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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Friday, September 30, 2005

Blogger is deleting my posts

We will see if this post sticks.

Blogger Harsh Pencil said...

Don't forget that it was deleting your comments too! (It had deleted my previous post, but it was brought back to life by blogger.)

7:37 AM, October 01, 2005  

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Delay and Facts

You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Will Delay be convicted? Those willing to put money on it don't think so.

Tradesports.com has a contract which pays $100 if Delay is convicted. It's current price is $18.80.

That's a fact.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Great Consumer Lovefest

After nodding and hmm-ing through my physician’s annual speech and plug for his favorite exercise program this morning, we parted ways amicably, he a little richer, and I, naturally, for the Culvers drive-thru next door.

Halfway through my bean and ham soup (hot, yet lacking in excitement), I noticed my soft drink cup trumpeting: “Taste How Much We Care TM.” As I shifted my focus to my LCD monitor displaying an email-in-progress, my signature quote rebuted the Diet Pepsi:

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest." - Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations.

When did we start to care whether business cared? What do we get out of the deal if they do care? Do we care about them?

We care whether the meat is red or greasy enough, if the coffee is hot and the pop fizzy, or if the service is fast and slightly better than hostile, but none of these quantify whether our favorite eatery cares about us, or we about them.

We hope they care about our money. Because, by chasing the mighty greenback, they’re going to deliver the best product they can for the dollar, within proper cost ratios and demand curves.

A business that professes to “care” about me is a business I cannot trust. If my drink cup is not even mail-merged to display my name, how do they know I am not an ax-murderer? Were I, would they still care?

Further, can they say nothing good about their product? Why not “Taste How Fizzy Is Our Pop TM” instead of “Taste How Much We Care TM?”

I fear, following in the steps of Compassionate Conservatism, Public-Private Partnerships, and It Takes a Village, Business That Cares is another pacifier to the masses and an insult to the intelligent.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Era of Big Government is Over

Welcome to the Era of Massive, All-Pervasive, Chicken-In-Every-Pot, $2000-On-Every-Debit-Card Government.

Today the Star Tribune proclaimed: "In the largest expansion of Medicare since its start 40 years ago, federal officials said Friday that scores of firms soon will begin offering drug coverage of 42 million retirees and disabled people on Medicare."

What? Did the Democrats regain power of the Executive and Legislative branches while we slept? Has HillaryCare already begun?

We were certainly asleep, unperturbed as the NeoCons oozed into all levels of government, armed with platitudes of lower taxes and smaller (or at least more efficient) government, while delivering the reverse.

I'm not the only one reaching peak levels of frustration. Even the Wall Street Journal, a close relative of the Republican Party, is about to ask for a DNA test. (See We're All in the Same Bloat)

From entitlement expansions at the federal level to socialist stadia at the local level, government spending has never been healthier.

Come November, Conservatives no longer have a reason to vote Republican, and Democrats can always rely on their own. Are we about to see a Democratic revolution? Is that all bad? Would anyone notice?

When will we hear Sen Goldwater's words repeated: "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed in their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents' 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Battle of Trafalgar

For those of you who are history buffs you may already know that the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar will arrive on October 21. As some know, Trafalgar resulted in a horrible defeat of Napoleon's grand fleet and marked the beginning of the end for Napoleon. It also catapulted Admiral Horatio Nelson (who fell during the battle) into legendary status:

As the British Fleet bore down on the Franco-Spanish line Nelson directed Lieutenant Pascoe, the signal officer of Victory, to send the signal to the Fleet “Nelson confides every man will do his duty.” Captain Hardy and Pascoe suggested this be changed to “England expects every man will do his duty”. Nelson agreed. As the signal ran up Victory’s halyard the Fleet burst into cheers.

I highly suggest you read about the battle here:

Iraq and Casualties

Winds of Change notes that the shortage of suicide bombers in Iraq has led to lower casualties.

Apparently, there are fewer suicide bombers willing to die for the cause,
and fewer fighters available for direct attacks against coalition forces,
prompting a shift to less risky IED attacks, which require fewer

The current death toll in Iraq for the U.S. Military including both combat and non-combat is at 1904. While everyone abhors the death toll, it is still far lower than any comparable war as Chris notes below.

Drugged Suicide Bombers

It appears that Zarqawi may be running out of willing suicide bombers. At least that is the implication of this article:

A suicide bomber captured before he could blow himself up in a Shi'ite mosque late last week claimed he was kidnapped, beaten and drugged by insurgents who forced him take on the mission. The US military said its medical tests indicated the young man was telling the truth. In a confession broadcast on state television on Friday, Mohammed Ali, who claimed to be Saudi-born and appeared to be in his 20s, declared he was kidnapped and coerced to agree to the mission.

The war can't be going to well for Zarqawi if he is forced to rely on these types of soldiers to do his dirty work. Read the rest of the article.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Russert gets fooled once again

If anyone watched Meet the Press two weeks agao, they would have been subjected to the bloviating Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, La, recite how a friend's mother wasted away in a nursing home while waiting for help for five days after the levies broke in New Orleans.

Well, it turned out to be a total fraud. Powerline has more details.

It wil be interesting to see how Tim Russert reacts to this fraud. Will he give equal time to the real truth of the matter? I doubt it. This story is a great example of how the reporting on Hurricane Katrina is one of the largest media frauds in the history of the media. Imagine if the Blogosphere did not exist....hmmm... at least Dan Rather is no longer reporting such frauds.

The fallout will continue....

Hitchens vs. Galloway

If you did not catch Hitchens vs. Galloway on CSPAN this past weekend. I highly recommend it. You can see it here.

The debate is worth it to see the utter despicable arguments made by George Galloway and the scary support he received from the crowd. Galloway is an appeaser of the first class and totally oblivious to reality and the truth.

I would say that Paleocons are despicable as well when it comes to their opposition to the liberation of Iraq and disposal of Saddam Hussein. However, at least paleocons sometimes make reasonable (yet still wrong) arguments to oppose the war.

Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Does this post indicate the author supports Christopher Hitchens of the far left? Does this then align NeoCons with the Hitchenist left? Hmmmmm.

11:20 AM, September 24, 2005  

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Bush Job Approval

It seems the liberal media is celebrating with glee the low approval ratings for GW Bush. This CNN/Gallup poll shows the President at 40%. The number on reason for this fall is Gas Prices. But, it matters little.

I predict that the President's ratings will not move above 50% until long after he is out of office regardless of what events take place. These days we are so bombarded by negative media information that people tend to forget what is really happening around them. The 40% is Bush's partisan base. It includes no democrats, no paleo-conservatives and half the independents who don't pay attention. It's hard to imagine democrats and paleo-cons ever supporting Bush.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bill Rehnquist RIP II

Another interesting article reflecting the Chief Justice's character:

Rehnquist: Big day for law student
By Michael ManningSpecial for The RepublicSept. 18, 2005 12:00 AM

During the next several months much will be written about Chief Justice William Rehnquist's legacy and his impact on 20th-century jurisprudence. Although I will always respect the man and the jurist, I do not really have the studied credentials to opine about his contributions to our Constitution and our Supreme Court.I am a work-a-day trial lawyer in Phoenix, but, I had a very human and humorous experience with then-Associate Justice Rehnquist just before I became a lawyer. That experience demonstrated a great deal about the man that is not evident from the current accolades concerning his unique intellect.I met Associate Justice Rehnquist in the spring of 1977. While he had only been on the Court since 1971, his immediate impact on our country and its Constitution occupied dozens of pages in our Constitutional Law casebook.

I was a third-year law student at a wonderful, but relatively obscure, law school in the really obscure capital city of Kansas: Topeka.I had written a letter to Justice Rehnquist inviting him to write a scholarly piece for our Law Journal. I knew getting him to write that article for our Law Journal would be a long shot.

My professors and student colleagues laughed at my chances to even get him to respond to the invitation.One street-wise faculty member quipped that Vegas had 1 million-to-1 odds of Justice Rehnquist accepting the invitation. After all, the professor reminded me that I was just a student writing from a law school in what he referred to as "Ta-puke-a," Kansas.I lengthened those Vegas odds when I asked Associate Justice Rehnquist to deliver the paper personally in a presentation to our law students, faculty and members of the Kansas judiciary.Topeka is only exciting in the spring during tornado warnings.

Still, early that spring, I was handed an envelope from Justice Rehnquist's chambers.I assumed the envelope was the widely predicted rejection; Vegas oddsmakers are rarely wrong.I prayed that his rejection of my invitation would be both polite and would avoid expressing surprise that "Ta-puke-a" had a law school.I was speechless when I read his brief response.Associate Justice Rehnquist said he would be delighted to prepare an article for our Law Journal. And, if we could pay for a coach seat to Topeka and a room for a couple of nights, he actually would deliver that paper in person and visit with the school's students and faculty thereafter!As editor in chief of that Law Journal, I appointed myself the justice's chauffeur for his three days in Topeka. I borrowed a fancy new Cadillac from a local lawyer for whom I had clerked before I was selected for the Law Journal.

Topeka's stagecoach depot of 1877 was far bigger and far busier than its airport of 1977. Each of its two-a-day, propeller-driven, commuter flights from Kansas City was a happening.On the day Associate Justice Rehnquist was to arrive, I put on the only suit I owned and waited nervously for the three-piece, Brooks Brothers-suited dignitary to hand me his baggage and to lead him to the back seat of his chauffeured sedan.Nearly all of the flight's few passengers were past me now as I stood near the gate. But, there was no impressive personage headed my away.My excitement and nervousness turned to agitation that the justice may have missed his connection in Kansas City.As I considered approaching the man serving as that flight's pilot, baggage handler, flight attendant and ticket agent to report my missing dignitary, I noticed in my peripheral vision a man who appeared to be waiting for someone as well. He wore a wrinkled and tattered trench coat like TV's favorite detective, Lt. Columbo.He also wore Hush Puppy desert boots and an old fishing hat with its brim pulled down all around."God, I hope Justice Rehnquist does not think that this man is one of our professors," I thought to myself.The man kept nudging nearer to me and making inane small talk I ignored. As the last passenger passed me by, the rumpled man said, "You are dressed like you are waiting for someone important."I was dismissive and abrupt to the rumpled old stranger (he was then about my age now) as I stared straight ahead and said, "Please leave me alone; I am here to pick up a member of the United States Supreme Court."He said, "What a coincidence! I am a member of the Supreme Court as well. How about giving me a ride into town, too?" He laughed and introduced himself as "Bill Rehnquist." I could only manage a mumbled combination apology and introduction as well as a sweaty-palmed handshake. He jumped into the front seat with me and promised he had a suit for the speech and that he would not wear his desert boots.By his sixth year on the court, Associate Justice Rehnquist was the man who every liberal law student loved to hate.But, by the end of my Constitutional Law semester, I had developed a grudging admiration for his "Lone Ranger" dissents, his intellect, his intellectual honesty and his persuasive writing style.

In that airport and on our way to the law school, he demonstrated a sense of humor, a charm and a charisma that most people believed was incompatible with his rock-ribbed conservatism.I spent three days hosting his visit. He enthralled faculty, students and members of the Kansas judiciary.

One evening's episode really demonstrated his character and sense of humor. After a faculty reception at the law school, I was driving Justice Rehnquist back to his room at the nicest hotel in Topeka, our new Holiday Inn. As we neared the hotel, he asked me where he could go for a walk and have a "nightcap."Kansas still was a "dry" state in 1977 - liquor by the drink was outlawed. So, I told him that I would take him to a nice leathery, country-clublike tavern. He said that was not what he was interested in; he just wanted to walk a bit by himself, stretch his bad back and drop into a place for a beer.I pointed out a couple of places near the Holiday Inn but warned the justice that they were just beer "joints," with pickled eggs and sausages marinating in large jars that sat on the top of the old oak bar. He said that was just the type of place he was looking for.

I left the justice at the hotel about 8 that night and picked him up the next morning. He told me how much he enjoyed his walk and that he had three or four beers at one of the "joints." He said he sat at the bar, talked and told jokes late into the night with a number of the bar's regulars. Just before he left to return to the hotel, he asked one of his bar mates, Pete, what he did for a living.Pete told him that he drove a big-rig truck for Pacific International Express. In turn, Pete asked his new buddy "Bill" what he did for a living. Bill said to Pete and his bar gang, "Well, I work in Washington, D.C. I am a member of the U.S. Supreme Court."Pete and the gang laughed heartily at Bill's joke or apparent fantasy, slapped him on the back and offered to buy him one more beer "for the road back to Washington and the Supreme Court."Justice Rehnquist laughed with me about his time with Pete and the boys at the bar that next morning but kept saying how much he genuinely enjoyed sitting down and talking to middle Americans who had absolutely no idea who he was.

I wish I could have witnessed that evening with Pete, Bill and the boys at the bar. Later that day, I did witness Justice Rehnquist discuss the great constitutional issues of the day.Of course, his intellect was awesome, entertaining and enlightening. All of us expected we would have that reaction.

But, this great man's charm, sense of humor and his delight in spending the night with Pete and the boys of the bar, coupled with his unique intellect and judicial genius, exalt Chief Justice Rehnquist to distinction. Pete and the boys had no idea that night in Topeka that they were sharing beers and laughs with a man who historians will certainly conclude was one of our country's most influential jurists.

Michael Manning is a prominent Phoenix attorney who has successfully litigated cases against financier Charles H. Keating and former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington.

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

Excellent. Perhaps we will not realize how much we miss him until the Court starts acting without him.

9:50 PM, September 19, 2005  

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Wednesday, September 07, 2005

William Rehnquist, R.I.P.

Interesting details about the Chief Justice's funeral -- what a wonderful and dignified man:

At the request of Rehnquist's family, television cameras were barred from the cathedral. Nor was there any live audio coverage.

Upon arrival at St. Matthew's, the casket was carried by eight of Rehnquist's former law clerks past the eight Supreme Court justices who served with him.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the archbishop of Washington, welcomed those attending the funeral and praised Rehnquist as a "loving father and husband, an outstanding legal scholar, a tireless champion of life and a true lover of the law," AP reported. McCarrick said the chief justice was "in every sense, a great American."

Before the funeral, the body of Rehnquist, who died Saturday night at age 80 from thyroid cancer, lay in repose in the Great Hall of the Supreme Court for two days, as thousands of people filed by his coffin to pay their last respects. Among the last to view the coffin there were members of the U.S. Senate, who praised Rehnquist's tenure on the Supreme Court and his handling of the court's business and personalities.

"He kept the members of the court together, despite their many differences," said Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio).

Moments before the coffin was removed from the Supreme Court, ministers from the Northern Virginia church Rehnquist attended, the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in McLean, bowed their heads in prayer. "We thank you for the role that he has played in our lives, his influence among us," said Rev. Jeffrey M. Wilson, associate pastor of the church.

Although Rehnquist was a Lutheran, his family requested that the funeral service be held at St. Matthew's because there was more space in the Roman Catholic church, which seats about 2,000.

Also offering eulogies at St. Matthew's today were two of Rehnquist's children -- James Rehnquist and Nancy Spears -- and his granddaughter, Natalie Lynch.
Rehnquist is entitled to burial at Arlington National Cemetery because of both his position on the Supreme Court and his service in the U.S. Army during World War II. His burial was the last of 29 scheduled today at the cemetery, whose Web site listed him simply as an Army sergeant. "William H. Rehnquist, Sgt., USA," the funeral schedule said.

Rehnquist's wife, Natalie Cornell Rehnquist, who died in 1991 of ovarian cancer at age 62, is buried at Arlington National. The tombstone over her grave also lists her husband's name, with open spaces for the date of his death and the last year of his tenure as chief justice.

May he rest in peace.