Stories by Leon H Wolf
Posted at 2:57pm on Dec. 20, 2005 Hiding the Awful Truth
By Leon H Wolf
I want to strike the words "abortion" and "choice"... But when you talk about framing this debate the way it ought to be framed, which is "Do you want Tom DeLay and the boys to make up your mind about this, or does a woman have a right to make up her own mind about what kind of health care she gets."
-DNC Chairman Howard Dean
Meet the Press, May 22nd, 2005
Prior to my finals-induced break, I began a series of posts about abortion which examined the many lies upon which the framework of Roe and Casey has been built and sustained. First, I examined the lies that were told by the NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the other organizations who pushed for the nationwide legalization of abortion. Next, with the help of the inestimable Ramesh Ponnuru, I examined the lies that were told by historians in the famous "brief of 281" submitted in conjunction with the Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. Finally, I examined the evidence tending to show that abortion is being used primarily and overwhelmingly as birth control, and is disporportionately affecting the black community. Today, I will undertake to examine exactly what abortion is, and how it is achieved.
Beware, this topic is not for the faint of heart, and some of the pictures contained below the fold are extremely graphic. With that said, I encourage you to click the fold and read this nonetheless, because avoiding the awful truth will not make it go away - and if you are confident enough that the issue does not matter, or that it cannot be resolved, or that unborn humans are not actual humans, the pictures should really not bother you at all.
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JUST TO BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR, THERE ARE GRAPHIC PICTURES BELOW THE FOLD.
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Editor's Note: The post below the fold originally contained graphic pictures depicting aborted fetuses. In the interest of decency, all of those pictures have been hidden behind links. Thus, they are still available, but you will have to click an additional time to see them.
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Posted at 12:07pm on Dec. 20, 2005 TWU Defies Law, Judge, Christmas
By Leon H Wolf
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Under threat of legal action, more than 30,000 New York City transit workers went on strike early Tuesday, shutting down the nation's largest public transportation system just days ahead of Christmas.
Apart from selfishly ruining the Christmas season for millions of New Yorkers, the TWU strike was also apparently illegal:
MTA President Peter Kalikow responded quickly and forcefully, threatening the union with legal action under the Taylor Law, which forbids public employees from walking off the job.
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The Taylor Law allows for a fine of two days pay' for each day of a illegal strike.
In addition to that, this strike is in direct violation of a judicial injunction issued last week:
Negotiations are scheduled to resume this evening.The injunction, sought by the New York State attorney general's office, is allowed under the state's Taylor Law, which prohibits strikes by public employees. If transit employees do walk out, the Transport Workers Union, Local 100, faces millions of dollars in fines - and individual employees could be fined two days' pay for each day of work they miss. Striking workers could also be jailed.
And, in fact, it appears that the union leaders may be heading to jail, as the city AG and the MTA have begun contempt proceedings against the union. I'm just a humble law student, but even I know that it's a bad idea to disobey a direct order from a judge. That makes them grumpy.
Given, however, that this illegal strike will cost the city of New York an estimated $400 million a day in economic losses, not to mention the personal inconvenience and hardship upon all the citizens of the entire city of New York during the coldest time of the year, it is neither more nor less than they deserve.
Update (by Crank): The most unfair part of this whole thing is the impact on stores in Manhattan. Ask any retailer, especially in a place with a big contingent of out-of-town shoppers: the week before Christmas is a disproportionate chunk of their business. Stores big and small are totally innocent bystanders here, and if this goes on for more than a day they will take losses they can't recover.
The MTA proposed raises totaling 9% over three years, enough to keep wages rising with inflation, as they have for the past six years. Toussaint demanded stratospheric 24% hikes over three years.
The MTA offered bigger raises if the workforce would finance them through productivity savings. That's how the municipal unions scored hikes of 10% and 17%, and that pattern still stands as the TWU's best hope for fattening paychecks. Toussaint not only rejected productivity raises, he demanded that the MTA place a quota on the number of employees who are subject to workplace discipline every year.
Toussaint responded by demanding enhanced health benefits for retirees who have moved to Florida.
And a say over how the MTA manages subway security in a post-9/11 world.
And rules that would require the MTA to pad the workforce to make it easier for TWU members to take days off.
Posted in Miscellanea — Comments (42)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 7:14pm on Dec. 19, 2005 Did the President Break the Law?<br>Revisited
By Leon H Wolf
I've had a little time throughout the day to sit down with my good friend WestLaw and do some research on the issue today, and corresponded with a number of folks far more knowledgeable with this area of the law than I am, and have gotten some firmer answers to a number of questions that seem to keep cropping up in the course of this particular discussion.
More below the fold:
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Posted at 1:46pm on Dec. 19, 2005 Yes, but Did the President Break the Law?
By Leon H Wolf
It's sad, in a way, how very predictable the elected Democrats in this country have become. When one understands that their entire party has become afflicted with Bush Derangement Syndrome - and futher, that Bush Derangement Syndrome is the defining characteristic of their entire national message - one can predict with absolute certainty what their response to any given news story will be, even if that response would not normally occur to any rational person. And so, when it was leaked to the New York Times that the President, with Congressional oversight, had approved the NSA surveillance of international phone calls involving suspected Al Qaeda terrorists, it came as no surprise to me to learn that the Democrats were less concerned with how the release of this information might hurt the country than they were with how the manipulation of this information might adversely affect George W. Bush.
Setting aside for just a moment the amusement I feel at the uncomfortable squirming of those like Harry Reid who know good and well that Congress has been aware of this program on a bipartisan level for a long time, and that eventually this knowledge will come to light, I thought it might be worthwhile to investigate whether anything Bush did actually violated the law. Although you'd never know this from listening to either Russ Feingold or the mainstream press, the answer to this question is anything but clear. And I can't seem to shake this feeling that when all the dust clears, Bush will have rope-a-doped the press and the Democrats (sorry for being redundant) yet again. Let me explain.
The first charge that is being bandied about by our Constitutionally challenged leftist friends is that the President's authorization somehow violated the Constitution. If you press a leftist to explain to you how this is so, the details get kind of hazy, and will become obvious, as it usually does, that the particular leftist you are talking to has never actually read the Constitution. However, on the off chance that you are discussing this issue with a leftist who has read the Constitution, you'll likely get a mumbled response about either the fourth amendment or a "right to privacy."
Without getting into a long-winded argument about what the fourth amendment does or does not cover, or even whether there is a "right to privacy" protected in the Constitution, it's important to understand that the Constitution explicitly states (Article 1, section 9) that the President has the right, in cases of "Rebellion or Ivasion" or "when the public safety may require it" to suspend the Writ of Habeas Corpus. In other words, the President is Constitutionally authorized, under certain circumstances, to allow the federal Government to throw you in jail without even explaining to you why you are there. To assume that the President constitutionally has the power to suspend the Writ of habeas corpus, but not to intercept international phone calls from suspected terrorists is the kind of absurdity that only the modern left could embrace.
The question of whether the President violated 50 U.S.C. 1802 is a much trickier one to solve, and is anything but the slam dunk the media and the Democrats (sorry for being redundant) are making it out to be.
More below the fold:
UPDATE [12-19-05 12:09:00 EST by Leon H]: An emailer has correctly pointed out that Article 1, Section 9 properly authorizes Congress to suspend the Writ of habeas corpus. So, mea culpa. I had intended to make a point here about Congressional oversight of this program, but it's probably too late to go back and amend the post accordingly now.
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Posted at 6:58pm on Dec. 16, 2005 Senate Democrats Block Cord Blood Bill
By Leon H Wolf
Despite the fact that the House voted 431-1 last spring to approve a measure that would facilitate the donation of umbilical cord blood, Senate Democrats have placed a block on the bill because it does not contain any pork for the dissection of humans. Because goodness knows, where would we be without the valuable information that studies of embryo dissection provide?
Researchers are highly optimistic that cord blood research will help find a cure for many diseases, most notably sickle-cell anemia, a disease which disproportionately affects African Americans in this country. In fact, the CBC voted unanimously and enthusiastically for this bill. The Democrats in the Senate have apparently decided to spit in their face.
There is, quite literally, no political objection from virtually anyone in this country over the use of umbilical cord blood in research. It is an area of biological research which is, unlike so many others, virtually free of ethical concerns. And yet, the Democrats in the Senate have apparently decided that until they get pork for performing scientific research which is highly controversial and questionable, they block action on this bill.
Apparently, until there's pork to kill humans for scientific experimentation, there will be no pork for scientific experimenation that will help humans.
More updates as they become available.
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Posted at 2:41am on Dec. 16, 2005 The Chafee/Laffey Quandary
By Leon H Wolf
This morning, I was invited to participate in the Club for Growth's conference call concerning the Rhode Island Republican Senatorial primary, which pits incumbent RINO Lincoln Chafee against former Cranston mayor Steve Laffey. Laffey is a purported conservative, and has earned the CFG's endorsement. This particular Republican primary presents a very sticky problem for conservatives who are frustrated with the squishiness and ineffectiveness of the current Senate. The current CFG effort is also interesting because of the personalities involved, and the race promises to be the most hotly contested and frequently talked about Republican primary in the country.
Lincoln Chafee's liberalism is a well-known and chronicled phenomenon. Chafee is a run-away and unashamed pork-barrel spender who is skeptical of tax cuts and socially liberal. He is also incompetent and stupid. Chafee frequently chooses inopportune moments to backstab the party, and is a constant flight-risk, a la Jeffords (I could go on further about the other similarities between Jeffords and Chafee, but that is outside of the purview of this post.) For all intents and purposes, Lincoln Chafee is not much better than a Democrat, and in some situations may actually be worse (see below). The unanswered question, however, is whether a Laffey victory in the Republican primary would necessarily be a good thing for either the Republican party, or for conservative ideals.
My breakdown below the fold:
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Posted at 10:54pm on Dec. 15, 2005 About that Quagmire...
By Leon H Wolf
Did you know that things were getting worse, and not better in Iraq? Did you know that there were more terrorists in Iraq now than there were under Saddam Hussein, and that there are more of them every minute? If you did not know these things, any Democrat or press-person (sorry for being redundant) handy could easily inform you of them if you would only ask. Or even if you didn't ask.
One wonders, then, what to make of the terrorist's dwindling potence when it comes to affecting the Iraqi elections. By way of comparison, on the January 30 elections, the terrorists managed seventeen attacks that resulted in fatalities or injuries (the number of total attacks is estimated at over 200). For the October 15, elections, the terrorists managed a grand total of fourteen attacks, five of which resulted in injuries/fatalities. Today, the insurgents again managed a paltry fourteen attacks, three of which resulted in injuries and/or fatalities. The total casualty count for the day was 3 injured, 2 killed. A pretty good day for East Nashville, and nobody's advocating we pull out of there.
I am, to some degree, continuously amused at the contortions the war opponents are willing to put themselves through in order to continue bashing Bush over the war. Every significant milestone is "no big deal." Or perhaps it's, yes, but, there are still attacks happening over there, so therefore the mission is a failure.
It is long past time for the naysayers and quagmirists to get a grip on reality. In the first place, Iraq is not going to be a place that has no attacks for quite some time, if ever. That is simply the nature of being a democracy in the Middle East that is friendly to the United States - you are going to have a target on your back. Israel, for instance, faces terrorist attacks on a regular basis - and only an ignorant fool would suggest that Israel is either a) incapable of defending themselves or b) has been a failure as a country over the last several decades.
Today's anti-war left is making a sad spectacle of themselves indeed. They have apparently conceived of a world in which soldiers do not die in war, and democratic, pro-Western countries in the Middle East don't face terrorist attacks. They are now using this uptopian world of make-believe as a cudgel to beat the administration with, hoping desperately that the American public never catches on, and that they can defeat the general optimism of the American public, who are justifiably proud of the job our military has done in Iraq, and hopeful for the citizens of Iraq and its new government, by reminding them that people are dying in war and that our enemies have the temerity to attack our troops. Apparently, any war involving the death of troops, or an enemy that fights back, is ipso facto a failure because it does not live up to the utopia they have constructed.
This was a losing strategy in 1968, which legitimately could have been called a quagmire, it will be a disaster in 2006.
I'm just trying to figure out what I've done to earn political opponents who are so incompetent - and who have further decided to sabotage the only half-bright one in their midst.
If someone figures it out, please let me know so that I can do it again.
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Posted at 6:15pm on Dec. 12, 2005 Why We Love Arlen (Part 64)
By Leon H Wolf
Sources close to the Alito confirmation process are telling RedState that the Democrats are attempting to get Arlen Specter, at least privately, on their side. By raising the abortion issue, Democrats hope to persuade Arlen Specter to help resist the effort to confirm Alito.
In particular, some left leaning staffers on the Judiciary Committee and Senate Democrats are advancing the idea that Specter should aggressively pursue Alito on the issue of abortion and the Democrats will go after Alito on the issue of voting rights. The theory is that if Democrats push Alito on abortion, the public will just discount Democrat criticism. If, however, Specter, the Chairman, does that and Democrats mostly refrain from taking on the issue, but pursue voting rights instead, the public may just think Alito is wholly unacceptable.
Thus far Senator Specter has not gone for the idea. But, a couple of judiciary committee staffers are fearful that Specter just might be too agreeable with the Democrats behind the scenes.
As I have said before, this is exactly the sort of situation in which I would fully expect Arlen Specter to betray his party. We will see if it pans out that way.
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Posted at 1:50pm on Dec. 10, 2005 Heisman Thread (Poll)<br>Saturday Open Thread
By Leon H Wolf
So this year, for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, there will only be three players headed to New York for the Heisman announcement. While it's obvious that one of the three (Leinart, Bush or Young) will win this thing, why not bring a Brady Quin or someone else along? And really, does Leinart have more of a legit shot himself this year?
So, who's going to win, Bush or Young? What do you think about the decision to bring these three to the finals? Are there any other deserving candidates?
P.S. Congrats to Jay Cutler for winning SEC Offensive Player of the Year from the coaches and the AP. He'll make some NFL team (please, Bears) happy someday.
Update [2005-12-10 21:16:21 by Nick Danger]: Bush wins Heisman
Posted in Miscellanea — Comments (21)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 10:52am on Dec. 9, 2005 Don't forget to vote<br>Friday Open Thread
By Leon H Wolf
Consider this an open thread.