Carnival of Liberty XVIII
We have lots of posts to cover so let me get straight to it. I’ll start with my two submissions to the carnival: So She is the President’s Friend and A New Beginning for Iraq. The first post is about Harriet Miers’ personal friendship with the president and how this relationship in my mind would have been a conflict of interests or at the very least, appear to be a conflict of interests. I know it’s a moot point now since Miers withdrew her nomination and the president has made a new selection but I think my point isn’t moot in the grand scheme of things as cronyism becomes increasingly common in politics.
My second post concerns the passage of the new Iraqi Constitution. This momentous historical event got very little play in the main stream media but deserves our attention.
My wife Aimee makes her Carnival of Liberty debut with her post: Sorry Kids, Halloween is Evil. Aimee is a little irritated about all the political correctness surrounding the various holidays for fear that someone might be offended.
Aimee writes: “Since when did parents become so uptight when it comes to celebrating holidays at school?”
Child Protective Services helps children who are abused or neglected, but what happens when an innocent person is accused of harming his or her own children? Soldier Angel- Holly Aho submits her very personal gut-wrenching post about her experiences with CPS in a post she calls: This Drives Me Nuts - "I Won't Let It Happen To Me..."
Ze'ev of Israel Perspectives has more questions than answers in a post titled: The True Crime of Collective Punishment. The underlying question: Why doesn’t the global community care about the plight of 20,000 Jews who are attacked on a daily basis in Israel for no other reason than the fact that they are Jewish? Why are all the human rights organizations MIA when in comes to the human suffering of the Israelis? These are very good questions. They seem to have enough time to investigate whether or not Saddam Hussein is treated with dignity and whether or not he receives a fair trail. Could it be that these organizations are anti-Semitic and anti-American? Surely not.
Speaking of Saddam Hussein and his trial, Shiloh of Shiloh Musings is also disgusted with all the hand wringing about the ‘fairness’ and ‘justness’ of the Baghdad Butcher’s trial lamenting that It isn't fair. I don't understand. I’m sure whatever treatment Saddam receives will be infinitely more fair, more just, and more humane than any of the horrors that he subjected his own people to. No punishment could be severe enough for the innumerable crimes he inflicted (allegedly, of course) against humanity.
Mr. Completely submits 2 posts this week. The first post, Brazilian Gun Owners Win BIG! Mr. Completely does a masterful job fisking an AP story published by the BBC which tries to explain why Brazilian voters would actually vote overwhelmingly against an outright ban on gun ownership (no hanging chads here). “Gee, now that Brazil has restored democracy in their country, you'd think they'd be running to the polls to vote away their civil rights!”
His next submission Patty Murray Threatens to do her job... Mr. Completely hopes the congresswoman makes good on her threat: "We on the Appropriations Committee will take a "long, hard look" at any projects in your state."
Mark A. Rayner of The Skwib ventured into the Smithsonian basement and found The Lost PowerPoint Slides (Statue of Liberty Edition). Yes, they had PowerPoint way back in 1867. A world without Microsoft PowerPoint is not a world I would like to live in! How else could French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi make an effective presentation of his proposed sculpture?
Barak of IRIS demonstrates how much subtle (or not so subtle) bias in a small article can color the reader’s perception of the news in his post AP Sets Record for Most Bias Crammed into Smallest Space.
Jim Waddell of The Watchful Investor submits The Land of the Free a very informative post about the growing prison population in the U.S. and proposes positive, common sense solutions:
Clearly, some criminals, especially violent criminals, need to be imprisoned in order to isolate them and prevent further harm to others.Doug Mataconis of Below the Beltway presents two posts to the carnival. The first post, A Victory For Liberty, Doug applauds the two federal court judges for applying the Fourth Amendment and restricting the FBI’s legal authority to use GPS and cellular technology to track individuals without a warrant or probable cause (as with all other searches).
But I wonder, does that make any sense for non-violent criminals? What if we had a justice system that focused on compensating the victims of the crime?
Of course, such a system would force us to figure out who the victims really were. I suspect, for some crimes as defined today, we would find none. We may even have to repeal some laws (just let me keep dreaming, OK?).
Doug’s second post, A Libertarian Response To Pandemics, is a response to fellow LLP member Jacqueline Passey who posed the original question in her post on the topic of the Bird Flu.
Other libertarians may disagree, but I consider government to be an essential actor in protecting citizens from communicable diseases just as it is an essential actor in protecting citizens from foreign enemies.This is a very difficult question but I tend to agree with Doug on this one. Your right to travel freely ends when you are knowingly carrying a contagous disease that can kill my family or me. I base this on the philosophy that ‘your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.’
Dan Melson of Searchlight Crusade submits his analysis of the State of The Housing Market.
If you keep your head about you, the bargains are much better now than they were only a few months ago…The market in general will likely continue to deflate until at least after Christmas, but if you find a good bargain it's hard to find a wrong time. San Diego seems to be a leading indicator for most of the country, and every commuting area is different, so consult someone in your area, but be prepared to dump them if they sound like a cheerleader...This person is dangerous enough in normal times. Right now they're a recipe for disaster.
I don’t know a great deal about the housing market but Dan’s advice seems pretty sound to me.
Perry Eidelbus of Eidelblog has identified Hilary Clinton as The Queen of the State Worshipers. Why? Because Hilary Clinton seems to believe the state does a better job than the private sector at developing new innovations that make our lives better. In this case, Clinton wants to punish ‘BIG OIL’ for making ‘obscene’ profits. Because profits are eeeeeeeeevil, especially profits made from dirty, smelly, slippery, oil, the state must do what is necessary to reduce these profits with tax hikes. A frustrated Perry explains why this government intervention is folly:
Hilary Clinton might have some competition for the title of ‘Queen of the State Worshipers’. Her competition: Claudia Shaw, Florida resident who thinks it is the government’s job to make sure her gas tank is full. Tom Hanna of Tom’s Rants would like to ask Claudia: Whose job is it to plan to put gas in your car’s tank? Why stop there. Maybe the government should provide the car and the fuel for Claudia. She can’t be expected to provide these ‘needs’ for herself!
When will state-worshippers like Hillary and Paul Krugman, those who believe that businesses don't pay enough taxes, realize that businesses do not pay any taxes? Business' customers pay the taxes, because as anyone who has managed a business can tell you, a business passes its taxes on to its customers.
Hillary is again advocating the redistribution of wealth, just in a different form: taking from those who produce things of great value and giving to those who do not produce as much. If oil companies' "excessive profits" are taxed heavily, that in itself will likely not produce higher prices at the pump…but it will hurt consumers in two ways by preventing their energy costs from going down…[and] will subsidize scientists' inefficient programs and studies on wind, solar and hydroelectric energy…
Obi-Wan of Forward Biased believes he has the solution to stop to this notion of a ‘living, breathing’ constitution in his post: Do Words Actually Have Meanings? His solution: supporting The Fair Construction Amendment. Obi-Wan explains:
We could devise a constitutional amendment, using the framers' very own words, that instructs the Supreme Court to treat its task as the framers themselves said it should and expected it would: as interpretation of an historical document, not husbandry of a "growing, evolving" one.Eric Cowperthwaite at Eric’s Grumbles Before the Grave also likes the idea of The Fair Construction Amendment but believes that such a measure is unlikely to pass as he states in his post: Reforming the Imperial Judiciary. According to Eric, the way to reign in the judiciary is as follows:
Like the GOP scheme to "restore the judiciary", this is not going to work, sadly. What needs to happen is two-fold. A Constitutional Amendment is clearly needed to put in place appropriate checks and balances to reign in the power of the judiciary. Once that occurs, the American people will need to become educated on the true ideals and philosophies underlying our Constitution. I consider both of these things unlikely, but possible.T.F. Stern of T.F. Stern’s Rantings also weighs in with his post: The Constitution as a Living Document? Stern wants his readers to consider a couple of questions:
Have we accepted it [The U.S. Constitution] as a foundation for government, one that is solid and worth keeping or have we altered our language to such an extent as to render it meaningless? What is meant when I hear that the Constitution is a living breathing document, something which serves only as a guide, not written in stone?My answer to Stern’s first question is that the English language has naturally evolved a great deal over the 218 years that have passed since the convention of the states (Try reading literature from that era and you’ll see what I mean). Along with this natural evolution, certain special interests have twisted the accepted meanings of certain words to achieve certain pollitical goals. This is why we need judges who understand the original meaning of the language at the time the words were written. My answer to Stern’s second question: those who say the Constitution is ‘living and breathing’ either do not understand the scientific definitions for ‘living’ and ‘breathing’ or they simply do not like the answer the Constitution provides even after twisting the words and their meanings to their liguistic limits.
Like many of us in the Life, Liberty, and Property community, Richard G. Combs at Combs Spouts Off is very happy to say Bye bye, Harriet for a variety of reasons (qualifications, cronyism, and lack of knowledge of her judicial philosophy). Richard’s main reason for not wanting Harriet Miers to be seated on the Supreme Court has mostly to do with a transcript of a speech that was released to the press just before she announced her withdrawal. Miers delivered the speech in 1993 to the Executive Women of Dallas.
Combs spouts off his objections:
Miers spent much of the speech arguing that, in a variety of matters from school funding to low-income housing, the courts were "forced" to step in and legislate from the bench because elected officials didn't make "decisions that really need to be made" that were "hard and unpopular.The importance of the makeup of the judiciary and the power the courts have amassed cannot be overstated. The disastrous results of the Kelo decision continue to threaten private property in America. ‘Mover’ Mike Landfair reports more eminent domain abuse in his post: Eminent Domain in Portland, Oregon.
Lest Darkness Fall explains the misconception many people have about the Libertarian opposition to the War on (Some) Drugs in a post titled: Libertarian Myth #1.
Kerwin Brown of Expressions of Liberty submits his thoughts on Rosa Parks in his post: Rosa Parks And A Just Act Of Defiance VS. The Unjust Rebellion Against Prohibition.
The MaryHunter of TMH’s Bacon Bits writes about the U.S./Mexican border and how ranchers are doing the job the federal government will not do in a post titled: Ranchers Defending Our Border.
Our friendly neighborhood Mr. Ogre of Ogre’s Politics and Views gives us a heads-up on how the U.N. is dealing with Syria in his post Syria Running Scared. It’s more of the same we’ve come to expect from the U.N.
And finally, last but certainly not least, one of my favorite bloggers Brad Warbainy The Unrepentant Individual submits his contribution to the Carnival of Liberty: Peggy Noonan Misses the Point.
On that note, I pass the torch back to Brad, host of the first Carnival of Liberty, for the next carnival: Carnival of Liberty XIX.
The Carnival of Liberty, along with other quality carnivals, can be found each week on NZ Bear’s UberCarnival Page.