Mailvox: seeking suggestions

SH has a problem:

I have an issue with teaching phonics to my child. She is deaf and was born
that way. So, considering phonics is based on hearing, would you have any
other suggestions?

Any ideas, folks? This is outside my range of experience.

Who needs liberals?

Rees-Mogg hears echoes of the tumbrils

The issue is more than a matter of a show-off mayor or a silly sub-committee of an unelected quango abusing its inappropriate powers. It concerns the ancient issue of “due process of law” that underlies Magna Carta, the English common law and the Constitution of the United States. Without due process, there is no law. A merely subjective judgment, lacking judicial safeguards, by an unelected tribunal, does not constitute due process. It is no better than the process by which Robespierre sent aristos to the guillotine, though one must admit that Ken makes a comic aristo and a four-week suspension is a milder penalty..

The Prime Minister knows what the issue is. He is against due process as such. He has written a most extraordinary attack on the whole concept in yesterday’s Observer. The article is so incautious that he must have written it himself.

“In theory,” Tony Blair writes, “traditional court processes and attitudes to civil liberties could work. But the modern world is different from the world for which these court processes were designed.” This view that due process is obsolete explains the Prime Minister’s conduct; it explains the connection between extradition without safeguards, detention without trial, Asbos without criminal offences, subjective and discretionary judgments, police powers to arrest, and increasing ministerial powers. They are all characteristic of Blair legislation; they all avoid due process of law.

Keep in mind that Rees-Mogg is writing about the guy that Ann Coulter says she would vote for if he could only run for office in the USA. With conservatives like these, who needs liberals? And take particular note how the left-wing Labour leader’s actions to confer extralegal power on the central state are almost precisely the same as those of the supposedly right-wing George Bush… and both are walking the limitless path of the Jacobins.

I told you we weren’t at war

Rich Lowry on one of the bigger chickenhawks:

Bill Kristol on Fox yesterday said of Iraq, “We’ve been trying, and our soldiers are doing terrifically, but we have not had a serious three-year effort to fight a war in Iraq as opposed to laying the preconditions for getting out.” He also recommended killing terrorists….

For a while now, everyone in the US has been pre-positioning for what they will say in the event that the war really goes south. For one school of neo-conservatives, the line will apparently be that there never was an Iraq war, at least never a proper one.

So, apparently Iraq is Vietnam after all. Or at least, in the eyes of those neocons, it will be. You see, all we had to do to improve reading scores was try HARDER and hire MORE teachers… I mean, um, hire more soldiers to kill more terrorists. It should be easy to see here how the neocons are actually nothing more than internationally aggressive neo-liberals.

Did he say idiots?

He should have said “historically illiterate morons”:

This time the Hon. Antonin Scalia was calling those of us who think of the Constitution of the United States as a living document “idiots.”… The justice makes the U.S. Constitution sound like a real estate lease or a last will and testament. Even some of those may be subject to different interpretations over the years. Isn’t it the genius of the Constitution that its principles are broad enough to meet the demands of changing times? Isn’t that the great virtue of any basic law — that it is broad enough to grow in response to different conditions? Isn’t that why a country’s constitution is sometimes called its organic law?

Surely the distinguished justice cannot believe the Constitution of the United States means the same thing when applied to a legal question in 2006 as it did in 1787, or 1861, or 1954 or… well, pick your year.

No, Paul Greenberg, you idiotic, historically illiterate moron, the reason a country’s constitution is called its organic law is because it is derived from the country’s historical, legal and societal institutions. It can be changed, but through the mechanisms incorporated into the document, not by simply deciding it means whatever you want it to mean today, as opposed to yesterday or tomorrow.

The reason is that if one can simply decide that terms mean whatever we want them to mean, there is no reason why we cannot define a person to exclude, for example, those of Jewish descent. Why shouldn’t the Supreme Court do so today? There is, after all, a centuries-old, distinguished legal tradition of Jews being classified as second-class non-citizens, even subhumans, and we can cite copious examples of current foreign law which prohibits Jews from owning property, entering the country, or continuing to breathe in support of this interpretation.

The Constitution is simple, even simplistic. It had to be, because there is no shortage of morons like this for whom it is, even so, not simple enough to correctly grasp.

And 10 votes each for the brain-damaged

The English propose to expand the franchise:

Young people should be able to vote – and stand for Parliament – at 16, under proposals for the biggest shake-up of the electoral system since the introduction of universal suffrage…. Both main parties are understood to be sympathetic to the report. Gordon Brown has agreed to speak at a conference on the findings next month and David Cameron is also hoping to attend.

As everyone here knows, I am opposed to the universal franchise in general and the female franchise in particular. Perhaps this latest proposal by the British, who are frustrated that the adults are insufficiently enthusiastic about giving up control of their money to the European Central Bank, will help underline my point about why women and the majority of men should not be permitted any vote or place in governmental authority.

It’s important to keep in mind that almost no one genuinely supports real democracy – although I greatly prefer it to the much more manipulable system of severely restricted representative democracy currently in place – and it’s perhaps even more important to understand that if you believe voting is synonymous with freedom, your ability to comprehend the world around you is severely deficient.

Mailvox: fences make good immigrants

RB likes the Brasiliane:

interesting article. i support all of your statements…especially about the brazilians! (oh my! one can only say when he sees a brazilian). anyways, something you said caught my reading eye. it was the realization that these “colors of benetton” (spl) advertisements, as i call them, are all over the place. check out the army ads. diversity is killing off this nation. especially since the folks coming here are not assimiliating, but as thomas jefferson even remarked (and i was surprised that he even said this until i read a book of his quotes), immigration can be bad especially if those arriving to the new country bring the same old ideas and systems with them. i think we see this internally with californians and new yorks moving to “freer” states, only to turn them into the hell they just left. ie: my home state of VA, and the state of Montana.

being black (and not african american), i think we should have a holiday honoring the white man! i see diversity as one big minority pity party where groups say “feel sorry for me!”

RB must be tremendously popular among the Rainbow/PUSH coalition crowd. It’s absolutely true, though, that diversity, far from being a strength, is a divisive and enervating force. Here’s a simple test: have the universities been producing higher or lower quality graduates since their faculties and student bodies began celebrating diversity?

The entire point of the “melting pot” is that the ingredients have to melt. And as for all those coastal liberals, the obvious answer is to fence them in. If you want diversity, bigger government, higher taxes and rampant hedonism, then stay where you are and enjoy the fruits of your desires.

Discuss amongst yourselves

If you didn’t think I could indicate my lack of interest in the ports issue or the media coverage of Dick Cheney: Great White Hunter any more clearly, I believe this week’s column should convince you.

It might even convince Morgan that I’m not all that interested in my so-called career.

Two hearts, beating as one

Everyone’s favorite Token Hippy gets a present:

So Larry comes home today with a bucket. In the bucket is a PVC tube with a piece of screen molded to one end. In the tube is a rat.

“Look at this,” he said. “What do you think?”

“I think you have a rat in a bucket,” I said….

He sent me for the camera, so we could capture this special moment forever. But why be greedy. Why should I enjoy such a golden moment without sharing it with the rest of you?

Behold, the rat.

At least it wasn’t Valentine’s Day….

All too typical

Women and Iraq in Foreign Affairs:

In Iraq, unlike in many other Muslim nations, women will have a strong advantage in their fight for equality: namely, a provision in the new constitution that guarantees them 25 percent of the seats in parliament. This quota is the product of intense lobbying by women’s groups, who feared being left out of the new Iraqi politics. It also has some grounding in Iraqi history. The Baathists gave women the vote and the right to run for office in 1980; within two decades, women had come to occupy 20 percent of the seats in Iraq’s rubber-stamp parliament (compared to a 3.5 percent average in the region) and some prominent cabinet positions. After the invasion, U.S. policymakers were sympathetic to women’s concerns that they would lose their political position in an election process dominated by conservative Shiites. Washington also wanted to support Iraqi women without directly challenging religious convictions. Instituting a quota seemed a good way to do both….

At the time of the elections, some Western commentators pointed to this high level of female representation as evidence that a grand social and cultural transformation was under way in Iraq.

So, the occupying military power forces the new Iraqi government accept a parliament that is 25 percent women. Naturally, the pro-war (or pro-feminist) commentator jumps on this wildly atypical female representation as proof that the Iraqi people are willing to elect women and turn their back on conventional interpretations of Sharia, never mind the fact that they are quite clearly not willing to do so or there would be no need to use the weight of the American military to make them do it.

Classic media doublethink. Also, you have to love how we are bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq BY ESTABLISHING ELECTION QUOTAS! Nor are these the only ones. Why not just force them to elect Laura Bush dictatrix-for-life and have done with it?