweden's steadily-rising divorce rate mentioned, and nowhere is the obvious inference that the divorce rate is low because cohabs never marry, rather than "marry better," discussed. As one who has had his share of family court motion calls, and witnessed countless marriages "dissolved" with a barely-audible "I find that there has been a breakdown of the marriage relationship such that the bonds of matrimony have been destroyed," this article is particularly disheartening. And I live in state where cohabitation is supposedly illegal!

* Our country's respect for marriage appears to be reflected in the crude Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn vehicle The Wedding Crashers, which opened second after Marilyn Manson and the Chocolate Factory this past weekend. Not without its humorous moments, the movie attempts an eleventh-hour pro-marriage redemption that comes nowhere close to undoing the licentiousness of the first two hours. It would be tempting to recommend the movie for what it is: bawdy, irreverent, hilarious in places, and ultimately empty and unsatisfying. But in the present environment, where respect for marriage is already at such a low, a strong box office in the coming weeks is not what this movie needs. Four thumbs down (I saw it with someone else who agrees wholeheartedly).

Fumed by Ryder at 8:39 AM. |

Thursday, July 14, 2005

RES IPSA LOQUITUR....

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 5:32 PM. |

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"Are you an Originalist"

Hat tip (to use Thursday's favorite) to National Review. Entertaining piece.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 4:10 PM. |

We're such idiots.

The Guardian has this article on the death of a muslim man in England who was set upon by a gang of youths. (Hat tip Drudge). The police are calling the incident race related, but the muslim community isn't buying it.

Azad Ali, who chairs the Muslim Safety Forum, said: "You can't class this as racist, there was no racist abuse shouted at him, it was Islamophobic.

I agree. It was motivated by the man's religion, or what the youths perceived his religion to be. But "Islamophobic?" That's rich, coming from a man who's religion just motivated four men to blow up the mass transit system of London, killing 50+ people and injuring hundreds. Why don't we hear him calling that Judeo-Christianophobic?

Like clods, we bend over backwards to make the distinction between those muslims who use Islam as a justification for murder and those who don't. Yet, we never hear muslims make that distinction, nor do we hear them really condemn the actions of those who murder.

"It is good the police have made arrests. We are disappointed that they have misclassified it, especially after all the advice to be more alert to Islamophobic hate crime."
Azad Ali will have to forgive the Nottingham police for not being more alert to Islamophobic hate crimes. You see, they are currently busy trying to stop the slaughter of innocents by muslimes.

Fumed by Thursday at 3:24 PM. |

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Bork on the Court

Chief Justice Bork...well, one can dream!

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 10:41 AM. |

Monday, July 11, 2005

"Wars---and Rumors of Wars"

Diogenes (of Catholic World Report fame) brilliantly parses the situation that is has been created as a result of the vacancy at the Supreme Court. The complete absence of thought that is characteristic of the Left is brilliantly exposed, especially when it comes to the real "fundamental right" enshrined in the Constitution--the right to exterminate children. Worth a read.

Fumed by Advocatus Militaris, Man of the Year at 2:21 PM. |

Oy vey!

When I first read Ann Coulter's latest column, Reagan's Biggest Mistake Finally Retires, I was at once impressed (yet again) by the incisive logic and rhetoric of my favorite Hannity & Colmes guest, and simultaneously struck by the thought that this probably was a bit of overkill now that Justice O'Connor was safely at her husband's bedside and no longer an active threat to the millions of preborn children who are now desperately trying not to become little "undue burdens" to their mothers.

That is, until I saw this article from today's WaPo: Specter Speculates: O'Connor for Chief? (hat tip: Drudge) Whaaaa...? [Insert comment about Specter having more problems than we know about here.] According to WaPo:
"I think it would be very tempting if the president said to Justice O'Connor, 'You could help the country now,' " Specter said. "She has received so much adulation that a confirmation proceeding would be more like a coronation, and she might be willing to stay on for a year or so." The chairman said he had heard "senators who had made that suggestion to Justice O'Connor, and that the response that I heard was that she said she was flattered -- that she didn't say no."
Although there's more of a chance that Edward "Chappy" Kennedy might convert to Roman Catholicism than Bush would elevate O'Connor to the post of Chief Justice, this still isn't funny. Granted, O'Connor was a Reagan nominee. But Reagan lacked what Specter and everyone else has today in spades: the perspective of 24 years of Justice O'Connor on the high Court. If you just said "so what?" you must have missed the link to Coulter's column. Go back and read it. Then send it to your friends.

Lest anyone be confused as to why Specter and the other Senate liberals would support O'Connor coming back to the Court, here's why: It's the worst decision he could make regarding the Supreme Court. Then it struck me: O'Connor's retirement is only effective once her replacement has been confirmed? Could the liberals just filibuster to keep her on the Court?

Fumed by Ryder at 3:00 AM. |

Friday, July 08, 2005

British officers patroling Parliament


Reminds me of Detective Derek Grim from the BBC comedy The Thin Blue Line, always happy to have a reason to behave like a real American cop, and carry a gun.

Update: I should mention how very impressed I am at how the Brits, and particularly the Londoners, have handled this crisis.


Fumed by Thursday at 3:33 PM. |

Double Header?

Drudge is running with the siren and unofficial reports confirming Robert Novak's (and others') predictions that Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist is indeed handing in his resignation today. Nothing official, he says, and K-Lo over at Bench Memos thinks the fact that the Chief left home wearing his Nike cap again signifies that he is still going strong. Stay tuned. If the letter does come today, though, the weeks-ago scheduling of the Chief Justice of Southern Appeal -- Feddie -- on tonight's (6-7 pm EDT) Catholic Answers radio show (discussing the Supreme Court, of course) will look awfully prophetic!

UPDATE: (Hat tip to Feddie) Erick at Red State blog has it on excellent authority that the Rehnquist resignation is in and that the president will announce this once his plane lands in Washington at 4:50pm. Boy is Feddie cutting it close with his Catholic Answers show!

UPDATE 2: Doh! Stay tuned Monday, though. Conventional Wisdom, for what that's worth, is that the Chief delayed sending his letter due to the terrorist attacks in London...or that the White House has delayed the announcement for the same reason. CNN has an interesting story on this (un?)exciting day.

Fumed by Ryder at 12:22 PM. |

"The Constitution is what the Supreme Court says it is."

Rumored Supreme Court nominee Alberto Gonzales apparently gave the above response when asked whether the U.S. Constitution addressed the issue of abortion. Here's the follow-up:

Q: We're hearing conflicting reports about your position on abortion. Can you tell us where you stand?

Gonzales: As a judge, I have to make judgments in conformity with the laws of our nation.

Q: Would you say that, regarding Roe v. Wade, stare decisis would be governing here?

Gonzales: Yes.

Now, were we to give Gonzales the benefit of the doubt, we might conclude that the Attorney General's apparent deference to stare decisis is a red herring. After all, Justice Scalia has already demonstrated in his dissent in Lawrence v. Texas that, given the current Court's manipulative and result-oriented approach to stare decisis, the criteria used to overrule Bowers v. Hardwick also require that Roe be overruled.

But I don't think this is what Gonzales had in mind. I think Gonzales has failed to make the critical distinction between the Constitution and constitutional law, a distinction Justice Frankfurter had in mind when he wrote: "The ultimate touchstone of constitutionality is the Constitution itself and not what we have said about it." The distinction is obvious. If Supreme Court jurisprudence were equivalent to the Constitution itself, the Court could no more overrule its prior decisions, as it has done on numerous occasions, than it could overrule the First Amendment. Roe is not unassailable.

I may be just a passenger on the conservative bandwagon, but I don't like Gonzales as a nominee for the Supreme Court.

Fumed by Sine Metu at 8:42 AM. |

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Miscellany

A few (admittedly stale) tidbits from around the horn:

1. For those who don't get a chance to frequent other blogs or read recent SCOTUS slip opinions, these gems from Justice Thomas's dissent in Kelo (a hat tip is in order, but I cannot recall to whom it is owed):
"Something has gone seriously awry with this Court's interpretation of the Constitution. Though citizens are safe from the government in their homes, the homes themselves are not."

"Obliterating a provision of the Constitution, of course, guarantees that it will not be misapplied."
B. ND has its 17th President in 163 years. That Fr. Jenkins has written on Aquinas, studies medieval philosophy, and has a D.Phil. from Oxford is a good sign. That he has an M.Div. and licentiate from Jesuits at Berkeley, well, not so much. Fr. Malloy's dubious legacy includes such refuse as annual establishments of a queer film festival and the Vagina Monologues. I think it can only get better.

III. Scrappleface has this just out from Sen. Kennedy's office re: new SCOTUS nominee. (Hat tip: Southern Appeal.)

Fumed by Devil's Advocate at 10:51 PM. |

Friday, July 01, 2005

Gay Marriage and the Future of Europe

Gay marriage has been creeping through Europe in the last few years, with (at least nominally) Catholic Spain being the latest victim, after Holland and Belgium succumbed a few years ago. This gay marriage movement might not be a trend with the speed of a blitzkreig attack, yet its effects on future Europe will have no less kind of a result.

Europe's relative population is falling - from 12% of world population (1950) to a projected 4% (2050). One scenario (see previous link) says that the EU would need some 700 million immigrants to maintain its population percentage, which would no doubt dramatically shift the continent's cultural structures. No doubt, much of the population decline is the result of low fertility rates which will create havoc as more people try to collect from shrinking pension funds (actually, the ball may already be rolling in Germany). Call it the Curse of Margaret Sanger.

Add to this the gay marriage domino effect. Just as the gay capital of America - San Francisco - is experiencing a curious lack of children, countries that need more children take steps in the opposite direction. Is there any foresight in Spain at all? For a country that once governed in grandeur over a significant part of the West under Philip II, it might now begin its slow death by a government that thinks like this.

Fumed by Phidippides at 5:04 PM. |

Calling all socialists!

What can be the purpose of this article from the The New York Times, other than to spread propaganda designed to enforce the liberal idea that the rich are getting away tax free? (Hat tip Drudge, though why he would disseminate such propaganda is beyond me.)

"The Nontaxpaying Affluent Grew by 15% in One Year" yells the title. "The number of affluent individuals and married couples who paid no federal income taxes jumped more than 15 percent in 2002, to 5,650, new government data showed yesterday," says the first line. Those damn affluent! Wait, how many? 5,650? Hmmm. And how many of those individuals paid no tax at all, as some of them paid tax to foreign governments. Oh, just 4,922. That's not a very high number. There are high schools in California with greater enrollment. This is newsworthy?

How is, then that these ne'er-well-to-do's get away with it? Well, "The I.R.S. report said that 'the most important item in eliminating tax' was taking income in the form of tax-exempt interest on state and municipal bonds. Nearly two-thirds of those who lived tax free reported income from such bonds." Oh, so most of these people who live tax free do so because they bought government bonds? In other words, though the purchase of bonds, they have directly financed our state and local governments? So these "tax swindlers" actually finance local government directly, instead of giving their money, in the form of tax, to the federal government, who would only use the money to coerce local governments?

The article does admit that "the top 2 percent of earners, the 2.5 million filers with income of $200,000 or more, . . . accounted for 53.5 percent of the income tax paid by all Americans." Yet it doesn't draw the conclusions necessary to balance out the political outrage it's attempting to create. 53.5 percent of all income tax. The article should provide the number of Americans which pay no tax at all, whether rich or poor. Then point out that those affluent, well-to-do, top 2 percent of earners are responsible for providing the majority of the services that that those who pay no taxes think come for free. Of those 2,5000,000 of those tax payers, 5,650 got away with paying no income tax. Yet only 4,922 truly got away with pay no income tax at all, and only one-third, or about 1,884, did so without having to buy state or local bonds.

Some of these individuals paid no taxes because they had large medical bills. Large medical bills "can be deducted once they exceed either 7.5 percent or 10 percent of adjusted gross income." If someone gets away with paying no federal income tax because he, or a family member, are so sick that the medical bills are that expensive, I say they deserve to pay no federal income tax.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that as of today's date there are 296,500,988 persons in the United States. The New York Times expects me to get up in arms about 5,650 people who are not paying income tax because of "miscellaneous deductions; interest paid on borrowing to finance investments; various tax credits; and large medical bills"? But hey, The Nontaxpaying Affluent Grew by 15% in One Year!!!

Fumed by Thursday at 8:06 AM. |