Posted by: Cortillaen | 06/29/2011

Balanced Budget Amendment: Is It Really That Hard?

You’ve probably seen the proposal for the supposed Balanced Budget Amendment around the net. It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? We could finally rein in government spending, get rid of the deficit, maybe even start paying down the national debt. If only that were so. Ever read the real thing? It’s a pile of crap, and by “crap”, I mean “exceptions, loopholes, and all the usual legalese crap”. Yes, that is an intentionally recursive definition. It illustrates exactly how little I think of the proposed BBA. I. Hate. It. Read More…

Posted by: Cortillaen | 02/04/2011

Considerations of Constitutionality: For Courts Alone?

At the time of Obamacare’s passing, and of late thanks to Judge Vinson’s ruling, there has been an argument over the proper place for considering the constitutionality of laws.  While I addressed this somewhat in a previous post (and another fine post covers a historical view of the subject), I’d like to render this open challenge for anyone interested.  For you adherents of the “throw all the crap you can and see what sticks”, “push as hard as you can and do as much as the courts will permit” school of thought, especially those who claim Congress doesn’t need to worry about the constitutionality of the laws it passes because that is the courts’ job, please explain this:

“No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” – US Constitution, Article 1, Section 9, Clause 3

Notice the emphasized segment.  It does not say such a law shall not be allowed to stand.  It says such a law shall not be passed in the first place.  In short, it explicitly commands Congress to consider the constitutionality of the law.  I also find it patently absurd to suggest that such an enjoinder was intended as an exception to congressional procedure rather than the rule.  By all means, though, prove me wrong.

Posted by: Cortillaen | 01/13/2011

The Blood Libel Of The Left And Its Media

It’s a two-fer tonight; might want to make sure your Armageddon shelters are up-to-date.

Three things to be said before the actual post:  First, I was thrilled to hear Mrs. Palin call a spade a spade.  I have been describing the instantaneous attacks by the Left and its pet media against conservatives and Tea Party patriots as blood libel since it began, as well as arguing for others to do the same, so it was distinctly gratifying to hear that very term given national voice.  “Blood libel” is not, as Palin-haters have slavishly claimed, a term solely applicable to attacks on Jews.  It has been applied to false attacks against many groups, religious and otherwise, over the years.  In fact, many of the same people now raging over Mrs. Palin’s use of the term have used it themselves.  The defining factor is the false claim of murder intended to damage an innocent party, which is precisely what has been going on since before we even knew the exact numbers of wounded and dead.  Words have meaning, and refusing to use the correct words for fear of being politically incorrect means surrendering the argument.  That Mrs. Palin had the conviction and courage to use the correct term and the presence of mind to do so calmly merits considerable respect from me. Read More…

Saving a comment from this discussion in response to a NYTimes article deriding the reading of the Constitution on the House floor:

“There is a similar air of vacuous fundamentalism in requiring that every bill cite the Constitutional power given to Congress to enact it.”

This just leaves me dumbfounded. These people all swear an oath to support the Constitution, yet it is “vacuous” to require them not to brazenly ignore the subject of their oath? This isn’t even a serious restriction on our lords and masters in Congress; it only requires they have a fig leaf for their indecency. Read More…

Posted by: Cortillaen | 09/24/2010

Time For Conservatives To Get In The Game

Conservatives are upset about the growth of the federal government, about the ever-increasing insertion of federal regulations and mandates into everyday life, and perpetual leftward drift in politics. We feel like we don’t have a voice, that the Constitution itself doesn’t have a voice, in the operations of the government. The Republican party, ever derided as “right-wing”, consistently ignores us in governance, only seeming to notice our existence when election season comes around and they need our votes. Well, it’s partially our own fault, and the Tea Parties, for all their good, aren’t enough to fix the problem. Read More…

Posted by: Cortillaen | 09/15/2010

O’Donnel, the NRSC, and the Road to Hell

As one surfs various right-wing sites today, news of O’Donnel’s come-from-behind victory over Castle is an inevitable topic.  Equally inevitable is the discussion over the NRSC refusing to support her.  Yes, I know the “support” being withheld is supposed to be strictly financial.  Do you actually believe they’ll give her any form of support at all, be it a kind word or supportive emails?  From their “congratulations” (hah) message, I think they’ve made the answer to that a resounding, “Piss off.”  Well, pissed off is most certainly what I am, and I’m not alone.  For those used to my usual style of argumentation, you won’t find it below.  “Bellicose” is the word of the day.  Also, no, I will not be discussing O’Donnel herself herein. Read More…

Posted by: Cortillaen | 06/28/2010

Islam Vs Our Laws

In reading a post about the wonderful thing known as Sharia law, something started noodling around upstairs.  Eventually, it worked into a full-fledged line of reasoning on the incompatibility of Sharia law with the United States.  Then it kicked over into another issue entirely:  The First Amendment protection of Islam in the United States.  If you care, follow along.  Comments on the issue, especially angles and considerations I might have missed, are appreciated, as always.  If you’d prefer to contact me privately for any reason, you can always email me (just make sure you correct the anti-spammer details).

If you’ve wandered around the net for very long, especially on sites discussing the threat posed by Islam (yes, the religion; not just a few nutters), you’ve probably come across somebody suggesting federal action against Islam.  What follows is inevitable:  People, both left and right, decry any such suggestion, blaring “First Amendment protection!” (in the case of the leftists, one of the rare times they get the direction of that shield correct).  Folks on the left are typically just following their “tolerant”, dhimmi impulse to protect Islam, but people on the right do the same out of a genuine concern for the First Amendment.  After all, once the government goes after one religion, we’re all in line à la Pastor Martin Niemöller and the Nazis, right?  The over-zealously religious jump in contending that it’s the start of the destruction of all religion and the slide into immoral/amoral hyper-secularism that destroys everything good in our society, things just turn into a madhouse, and the suggestion is written off as foolish.  I follow the basic argument that the 1A protects even a murderous, psycho cult like Islam’s right to exist, but it’s never sat well with me.  Something just never seemed right about, like a piece was missing, or something had been overlooked.  I never could get a handle on that uneasy feeling with the argument until I approached it from a completely different angle:  Sharia Law. Read More…

Posted by: Cortillaen | 04/14/2010

On Lt. Col. Terry Lakin

Just me archiving a comment from TAH (great place to check out, by the way) that really got away from me… as in, the “few sentences turned page and a half” kind of away from me. Read More…

You might ask a liberal, “If tolerance is such a virtue, why is it absurd to consider tolerating Hitler, Mao, and all manner of evils?”.  What they can’t say is that the absurdity is because those are evil, plain and simple. “Tolerance” is all about subjectivity, moral equivalence, and the rejection of absolutes. The very basis of “tolerance” is looking at something or someone and rejecting reality, refusing to make any form of judgment, and declaring that it is no better or worse than something/one else. Read More…

Posted by: Cortillaen | 06/16/2009

Why Is Releasing Trapped Carbon Bad?

Even if one accepts as word-of-god that more CO2 causes higher temperatures, is there actually a rational reason to demonize the release of carbon?  All the rantings and ravings about how CO2 is destroying the planet seem to ignore something. Where did that carbon come from?  “We pulled it out of the earth.”  Oookay… and I suppose the planet formed with these evil pockets of carbon lurking beneath the surface, just yearning to be free to destroy everything, hm?  A basic science lesson:   Fossil fuels are the remnants of living things from ages past.  That means all this evil carbon was topside a very long time ago, a time when life was, to the best of our knowledge, thriving.

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Posted by: Cortillaen | 06/16/2009

The Law Is Broken

A central point in the plot of an episode of The Equalizer (which you should check out if you haven’t seen it before) got me thinking about a problem in our legal system.  In the episode, a man is trying to take revenge on two men who raped and beat (with a lead pipe) his pregnant wife, leaving her in a coma.  The point catching my attention was that these men had all charges dismissed against them due to the search that turned up the murder weapon in their vehicle being based on a recently-vacated warrant.  Unfortunately, this sort of event, criminals being released after technicalities void evidence against them, is entirely too common in this country.   My question is this:  Why does our legal system ignore reality?  Evidence should not be dismissed as though it does not exist simply because it was acquired in an illegal act or breach of rights.  It still exists, it still serves to prove something, and tossing it aside on a technicality no more serves justice than vigilantes taking the law into their own hands.

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Posted by: Cortillaen | 05/28/2009

On The Dole? Off The Roll.

… the voting roll, that is. Not to get ahead of myself, however, let’s look at the state of affairs leading to this necessity. There’s a quote by one Alexis de Tocqueville with which many people are familiar:  “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”  Obviously, we passed that particular threshold most of a century ago, if not even earlier, and the next few years under O-n-Co are promising to drastically increase the level of public bribery.  Watching our new administration disregard laws, the Constitution, and the Founders’ intent, it seems the result in de Tocqueville’s quote has also fully come to pass.  We are no longer a republic, a nation of law.  Instead, we are now a nation ruled by a Democratic (hardly democratic) aristocracy that wields massive federal power in addition to an enamored and irresponsible media to mold the ductile masses and beat down the opposition with cries of “Racist!”.  In short, we are an aristocracy masquerading as a mobocracy, and the law has been made passé.

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Posted by: Cortillaen | 05/19/2009


I’m still hashing this out, but I figure input from others can’t hurt.

Today’s political lingo is wholly inept at actually representing a person’s ideology.  Rather, it seems almost intended to simply antagonize a two-party war of words.  “Liberal” and “conservative” are probably the best examples of the problem. Nobody’s entirely sure how to define them anymore due to their continued application to certain groups that have changed their ideals tremendously since popularization of the terms.

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Posted by: Cortillaen | 05/14/2009

UPDATED – Dick Cheney: Man With A Spine

UPDATE AT BOTTOM: O-n-Co deny the public evidence that Mr. Cheney has a point.

An article in today’s Washington Post came to my attention regarding the outspokenness of one Mr. Cheney.  Needless to say, I promptly became incensed at the unfair handling of the subject by the author, Dan Balz.  Flaying was in order, and, due to the distinct unavailability of Balz, I decided to flay his hit piece instead.  If you’re the sort who thinks Mr. Cheney should shut up or that he should not be addressed as “Mr. Cheney”, begone with you.  You’ll only be offended, then mocked mercilessly should you make the mistake of addressing to me your grievance.  For everyone else, enjoy.

As vice president, Richard B. Cheney famously spent much of the past eight years in undisclosed locations and offering private advice to President George W. Bush. But past was not prologue.

In other words, even with the media trying to make his life a “candid camera” hell, the Vice-President was working behind the scenes to keep the country safe and the President informed (you know, his job), unlike the new guy who seems to think being VP means making sure everyone on the planet knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is unafraid to sound like an utter moron on a regular basis.  Do they make Tinactin in a mouthwash?
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Posted by: Cortillaen | 05/12/2009

A New Neverland

While cruising one of my favorite haunts, I noticed an article about a certain, former editor of the New Yorker appearing on MSNBC and declaring that former Vice President Dick Cheney is on a “crazy jihad”.  Does anyone believe, even for a second, that Tina Brown would ever describe real jihadis as being on a “crazy jihad”?  This is just insane!  Our faux news companies have effectively banned the use of this word, created by Muslims to mean a “holy war”, in regards to that very group, but a partisan hack feels completely at ease using it to slander a former VP.

You know, I think I understand these people.  It’s all just politics to them, isn’t it?  Never let a good crisis go to waste, and never let a good pejorative go unused against your opponents.  Never mind the fact that real people out there want us all dead.  Never mind that those people view “jihad” as an absolute order from their god to convert or kill the targets.  Never mind that the man to be slandered has done nothing but exercise his First Amendment rights and status as former VP to make known how dangerous the current administration’s actions are.  All that matters is that this word, right now, can be used to make him sound bad, reality be damned.  They.  Are.  Children.  Eternally stuck in the phase of playground insults and gossip, they can’t even grasp how pathetically narrow-minded they truly are.

This is what our media, the primary source of information for a large part of the country, has become:  Nothing more than childish political hacks myopically dedicated to attacking anyone who dissents with their side.  They play their games of politics under the guise of news and critical commentary, utterly oblivious to the very real consequences.  Any tactic, any lie, any attack is fully justified in their minds because those minds are forever stuck in the childish world where they are good, and their opponents are evil.  For all the accusations that conservatives live in a world devoid of grays, the liberal mind is home of the starkest contrast, an arbitrary one at that.  I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like living in a world where every disagreement is cast, not in facts and logic, but in terms of good and evil.  However, it becomes ever more clear that a disturbingly large number of people in all manner of stations, most disturbingly the ones in positions to shape public opinion, are very much at home in that world.

Posted by: Cortillaen | 05/06/2009

“Thoughtcrimes”: Not just for 1984 anymore.

(Thanks to Giovanni’s World for bringing this up and doing so a second time to make me realize what’s really going on.)

About a week ago, a particular bill in the House came to my attention.  To wit, they want to create a number of “protected classes”, against which the committal of a crime would carry greater punishment via prosecution as a “hate crime”.  I won’t get into the specific classes protected because I realized that they really are irrelevant.  The clamor over the rejection of an amendment that would exclude pedophiles from the protected classes?  Irrelevant.  My satire, at the time, of the rejection of amendments to protect the elderly, our troops, pregnant women, and the unborn; avoid excessive federal interference; and require an element of proof for conviction?  Irrelevant.  The fact that this bill, should it become law, will be selectively applied to single out and further punish anyone who attacks the protected classes, regardless of actual motivation?  Irrelevant.  All of these issues serve only to hide the terrifying reality. Read More…

Posted by: Cortillaen | 02/06/2009

Comments on Abortion

This is just a repository for some of my posts on other sites, on the off-chance that they get deleted at some point in the future.  I hope to take a day or two and put together a single, coherent post on the subject soon.  Then I can just link it instead of repeating myself so often.  I’ll also be including whatever spawned the posts.  Context is good.  All posts were on one of my favorite haunts, and the birth-place of my appellation,

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Posted by: Cortillaen | 10/30/2008

More to come…

…whenever I get the time.  For now, this is just a placeholder awaiting the divine touch of my imagination.  Or something.