Inhuman Swill : Politics : Page 9
            

It makes me sick to my stomach to read the words of America's brilliant and articulate founding fathers and to contemplate the treatises our newest King George would write were he ever to take up quill and ink for more than declaring war on feckless dictatorships, signing away American civil liberties, and doodling on the Constitution during Cabinet meetings.

Still, it's important to understand how far we've fallen as a nation, so let me be the umpty-umpth patriot to link to...

What Would the Founders Say? by Hume's Ghost

...and ask aloud why these comparisons aren't being made on the front page of the New York Times and all the rest of the toothless Fourth Estate.

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Science vs. Norse mythology

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Staggering news from Utah (as reported in the New York Times):

In a defeat for critics of Darwin, the Utah House of Representatives on Monday voted down a bill intended to challenge the theory of evolution in high school science classes.  [full article]
Actually, not so staggering if you've been following Utah politics closely, but heartening nonetheless. The last time I checked in, the vote was looking close. Chalk a big one up for the Enlightenment.
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WWKD?

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Apropos of my recent post about the silly "natural family" resolution adopted by the city council of Kanab, UT, I have news of a new web site:

http://www.whatsupwithkanab.com

Check it out, click around, and sign their petition if you feel like it.

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Naturally stupid

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The city council of Kanab, Utah, has unanimously endorsed a non-binding "Natural Family Resolution" that promotes the claustrophobic values of '50s America. You know, that nice women-belong-in-the-kitchen morality that had grown across the nation like kudzu on a railway trestle, smothering everything underneath, and which was soon to be sprayed with a liberal dose of '60s-era Weed-B-Gone. Everywhere but rural Utah, that is. Yeah.

Here's the Salt Lake Tribune:

Carol Sullivan voted for the resolution - pitched by the conservative Sutherland Institute - last week when it was introduced by Mayor Kim Lawson. But the council's sole woman did so with some reservations.

"I saw no reason to vote against it because it is nonbinding," she said, noting that no one spoke out against it. "But I did wonder why it should be a government issue."

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The day I dread in Feb

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Happy President's Day (2004) from Loudon Wainwright III. If wishes were fishes...

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Necessary insignificance

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Hendrik Hertzberg's "Talk of the Town" piece on Harriet Miers is well worth reading in full. It concludes:

Sinking Miers's nomination would give Democrats the satisfaction of dealing Bush a defeat while at the same time striking a blow against the intellectual degradation of the Court. But Bush's next nominee would almost certainly be both more distinguished and more provably, fearsomely right wing. To fracture the formula of a founding father of modern conservatism, mediocrity in the defense of moderation isn't much of a vice. And excellence in the pursuit of extremism is certainly no virtue.

However the Miers nomination turns out, the fact that Bush submitted it is an unflattering reflection on his character. In the Federalist No. 76, Alexander Hamilton writes that the Senate's role in confirming appointments is designed to make the President

both ashamed and afraid to bring forward, for the most distinguished or lucrative stations, candidates who had no other merit than that of coming from the same State to which he particularly belonged, or of being in some way or other personally allied to him, or of possessing the necessary insignificance and pliancy to render them the obsequious instruments of his pleasure.
Hamilton was no naïf about human nature, but in the present case his formula seems to have underestimated the Presidential capacity for both shamelessness and—well, courage isn't quite the right word. Arrogance.  [full article]
That's a mild word for it.
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Keep your friends close

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Laura and I, like many of you, are listening to the president nominate his White House counsel, who has never served as a judge, to the Supreme Court, and we are feeling angry and nauseated.

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I just received email from John Kerry which said, in part:

Monday, I shared with you my Brown University speech setting out what needs to be said and done at this critical moment for our country. Today, in that same spirit of clarity and conviction, I want to tell you how I will vote on the nomination of John Roberts to serve as Chief Justice of the United States.

I will vote against this vitally important nomination.

Excuse me, Senator? It's vitally important yet you're voting against it?

Okay, yes, I know what you're trying to say, but clarity, please! You sound like a Saturday Night Live parody of yourself.

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The police were inspecting bags at the 30th Avenue subway station in Astoria this morning. Little table set up off to one side of the turnstiles. Maybe this makes some people feel safe (particularly people who don't ride the subways), but it only makes me feel as if there's danger near, and as if I myself am under suspicion. And I resent feeling that way in America when I'm just going about my own business and doing nothing wrong.

As I walked past the makeshift inspection station, heart in my throat, trying to look casual, I rehearsed in my mind what I would say if the police asked to look in my somewhat lumpy shoulder bag (which, by the way, contains nothing more incendiary than books, magazines, and a bunch of mix discs from last night's CDMOM):

"I'm sorry, officer, but I'd rather walk."

I didn't have to, but I don't like the fact that I might have had to. And for what? For the sake of discouraging some theoretical bomb-carrying terrorist from boarding the train at 30th Avenue and forcing him to walk two blocks to Broadway instead? Ooooh, I feel so much safer now, and it only cost a few pennies in civil liberties.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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