Common Sense Conservatism http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael by Jeff Michael Thu, 04 Jan 2007 02:51:55 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.5 en ACLU Silence http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2007/01/03/12 http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2007/01/03/12#comments Thu, 04 Jan 2007 02:50:14 +0000 Jeff Race Relations Criminal Justice Law Judicial Branch Personal Rights http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2007/01/03/12 The silence displayed by the North Carolina American Civil Liberties Union toward the Duke lacrosse case is deafening. It is amazing that the ACLU, a clever, intelligent, if misleading organization aimed at furthering the liberal agenda through judicial activism, would be dim-witted and arrogant enough to seriously believe that no one would notice their detachment from a case concerning due process that happens to have become a national phenomenon. Does it fit their liberalistic political agenda? Absolutely not. However, it gives conservatives who have been attacking the association a decisive advantage, and, all moral issues aside, that alone is a key reason as to why they should have latched on to the case. Their “wall-of-silence” all but proves that the ACLU is not bringing cases to court for the common good.

At first, this was a “perfect case” for the liberals: a poor, black “exotic dancer” raped by three rich, rowdy, white boys. It was the perfect case to associate with liberal ideology. However, now that it has exploded, no one wants to touch it. The ACLU has no interest in helping these three young men. The case involves a Democratic District Attorney elected by a Democratic African-American faction in the Democratic town of Durham overshadowed by what they picture as the rich, pompous, elitist, and arrogant Caucasians of Duke University. The ACLU, in voicing its concern about District Attorney Michael Nifong, might contribute to the bad reputation of a Democrat. To them, that is unacceptable.

Certainly the idea of standing up for rich, white males is going to be unpopular in a liberal organization such as the ACLU. However, if they are as evenhanded and non-discriminatory about race as they say, then they should have rushed to protect these young men the moment abuse of their civil rights and lack of due process hit the press. At the very least they needed to make a statement condemning Nifong for his abuse of race polarization and prosecutorial immunity for political motivations. For the ACLU, with such a stature, to not make a statement relevant to a case concerning civil rights abuse is a public relations disaster waiting to happen. One would have thought that at least a single intelligent lawyer in the organization would have recognized this and, at best, spoke up and convinced the group to make a statement, or, at the very worst, made an arbitrary statement to defend the legitimacy of the faction.

If the ACLU wishes to leave itself a shred of dignity after their lack of response in this case, then one rule they must stick by is the idea of swapping races. Imagine a white woman accusing three black males of raping her. She proceeds to tell a dozen different stories involving as little as two and as many as twenty rapists. The woman makes blatantly false statements, asserting that one of her accused rapists had a mustache (pictures confirm his denial of ever having a mustache), suggesting that a man over twenty miles away was at the party, and accusing a male who has heaps of exculpatory evidence. Nine months later she “is no longer certain” that there was penile penetration. The District Attorney proceeds to prosecute the case on this white woman’s word. With that mental image, can anyone seriously believe that the ACLU would have reacted the same? Would you suggest, with a straight face, that they would have made no comment on the issue? They would have jumped on the bandwagon the moment the DNA tests came back negative. That is the true racism at hand here.

This all boils down to a considerable dilemma. They can either sit back and make no statement, as if nothing significant has happened, in order to protect liberal ideals, or they can do what is morally right and “defend the guarantees of individual liberty found in the North Carolina Constitution and the US Constitution … equal protection under law for all people, the right to privacy, the right to due process of law, and the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure” as their mission statement says they supposedly do.

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Happy New Year! http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2007/01/01/9 http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2007/01/01/9#comments Mon, 01 Jan 2007 11:00:50 +0000 Jeff Uncategorized http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/18/9 Happy New Year! Once again, my post will be postponed until tomorrow.

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Not So Pro-choice http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/28/11 http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/28/11#comments Thu, 28 Dec 2006 19:03:01 +0000 Jeff Politics Personal Rights New York http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/28/11 I apologize for the delay; my DSL service was down all of yesterday and most of today.
Recently, New York City decided to ban trans-fat in all its restaraunts. The idea is to fight obesity; the growing American “epidemic.” I’d hardly call obesity an epidemic when the measurements of it are flawed: using a Body Mass Index to measure children and adults who are obese completely ignores the intricacies of the body and personal health. Not everyone is the same, a certain body mass index will not neccessarily measure obesity correctly.

So this slightly called for, yet ridiculous, ordinance has put a squeeze on some chefs who need certain greases and oils to make their food taste…good. God forbid.

As a New Jersian who commutes to the city relatively often for meals, this upsets me. I am essentially being punished. As a fit, healthy human being (to go by their not-so-accurate scale, I have a BMI of 19.5, which is good), I want to indulge sometimes. And if that means eating some trans-fat, then by god give me the trans-fat. It is insulting to me to think that I, a perfectly healthy man, cannot control my own diet.  Get the hell out of my dietary decisions.

This is intrusive politics at its best. The government has no place making decisions about what types of food I eat. If someone wants to eat themselves to death, go for it. It would be one thing if there was a law forcing restaraunts to warn customers about trans-fat in a certain dish. I would be all for that (and with that, the market would end up taking care of itself in a much more efficient way. People don’t like to see the word “fat” anywhere, let alone on their menu. The healthier restaraunts would not scare away any such customers).

The reason I am bringing this up is because recently McDonalds announced that it is attempting to make its fries healthier while keeping the taste. Let’s be realistic: No way in hell is the taste going to be the same. It is a bit like the latest restrictions that pseudo ephedrine be sold at the counter (Pseudo ephedrine is a major ingredient in both Crystal Meth and cold and sinus medicines, such as Sudafed). Most cold and sinus medications now have an inferior drug (known as P-E) in them that do not work as well. Why? Just so that they could be sold on the shelves. Everyone is punished because a few people abuse it. Quite frankly, it is insulting.

So we can fool ourselves and say, “It’s just a corporation, who cares?”

Or we can realize that the reason those “Mom and Pop” stores are sometimes successful is because of their recipe. With this ban you are driving out famed corporate formulas and secret homemade recipes.

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Merry Christmas! http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/25/6 http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/25/6#comments Mon, 25 Dec 2006 11:00:31 +0000 Jeff Religion http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/25/6 Merry Christmas, everyone! My Monday post will be postponed until tomorrow.

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Lacrosse Charges Dropped http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/22/8 http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/22/8#comments Fri, 22 Dec 2006 11:26:14 +0000 Jeff Uncategorized Race Relations Criminal Justice Law Judicial Branch http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/26/8 Ah, the Duke Lacrosse “Scandal.” Everyone has heard of it. At the first mention of it in the media, the verdict was immediately decided as guilty. No reasonable person could possibly believe that these three rich, white, lazy, privileged “hooligans” were innocent of raping this hard-working, black, single-mother navy veteran. The prosecutor (up for election) made public statements about the case and gave over fifty interviews, completely ignoring legal and ethical standards. The media pressured Duke University into the unprecedented action of canceling rest of the Lacrosse season. The head coach resigned. Eighty-eight Duke professors signed a statement, outraged at the white privilege these students were showing and demanding that a teammate either confess to the crime or turn his buddies in.

Then the evidence, or lack-thereof, came crashing down upon their racial justice parade. The prosecutor, Mike Nifong, promised DNA evidence. He said that they would finally find out who it was that raped the woman.

Then the tests came back negative.

Nifong went on a rampage, saying that he would prosecute the case “the old-fashioned way.” Not all old-fashioned things are good, Mike. Compare HDTV against old television sets. I daresay HDTV is a step above black and white. That’s what genetics does for us: it gives us an infinitely clearer picture of who commits the crime, as well as who doesn’t.

Nifong indicted two players before the primary election, and one afterwards.

Discussed also were the racial slurs thrown at the girl. Apparently they called her a “nigger.” Obviously this is racially offensive and appalling…until you realize she called them “little dick white boys.” I find it hard to think of a man that wouldn’t react with a word like that after being called a “little dick white boy.” I suppose the media should report this?

I could go on and on about the ridiculousness and controversies of the case, (including the latest conspiracy between Nifong and Meehan to exclude DNA discovered in their rape kit tests of the accuser from their report). Rather, I’d like to note that justice is slowly getting closer to reality.

That it took about nine months to finally drop the rape charges is a travesty. But it isn’t over yet.

Somehow Nifong intends to proceed with charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. The rape charges were dropped only after an investigator in the case talked to the victim—who said that she would not be able to testify for sure that she was raped. Nifong still holds no evidence but that of a testimony by a woman who has changed her story countless times, falsely accused three men of gang-raping her in the past, and the recent, provable lie she has told (She said she had not had sex in the past week, however the DNA of other men was found in her vaginal and anal areas).

The North Carolina Attorney General and Bar show no interest, which gives conservatives a tough dilemma: Should Attorney General Alberto Gonzales step in? Obviously these three boys must be protected from this case being tried (especially in Durham, who has elected this DA) and Nifong needs to be punished. This, of course, would defy our calls for a small federal government. I am no fan of an expansive government intervening in state affairs.

When it comes down to it, the government has the ability to save these three students. It might as well use it while it has that power.

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Does the Senate Divide Matter? http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/21/7 http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/21/7#comments Thu, 21 Dec 2006 11:00:18 +0000 Jeff Politics Republicans Democrats Senate Congress http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/21/7 Well…no.

People everywhere are making a big deal over the recent brain hemorrhage of Tim Johnson (D-SD). Not because they are worried over his health and genuinely hope he gets better. No, the focus is on the political situation…except there is no political situation.

Should he die, the Democrats will lose their weak 51-49 majority in the Senate, and with that they concede control of the Senate to the Republicans. This changes just a few things:

  • Republicans set the agenda.
  • Democrats don’t.

While at first glance that seems drastic, it isn’t. What happens if Republicans hold the Senate? They ratify treaties signed by President Bush. That’s it. Nothing else will get done. Everything else has to pass through the House, which obviously is significantly controlled by the Democrats. Any way you put it, with Bush holding veto power, the Democrats and Republicans are going to have to cooperate. A one man shift of power in the Senate is not going to change that.

Would someone please tell me what Democrats plan to do? What important legislative acts could they possibly pass through in the current political situation? A bare majority lead in the Senate and a significant yet unimportant majority in the House are worthless with the executive branch as the opposite party. This also discounts the fact that Lieberman doesn’t really belong to either party, he is truly the least partisan Senator there. He will not blindly pass Democratic legislation.

The current situation is a public mandate to do nothing. The public is tired of politics and would love nothing more than for it to go away for awhile. Republicans need to get their act together while Democrats need to not be so giddy. It really isn’t very exciting or interesting. At the most the Republican party might need to worry that President Bush may strike a deal to raise taxes. However, there is no way that Bush would permit any drastic changes to the current tax levels.
I would say there will be a huge change in the way President Bush selects judicial nominees…but not really. Democrats tended to filibuster anyone they didn’t approve of anyway. And therein lies the beauty of politics: 41 Senators can essentially veto the other 59. No one bothers to force the Senators to speak for days at a time as they once did. There is no incentive to not filibuster.

That being said, expect pundits to be overemphasizing the possible Republican majority. It’s good television.

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The War on Christmas http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/18/5 http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/18/5#comments Mon, 18 Dec 2006 11:00:30 +0000 Jeff Politics Religion Judicial Branch http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/18/5 It is Christmas time again, Wall Street’s favorite time of the year. A retail and wholesale business owner’s dream, Christmas can save the businesses struggling the most from economic disaster. Nevertheless, we continually refuse to mention its name in a cold-hearted attempt “not to offend.”

Some of this stems from an honest attempt at acceptance and diversity. But most of it is either economic interest or a general attack on Christianity itself. The religious symbols of the holiday are banned from the eyes of the public because a few eyes were offended. It has gotten to the point that for some teachers and public officials, the thought of mentioning the word Christmas brings images of lawsuits.

Jewish Rabbi Daniel Lapin writes:

Secular fundamentalism has successfully injected into American culture the notion that the word “Christmas” is deeply offensive. I think we Jews may be making a grievous mistake in allowing them to banish Christmas without challenge.

To be fair, the tides are beginning to turn. But only in the slightest. In a victory for common sense, Target now says “Merry Christmas” in its advertising campaigns.

But it is not necessarily correct to fault the retailers for this problem. While they do not like to offend for purely economic reasons, activist groups, namely the American Civil Liberties Union, take this political correctness to further their agenda. Ironically, it is impossible to figure out just what exact “civil liberty” they are protecting, proving that they are not there for the common good but to promote the liberal agenda. Fine by me—if you don’t make yourself out to be a gallant defender of American rights.

However, I’ll save that topic for another time. The ACLU has, on numerous occasions, attacked Christmas at its core. These activist lawyers will drive by a Menorah, then see a Nativity scene and immediately prepare a lawsuit. Discarding the thought of public discourse, they use the legal system to get their way.

Recently they took up charges against a school district of a small town in Tennessee. Ironically, they plan to censure the school’s Christmas songs and acts. That’s ironic in the sense that censuring a holiday that 96% of the American public celebrates hardly seems like a defense of our civil liberties.

Jay Sekulow, of the American Center for Law and Justice, writes:

Let me ask you—when did a children’s Christmas program become “an illegal activity”? When did the nativity story and Christmas songs become unconstitutional? This is the outrageous and dangerous charge the ACLU has leveled against a school district in Tennessee. A children’s Christmas program has been deemed to be an “illegal act” because of the ACLU.

Apparently these students have “suffered irreparable damage” from the Christmas carols. You know what is funny? I have heard and seen many songs and acts about Hanukkah and I have yet to suffer “irreparable damage.” But maybe I am just thick skinned.

All of this, of course, puts Jews in bad light. Recently a rabbi threatened to sue over the lack of a menorah in the Seattle-Tacoma Airport. In a clever political tactic, rather than add a menorah, the airport managers removed the Christmas trees. The rabbi, Elazar Bogomilsky, is now the Grinch who stole Christmas.

Eventually his senses got the better of him and said he would not sue. The trees were brought back to the airport. However, it is a said day when airport administrators should have to use political tactics to protect themselves from being a tool of a minority religion, or any religion in that matter. My point here is not that the menorah should not have been displayed. Rather, he never asked politely. He never thought of going to the airport and asking, “Hey, can I put this menorah up?”

The sad part is, he would have won. Liberals have an advantage in the courts system in that liberal justices find no problem with judicial activism while conservative justices tend to prefer judicial restraint. The combination of activist lawyers and activist judges is deadly and a true threat to democracy.

And religion.

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Hello Everyone http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/13/3 http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/13/3#comments Wed, 13 Dec 2006 22:54:34 +0000 Jeff Uncategorized http://conservablogs.com/JeffMichael/2006/12/13/3 It’s been more than a year since I have kept a blog; hopefully I can bring interesting perspectives to news and politics that make you think about your position. I am not here to have a blog centered around thoughtless rantings. There are too many blogs out there run on pure emotion which have no substance and no thought. I will not be writing on what the truth ought to be; I will be writing on what the truth is.

I plan to update on Mondays, Thursdays, and an occasional Saturday. This enables me to write posts with thought put into them and to have a life at the same time. (Please note that it is the holiday season and I may be on an erratic schedule because of that)

With that said, welcome, and expect my first post this Monday.

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