People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

I Agree With General Ken

"Censorship reflects society's lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of an authoritarian regime."
-- Justice Potter Stewart --

"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
-- John Stuart Mill --

We may find this to be the most reprehensible act ever committed by an American, and the actions perpetrated by Reverend Fred Phelps are indeed reprehensible, but we must be prepared to defend to the death the scumbag's right to express himself.

It's called liberty.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on the Supreme Court's Westboro Baptist Church ruling:
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States vindicated the decision of this office not to join an amicus brief signed by 48 other states in support of tort liability and against Fred Phelps and the followers of the Westboro Baptist Church. While, as both the court in its 8-1 decision and this office have recognized, the speech at issue was vile and reprehensible, it is constitutionally protected under the First Amendment.

The First Amendment is designed to protect ideas, even ideas that upset, that inflame, or that the majority of the country would find offensive. It protects the rights of speakers we agree with, but also – and more importantly – it protects those speakers we would condemn. As Chief Justice Roberts wrote for the Court:

"Westboro believes that America is morally flawed; many Americans might feel the same about Westboro. Westboro’s funeral picketing is certainly hurtful and its contribution to public discourse may be negligible. But Westboro addressed matters of public import on public property, in a peaceful manner, in full compliance with the guidance of local officials. The speech was indeed planned to coincide with Matthew Snyder’s funeral, but did not itself disrupt that funeral, and Westboro’s choice to conduct its picketing at that time and place did not alter the nature of its speech.

"Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course—to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate. That choice requires that we shield Westboro from tort liability for its picketing in this case."

Because my office is committed to the rule of law and to the principles of the First Amendment, we agree wholeheartedly with the chief justice, and that is why we declined to join the amicus brief in this case, even when doing so was decidedly unpopular.

I absolutely deplore the vile and despicable acts of Fred Phelps and his followers. I also greatly sympathize with the Snyder family and all families who have experienced the hatefulness of those people. But the consequences of this case had to be considered beyond what would happen just to the Westboro followers.
Fred Phelps is a vile and despicable human being. And he is - like it or not - an American. Hate him, denounce him, call him names. That's your right. But please don't drag this country down to his level in an effort to silence him.

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."
-- Abraham Lincoln --

- - -

Justice Samuel Alito in his dissent:

"Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal assault that occurred in this case.

"Mr. Snyder wanted what is surely the right of any parent who experiences such an incalculable loss: to bury his son in peace. But respondents, members of the Westboro Baptist Church, deprived him of that elementary right.

Where Is Reinhard Heydrich When You Need Him?

Speaking of vile and despicable human beings, here's the latest from the leader of the Nation of Islam:

Julius Streicher had nothing on this asshole.

Where Are All Those Environmentalists Now?

You know, the ones who make it their business to tell the rest of us how we are going to live our lives?

I don't know where they're hiding, but I do know this: They ain't in the automobile showroom clamoring for those environmentally friendly electric cars.

To quote a mystified editor-in-chief of AutoblogGreen:

"The big questions, of course, revolve around one word: "Why?" Is ramping up production and deliveries still a problem? Is demand weak? Are unscrupulous dealers to blame? When will sales start to climb? And what are these numbers doing to plug-in vehicle work at other automakers? We don't know all the answers, but ..."

So what is Sebastian Blanco befuddled over?
Peruse Chevrolet's February sales release, and you'll notice one number that's blatantly missing: the number of Chevy Volts sold. The number – a very modest 281 – is available in the company's detailed data (PDF), but it certainly isn't something that GM wants to highlight, apparently. Keeping the number quiet is a bit understandable, since it's lower than the 321 that Chevy sold in January.

Nissan doesn't have anything to brag about here, either (and it didn't avoiding any mention of the Leaf sales in its press release). Why? Well, back in January, the company sold 87 Leafs. In February? Just 67. 
Here's the sad truth about "the car of the future": If the Chevy Volt were a car dealership, General Motors would have shut it down back in 2009 for poor sales performance.  But instead Government Motors has made it the flagship of its fleet.  May God have mercy.

Look, if there are production issues that plague GM and Nissan, that's one thing.  But if nobody wants to buy an electric car because of (a) their price, (b) their inefficiencies, (c) their unreliability, (d) their built-in constraints, (e) their annoying charging demands, (f) their not providing the cost savings that were originally promised, (g) their being environmentally unfriendly after all, or (h) their poor performance compared to the traditional gasoline-powered car, the automobile industry is in big trouble.

After all, why would I want to drive an ugly car that cost me $41,000 and find myself having to wait ten hours* for the thing to recharge after each one-hour trip to the grocery?

* Using standard 120 volt current.

So What's Obama's Response?

Two United States Air Force personnel were gunned down in cold blood in Frankfurt, Germany yesterday by a Muslim shouting "Alahu Akhbar!" (God is Great!) as he pulled the trigger again and again and again.

To find out how we are going to respond to this - another - Islamist terror attack on us, we turn to the president of the United States.  From today's New York Times, we get the following from Barack Obama:

"“We will spare no effort in learning how this outrageous act took place and ..."

Oh, who cares?  We all know he's not going to do anything about it.  We've now gotten the only response we can expect from Jimmy Carter, Jr.  We are profoundly saddened by ... blah, blah, blah.  Now, when's Stevie Wonder supposed to be here?

Americans are being murdered.  He does nothing about it.

- - -

By the way, speaking of murdered Americans, what has been Obama's response to the slaughter of four innocent lives off the coast of Somalia last week?

Murders?  What murders?

Does Kennedy, Jr. Have a Clue?

Read these sentences, written by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., then read them again and decide if you want to live in his world:

"Canada's Radio Act requires that "a licenser may not broadcast....any false or misleading news." The provision has kept Fox News and right wing talk radio out of Canada and helped make Canada a model for liberal democracy and freedom."

Never mind his goofy contention that Fox News is banned from Canada because "it lies," Kennedy's comment is starkly revealing of the leftist mindset. This champion of liberal causes thinks government censorship breeds ... freedom.

His kind of freedom we'll do without, thank you.

Well, She Meant Those OTHER Sex Offenders

The ones who aren't politically connected in Manhattan.

What to make of this?

My, oh, my.

Young Twits Grow Up

It was an idiotic idea anyway:

Never heard of it?  What, you've been living under a rock?
A number of Climate Camps set up in Australia, France, Canada and other countries are testament to its impact on an international as well as national level. Caroline Lucas MP said of its legacy: "Climate Camp has played a hugely significant role in raising awareness of the need for action on climate change – and through imaginative and inspirational non-violent direct action, has succeeded in scaling up the pressure on the government and industry to adjust to the realities of a changing planet."
So successful that its members have given up on it.

Me?  I chalk the whole thing up as being just another indiscretion of youth.  They worked to change the world and then they grew up.

Been there.

Done that.