Duty and Honor

Via Politicons:

A lone Tomb Sentinel, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), walks his tour in humble reverence during Hurricane Irene in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., Aug 27. Members of The Old Guard have guarded the Tomb every second, of every day regardless of weather or holidays since April 6, 1948

Hurricane? What hurricane?

When what to my wondering eyes should appear…

…but an old friend starting up a blog! Check out Deep Thoughts from The Deep South, where the story unfolds of a regular guy with a regular house that’s going to be in a Ben Stiller movie. This is going to be fun!

Frodo Succeeds, Remember?

Walter Russell Mead’s take on Jeffrey Toobin’s Clarence Thomas article in The New Yorker is just outstanding.

Here’s a few snips –

Remember, Frodo and the rest of the nasty hobbiteses save the world from evil.

In fact, Toobin suggests, Clarence Thomas may be the Frodo Baggins of the right; his lonely and obscure struggle has led him to the point from which he may be able to overthrow the entire edifice of the modern progressive state.

Justice Thomas is the greatest thinker on the Court, despite what the media and the loony left want you to believe.

oobin, who disagrees strongly with Thomas about most matters constitutional, political and cultural, does a good job of showing why Thomas is a formidable judicial thinker. The interpretative concept of “originalism” is sometimes confounded with a simplistic literal interpretation of the words of the Constitution. Thomas argues that to understand what the Constitution meant to the framers, one needs to do more than read the words on the page and look to see how Samuel Johnson and perhaps Noah Webster defined them in their dictionaries.

Thomas is not a fundamentalist reading the Constitution au pied de la lettre; the original intent of the founders can be established only after research and reflection. The Eighth Amendment ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” can only be understood if one understands the thought of the period, the types of punishment then widely used, and the political and cultural traditions that shaped the thinking of the founders on questions of justice and punishment. One then takes that understanding, however tentative, and applies it to the circumstances of a given case today.

It is not the only possible way to read the Constitution, but it is a very interesting one and it may be the only politically sustainable way for the Court to read it in a contentious and divided country. Without some rule of interpretation that the average person can understand and accept as legitimate, the Court gradually loses legitimacy in the public eye. The originalist interpretation, whatever objections can be made to it intellectually and historically, is politically compelling. It resonates with the American propensity for commonsense reasoning. To say that the Founders meant what they meant and that the first job of a judge is to be faithful to their intent is something that strikes many Americans as sensible, practical and fair.

Wonder why regular ol’ Americans are interested in biographies of Jefferson and Madison and Jackson? Turns out we’re not the only ones hoping for guidance.

Nevertheless, the Jacksonian populism behind the Tea Party and associated movements connects with some deep seated American preferences. The public is suspicious of clever legal theories that run counter to ‘obvious’ ideas about what the Constitution means. Just as populists like mandatory sentencing rules that reduce the discretion of judges in criminal matters, they like ways of interpreting the Constitution that reduce the ability of judges to base their decisions on anything beyond the clear meaning of the text. Andrew Jackson’s populism drew energy from his opposition to the (elite backed, constitutionally questionable) Bank of the United States and his firm stance against John Marshall and his usurping Court. Governor Perry’s attacks on Fed Chairman Bernanke are not unlike Jackson’s attacks on Nicholas Biddle; the platform being hammered out in Texas has a distinctly Jacksonian feel.

Read the whole thing. We may survive this Obamanation yet.

Where in the world

After a wonderful night of music, I’m speniding the day in one of my favorite Georgia towns.  Plans include, but are not limited to:  a late breakfast at my favorite morning spot, a visit to my favorite yarn shop, a stroll on my favorite campus, acquisition of the yearly bling, then dinner at my favorite restaurant.

Go ahead and say it – I know you’re jealous!

“Michael Bloomberg’s Super Colossal, Low-Salt 9/11 Memorial and Networking Event”

Well, this just blows. Go read the whole thing, I’ll wait.

I just want to cut and paste the entire article, in uppercase 45pt BOLD Arial and hope that Bloomberg can hear me screaming all the way from Georgia. I’ll try to be conciliatory and kind. I’ll try. Instead of the very small words I planned, here’s Elizabeth again.

I don’t know why I should be surprised. Priests and First Responders are, like our troops, front-line folk. They’re like heroes in the cowboy flicks; they ride in, shoulder the burden, help put things to rights, and then — while the elite get on with assuming their power and asserting their primacy –they recede into the background. Only the very few stick around to say ‘thank you’ and wave them off. Sometimes children ask them to come back, or to stay.

Bloomberg’s priorities are all wrong. He’s thinking like a Baron — or no, he’s not really thinking at all; he’s being pragmatic: mustn’t let the help get get too much recognition, get too full of themselves — they might start getting uppity and making demands on milords purse and time. Mustn’t let the damn clergy murmur their vulgar prayers, or next we’ll have tent-revivalists cluttering up the fairgrounds and making such spectacles of themselves.

The big crowds for New Years Eve, or for the big parades, are alright, he thinks, but this is not for the riff-raff. Let’s just keep the invite list confined to those who know how to dress and how to behave, and which fork to use, and when.

You know…all those consequential (and so very, very smart) people who — ten years into this — have not managed to fill the still-exposed, gaping holes in the downtown ground.

Perhaps that’s because of the increasingly exposed, gaping holes in their own heads and hearts — from which pours out so much that is mediocre, bleak and unhelpful.

Giuliani, for all his faults, wouldn’t be doing this.

Here we are, just three weeks out from the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and Bloomberg shows us his hind-parts. What.An.Unbelievably.Selfish.Moron.

I’m speechless. But not for long.

East Coast Earthquake

Yet another metaphor lurking in the continental plates.

A 5.8 earthquake shook most of the East Coast yesterday.

An earthquake relief fund has been set up for Maryland victims. Please find it in your heart to contribute.

UPDATE: All jostling aside, the National Cathedral has sustained significant damage.

A Random Metaphor

For what, I’m not sure. It’s there, I just can’t… quite… grasp it.


Bad Form. Bad Form, Indeed.

Woman’s yard sale to pay medical bills gets shut down

A woman [Jan Cline] fighting a terminal form of bone cancer is trying to raise money to help pay bills with a few weekend garage sales, but the city of Salem says she’s breaking the law and is shutting her down.

Surely these people have something better to do, like catch criminals or something.

In the meantime, here is the Help Jan Cline Facebook page and if you can spare a few dollars, you can can donate at Jan Cline’s Fight Against Cancer.

Now The Aliens Are Out To Get Us

After a hectic week of post-RedState decompression and moving the Wee Highlander back up to college, this is what greets my bleary eyes this morning:

Aliens may destroy humanity to protect other civilisations, say scientists

It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.

Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control – and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.

This highly speculative scenario is one of several described by a Nasa-affiliated scientist and colleagues at Pennsylvania State University that, while considered unlikely, they say could play out were humans and alien life to make contact at some point in the future.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman of Nasa’s Planetary Science Division and his colleagues compiled a list of plausible outcomes that could unfold in the aftermath of a close encounter, to help humanity “prepare for actual contact”.

Really? Oh, it gets better.

“Green” aliens might object to the environmental damage humans have caused on Earth and wipe us out to save the planet. “These scenarios give us reason to limit our growth and reduce our impact on global ecosystems. It would be particularly important for us to limit our emissions of greenhouse gases, since atmospheric composition can be observed from other planets,” the authors write.

“Green” aliens? Really? I always thought they were green. Or greyish-green. And short. Unless they had white hair, blue-ears and tin-foil bikinis especially designed to lure James T. Kirk to the surface. Or do they mean “green” as in forcing humans to use light bulbs that will kill them, eschewing modern hygiene products such as toilet-paper and deodorant, and limiting our diet to steak-flavored tofu to reduce the bovine population because they fart too much?

In fact, I wonder how much was spent on this ground-breaking report. Did they come up with this one on their own with banks of computers and reams of research data, or did they have this delusional vision after a marathon week of Battlestar Gallactica? After all the Cylons wanted to kill all the humans, too. And they almost succeeded. In reality, my bet is that if ET does make a stop here, it’s only for a shopping spree. They’d wipe out every breathing life form, strip the planet bare of resources, leave it a dead rock, and send a postcard back home outlining all the goodies they’d picked up. Just like all the planets before other vacation spots they’d visited in their travels.

That chip in Al Gore’s neck must be beaconing. Heh.

P.S. On the bright side, Allahpundit has the exit question:

Exit question: Wouldn’t solving our climate-change problem freak out E.T. even more than the problem itself? If the atmosphere’s changing in a way that endangers human life, that suggests we either haven’t figured out how to fix it or are too divided to do so. That makes us weak. Good news for E.T.! But once we band together and figure out how to control our climate, that makes us much more of a threat. In which case, it’s Alderaan time. For the sake of the children, then, we’d better keep those emissions coming. See how fun and easy it is to import an agenda into dopey pie-in-the-sky hypotheticals?

Who? That Perry Guy? Why is it So Hot in Here?

“Man, is it me, or did it just get really hot in here? Now tell me again, who announced for my job for life? Another Texan? Excuse me, excuse me, hey, yes, you girl, over there, are you the pollster’s intern? Can you call them please? They’re getting my numbers all wrong, you see, they are always supposed to trend up. Up, up up. Yep. Get on the horn, honey, and straighten this out. Now, now, tell me again, this Perry guy? What? Say that again… What? Low unemployment while he was governor? You’re joshing me, man. No body, and I mean NO BODY should be able to pull that off since I tanked the economy in our current fiscal downturn. Can somebody get me a cold Perrier? I’m bakin’ here. Speak up, Carney, you’re mumbling. Oh. Great. Texas has no state tax, but their budget is in great shape? What. Whatever. Don’t make me come over and have to get all unicorns and rainbows on you, buddy. Nobody’s gonna beat me, even if I have to resort to last campaign’s tactics. Please, somebody, can you check on the air in here? I’m so hot, I may just melt. Haha, very funny Val. Go make yourself useful and get me a cold one, NOW. Now back to this twangy cowboy. Oh wait, what’s wrong with my feet? I’m melting! I’m melting! Who could have believed that a candidate with a spine could destroy my beautiful wickedness! Oooooh, look out! I’m going! Oooooh! Ooooooh!

What a world! What a world!”

History in the Making

He’s in. Today at the RedState Gathering in steamy Charleston, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his bid for the Presidency. The electric atmosphere, combined with the stifling humidity made the room feel as if it was a mile away from the sun. To quote Hermione Granger, “Everything’s going to change now, isn’t it?” You betcha.

Ostrich skin cowboy boots will be all the rage now.

More pictures and video later.

Governor Haley Rocks the House

I just love this woman.

Check out CSpan around 1 pm. Some guy might be making an annoucement about some little something.

I Love the Smell of Charleston in the Afternoon

Well, I’m checked-in, well-fed and contemplating a power nap before the RedState Gathering kicks off in a few hours.

Super Committee Beclowns Itself Before the First Gavel Falls

(h/t Icarus on Facebook)

Breaking: Reid appoints John Kerry, Patty Murray, and Max Baucus to Super Committee

Honestly, folks, the jokes will write themselves.

(Here is where I pine inconsolably for No Sheeples Here, who is lost to the bloggysphere. She’d have a field day with this one.)

The Empty Podium

Tim Pawlenty’s campaign just released this ad, and it doubled his awesome factor here at the praxeum. For 52 minutes yesterday, the camera pointedly showed at what many of us knew from the beginning of his term. Obama was and still is unsuitable for the job.

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