Friday, August 31, 2007

Hollywood’s hit piece “Redacted”.

The left knows no shame. Director Brian De Palma in his new movie “Redacted” is trying to convince the American people that our soldiers aren’t good enough to make good sound decisions when the pressure mounts and when things are tough and mistakes are made our troops might resort to raping little girls and murdering families. Well, Mr. De Palma, I agree... to a point.


That is right. I have a news flash for all of us. Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors are men and women just like me and you. And if we can have 30 plus kids killed on the campus of Virginia Tech or 180 plus killed in Oklahoma or an 11 year old girl kidnapped raped killed and buried under a porch in Florida or two people cruising up and down Maryland and Virginia interstates shooting citizens at random then we can certainly expect that out of the over 1.4 million people serving in our armed forces some of them could be capable of the horrors that happened in Mahmudiya Iraq.

In case you don’t know, a group of five US soldiers raped a young girl and murdered her family. They confessed and have been sentenced. “Redacted” is about this incident. Between this and Abu Grab American service personnel have made the job of securing Iraq infinitely harder. And, by doing such have put more lives in danger. The people who committed this war crime deserve death. Instead they got lengthy prison sentences.

So how can I say that our service men and women might commit atrocities and war crimes? Well, because it’s true. While our service folks might be brave heroes as a whole, and often individually, they are also just like you and I -susceptible to the same dysfunctions, neurosis and abnormalities that all of us are apt to suffer from time to time. There is no reason to assume that the armed services can weed out every person prone to “crazy”.

Where Mr. De Palma and I differ is that I don’t think a dramatization of these events helps in the least. I don’t think showing a movie about the worst our country has to offer is fair. I don’t think it is timely. I don’t think it is necessary. I don’t think it helps one bit. Mr. De Palma is quoted as saying "The movie is an attempt to bring the reality of what is happening in Iraq to the American people." This movie is not an accurate portrayal of what goes on in Iraq. I have not seen the movie. Yet I can still with confidence say that a 90 minute or 5 hour movie can not do justice to “…what is happening in Iraq.” The shear arrogance of this man infuriates me. I have studied Iraq now for over three years and I can only just begin to grasp the intricacies of this conflict. To boil it down into a movie and suggest that it is in any way representative of our troop’s efforts over there is foolish.

This left wing idiot is doing grave damage to his country. The worst part is that the very troops he demonizes are the ones fighting to protect his right to make this hit piece on America. His arrogance is a product of his being removed from the actual fight. If Islamic extremists were imposing Sharia law in his pretty neighborhood, how long do you think it would take Brian De Palma to change his tune? Mr. De Palma the very reason this is news, the very reason this was in the spot light, the very reason that you might make two cents off the blood of Iraqis and Americans is that behavior like that of these murderous soldiers is rare. The vast majority of our service men and women are professional and effective. What is “happening in Iraq” is not murder and war crimes it is the work of quiet professionals giving their lives so that you have a safe environment to create counter productive “art”.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Federalism and the Nanny State

It looks as though Federalism and its close cousin States’ Rights are back in the spot light. Last month a federal judge in Pennsylvania struck down a town ordinance seeking to take the immigration problem into its own hands.

The judge suggested that immigration is the sole purview of the federal government and that lesser governments are not able to preempt or duplicate its role. I’m sorry but I missed the part about immigration in the Constitution. Could someone please point it out to me (hint: it ain’t in there)? I get the Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2) that federal law trumps state law. But, I also get the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people.” Immigration historically could be connected to the Commerce Clause because it does affect interstate trade (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). I think the Commerce Clause has long since overstepped its bounds and needs to be reeled in. Anyone still think strict-conservative-constructionist judges are still a bad idea? (I need your help. Could someone explain to me how we can arrest someone for possession of drugs in the state of SC if drugs are the purview of the federal government because of the Commerce Clause but can’t arrest and prosecute an illegal alien, see Gonzales v. Raich, Lozano v. Hazleton :

Our founding fathers, particularly John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton instituted a system of checks and balances. Not just the normal system everyone talks about, the legislative, judicial and executive, but also the national and state. States were to be part of the checks and balances that kept the federal government from becoming too large and tyrannical. But now we see that the federal government has taken too much power. What the federal government has seen fit to be “necessary and proper for carrying into execution…” the business of the federal government has become beyond ridiculous.

The government has seen fit to reach into almost every aspect of our lives. Why? Some like to say it happened just before the Civil War with the Nullification acts here at home. I agree to a point. But federal involvement back then would pale in comparison to the situation we have at hand today, not involvement but intrusion. Others would point to the Civil Rights era when the banner of “states’ rights” was stolen and sullied by then Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond and his later counter part George Wallace. Again close, but not quite. Think of it as a train wreck. The train left the station pre Civil War when tariffs on trade that benefited the North and hurt the South were enacted. Then when the government RIGHTLY stepped in during both the New Deal and the Civil Rights era the train left the tracks and when highway money was tied to the drinking age being higher than the age to legally vote the train crashed! We decided once and for all that we as citizenry were actually unable to raise and educate our own kids, save our own money, provide for the welfare of our own neighbors. We decided that the federal government was now our Nanny. And if we had a problem: can’t afford school, hurricane is coming, I have four kids and no job and can’t afford to pay for one kid but am pregnant again with a fifth, we will just ask our Nanny for help. Much to the delight of politicians of all stripes we have become a nation of “there aught to be a law…” We asked and the politicians have provided.

It’s time to get back to Federalism. It’s time to govern amongst ourselves first. It’s time to look towards personal responsibility instead of towards the Nanny. I leave it to you good folks of the greatest county in all of South Carolina to find the political party that is talking about federalism and less government and the party that is proposing larger and more extravagant bureaucracies. I leave it to you to ask how much you are on the receiving end of the Nanny. I myself suckle at the teat as well. I have asked the Nanny to loan me money for school.