Stories by Leon H Wolf
Posted at 5:10am on Jul. 9, 2008 I'm Having a Hard Time Selecting my Favorite Part of this Video
By Leon H Wolf
H/t to RedState diarist Robert L. Mayo!
You know, I have studied four languages besides English, including two that aren't spoken anywhere on Earth anymore, so I'm generally of the opinion that learning foreign languages is useful. We're teaching our son some Spanish as he goes along, and he enjoys learning it.
The above video is absolutely made of awesome. It's got so much awesome in there that I'm having a hard time sorting it all out. Is my favorite part:
1. The part where Obama admits that he "doesn't get" the drive for English only?
2. The part where he states, immediately afterwards, that one shouldn't worry about the immigrants, because "they'll learn English" (seriously, because no one has ever encountered immigrants who can't speak English)?
3. The part where he proceeds to berate American citizens for not learning Spanish (specifically)?
4. The part where he says that he's embarrassed by Americans, especially compared to the French?
5. The part where he relates a story that is familiar to all Americans who have visited France, and takes the side of the French? Or,
6. The part where all the Obama supporters enjoy a good, hearty laugh at the expense of Americans who can't speak French. A group which, apparently, includes Barack Obama. But that doesn't make this video any less awesome.
I'm having trouble deciding. What's your favorite part?
Posted at 8:00am on Jul. 4, 2008 In Praise of Barack Obama
Giving credit where credit is due.
By Leon H Wolf
Via the AP comes this news that Barack Obama has changed his mind, and is rejecting at least some of the extremism of NARAL, Emily's List, and other radical abortion organizations. The money graf:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama says "mental distress" should not qualify as a health exception for late term-abortions, a key distinction not embraced by many supporters of abortion rights.
In an interview this week with "Relevant," a Christian magazine, Obama said prohibitions on late-term abortions must contain "a strict, well defined exception for the health of the mother."
Obama then added: "Now, I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term."
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Posted at 11:47am on Jun. 24, 2008 Burn the Witch
We can totally afford this kind of behavior right now.
By Leon H Wolf
Reasonable minds may disagree about the propriety of the pay raise that the Louisiana Legislature has decided that it needs. To my mind, $16K is a remarkably low salary for even part-time duties of that nature. By way of perspective, I used to live in a very small town in Alaska, and our city council members were paid $12,000 a year. This was 19 years ago. I understand that some people don't like the idea that Jindal appears to be giving a quid pro quo here - the raises for his ethics reforms - but it's hard for me to get very exercised about what the legislature is getting in return. It's especially small potatoes considering the need for serious ethics reform in Lousiana.
However, some conservative commentators, presumably fans of other Vice Presidential candidates have decided to flat-out beclown themselves over this issue. Apparently, Jindal's acquiescence in the legislative pay raises establish conclusively that he is a witch, and therefore must be burned.
Posted in Bobby Jindal | Club for Growth | Republicans | Spending — Comments (18)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 10:03pm on Jun. 18, 2008 And now for a Brief Word Regarding the Q-Polls.
By Leon H Wolf
I apologize that I haven't really been chiming in on the various poll data as often as I did in 2006, but I've been extraordinarily busy with this and that. However, I wanted to chime in on the latest batch of Q-Polls which shows Obama leading McCain in PA, OH, and FL (!). Now, the Florida poll is an outlier, and I'm hearing a lot of folks who share the same basic distrust of Q-U as a frequent outlier that I do, but it seems to be the received wisdom that these polls are reliable at the very least to show movement in Obama's direction, since the previous batch of Q-Polls showed McCain ahead in FL and OH, and only behind by 6 in PA.
There are two factors which establish that this purported movement in the Q-Polls means nothing. First, the previous set of polls did not purport to measure likely voters. The most recent polls did. Therefore, the previous polls are not really good barometers for the newer polls, even if you assume that Q-U did an accurate job of selecting the likelies. You might wonder at this point, "doesn't that make the second (worse) set more accurate"? Perhaps. It depends on whether Q-U's methodology for selecting likelies was good. Which is information that we don't have.
A second, independent reason for questioning the accuracy of the newer set of polls, the older set of polls, or both, is that the Q-Poll includes no crosstabs. That means that we have no idea whether the Q-Poll oversampled registered Ds vs. Rs, younger voters vs. older voters, etc. etc. The simple answer is that we just don't know.
Now, I think that Obama probably is leading PA by 6-10 points. I'm not optimistic about picking up PA at *all*. And I think he's probably leading in Ohio by 2-3 points. I think the idea that he's leading Florida is insane, which is part of why I'm seriously questioning Q-U's methodology in these polls. But at this point in the game, it's simply too early to know. And even though I'm relatively pessimistic about November overall, a close examination of this set of Q-Polls doesn't really provide any real cause for alarm at all.
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Posted at 11:22am on Jun. 12, 2008 Dear President Bush: Defy this Opinion
By Leon H Wolf
-Justice Anthony Kennedy
According to the United States Constitution, Article III section 2:
In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
On two separate occasions now, the United States Congress has duly enacted painstakingly specific laws to lawfully and Constitutionally strip the Supreme Court of jurisdiction to hear cases involving non-citizens currently detained outside of sovereign territory held by the United States. As Dan McLaughlin has noted, today the Supreme Court purports to ignore this clear limitation on its own authority to even hear the case before it (which by law has been confined to the CADC) and issue an opinion declaring the act which removed their jurisdiction unconstitutional. Savor the irony for a moment, if you will.
Posted in Judicial Overreaching | Law | Liberals | Separation of Powers — Comments (63)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 11:14am on Jun. 5, 2008 A Little Tyranny Between Friends
Robert Mugabe Reminds us of Important Principles
By Leon H Wolf
This is delightful news:
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Police detained opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Wednesday after his convoy was stopped at a roadblock while campaigning ahead of the presidential runoff election set for later this month, his spokesman said.
Tsvangirai and a group of about 14 party officials were being detained at a police station in Lupane, north of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second- largest city, spokesman George Sibotshiwe said.
No charges have been filed, Sibotshiwe said, and no comment from police was immediately available.
People in America often get the idea that what the government does is mostly irrelevant to their daily lives. The government is perceived as something that is far away and unimportant, and of far less importance than many other things in their daily lives. Recent events in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa demonstrate that this is a pleasant fiction enabled by the fact that we have never had a true and successful tyrant take charge in America.
Posted in Contra Tyrannum — Comments (21)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 11:23am on Jun. 4, 2008 And They Sang a New Song*
Seriously, there's literally no evidence that the media is in the tank for Obama. Stop being paranoid.
By Leon H Wolf
Ladies and gentlemen, according to the AP, the world has welcomed an Obama win.
What's the basis for this? Well, uh, for one thing, he is black and has childhood friends in Asia. For another he, he, well, he puts sentences together into paragraphs! And he, he, he was an average third grade student (a man of the people!). And he's, he's, like a mixture of MLK and JFK (who were like Christ, only cooler and had more women)! And how do we know these things? Because an AP reporter has found an assortment of random foreigners saying these things, that's how.
If you can make it through this entire piece without getting physically ill, you're a better person than I am. And don't even suspect that this is the worst piece of hagiography we'll see from a major news media outlet this election season: we're in for a long, hard slog over the next five months, and it's going to fall to us to try and inject some objectivity in our communities and workplaces. Get ready, and brace yourselves.
*For the benefit of our lefties, I'm quoting Rev. 5:9.
Posted in 2008 | liberal media bias | Obasm — Comments (29)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 11:52am on May 19, 2008 Monday Open Thread
By Leon H Wolf
Behold, I shall make a totally unfounded prediction: Barack Obama will win the popular vote by a margin larger than Gore's. He will nevertheless lose the electoral college vote by more than 10. I think that Obama might rack up some huge wins in liberal states - larger than Gore's or Kerry's. But I think he also might lose OH, PA *and* FL, which makes it almost impossible for him to win the electoral college. Just a gut feeling, of course.
Anyway, open thread.
Posted in Archived — Comments (44)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 10:24am on May 16, 2008 How Astute of You to Notice that, California Supreme Court
Value Judgments are for Voters, Hmmkay?
By Leon H Wolf
I spent a little time last night reading the California Supreme Court's opinion (.pdf) in the gay marriage case. To be honest, I didn't make it all the way through (it's quite lengthy - 172 pages, in fact), primarily because I found the money shot relatively early on. You see, one of the arguments raised by the State was, "Look, Supreme Court, the way the law is set up here in California, gay couples already get all the civil benefits of marriage. Literally the only thing they are denied is the right to use the word 'married.' Therefore, there's absolutely no potential harm that comes to gay people based on the way the law is set up." This argument elicited the following response from the court:
Second, retaining the traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples. Third, because of the widespread disparagement that gay individuals historically have faced, it is all the more probable that excluding same-sex couples from the legal institution of marriage is likely to be viewed as reflecting an official view that their committed relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex couples.
Posted in Culture | Judicial Activism — Comments (345)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 8:46pm on May 15, 2008 And Now a Word for Folks Who Use the Word "McAmnesty" On a Regular Basis.
By Leon H Wolf
You know the guy who's likely to win the Democratic Presidential Nomination? He's planning some action on immigration if he wins the election. You know what he's planning to do? If you guessed "build a really big wall and deport lots of people," you're so, so very close to being correct:
Barack Obama is easily winning the African American vote, but to woo Latinos, where he is running 3-to-1 behind rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, he is taking a giant risk: spotlighting his support for the red-hot issue of granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.
It's a huge issue for Latinos, who want them. It's also a huge issue for the general electorate, which most vehemently does not. Obama's stand could come back to haunt him not only in a general election, but with other voters in states such as California, where driver's licenses for illegal immigrants helped undo former Gov. Gray Davis.
* * *
"Barack Obama has not backed down" on driver's licenses for undocumented people, said Federico Peña, a former Clinton administration Cabinet member and Denver mayor now supporting Obama. "I think when the Latino community hears Barack's position on such an important and controversial issue, they'll understand that his heart and his intellect is with Latino community."
You know, I understand that McCain is not acceptable to you on this issue. I get that. But the decision to not vote does not occur in a vacuum - if McCain does not win, someone else will. And he's got plans you're probably not going to like.