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Getting Borked – The Origin of Nastiness

October 23rd, 2011 2 comments

Joe Nocera at the NYT had a great little opinion piece, and it resonated with me because I remember the nastiness to which he refers. Especially the lead up to a vote that revealed some vile human beings in our legislature. You expect some nastiness in advocacy groups, but until then, the senate actually was a “collegial round table.” But hey, it’s an anniversary, so let’s celebrate The Nastiness!

On October 23, 1987, “Robert Bork’s nomination to the Supreme Court was voted down by the Senate. All but two Democrats voted ‘nay.'” Ain’t it wonderful? 24 years ago today, intellectual midgets in our “collegial” senate torpedoed an intellectual giant. I wanted to bring up Bork for essentially the same reason Joe Nocera did: to highlight where the ugliness started. Just one good paragraph to entice you to go read Joe’s opinion piece… a quick trip that highlights why demorats have no ethical space to bitch about rethuglican obstructionism:

I’ll take it one step further. The Bork fight, in some ways, was the beginning of the end of civil discourse in politics. For years afterward, conservatives seethed at the “systematic demonization” of Bork, recalls Clint Bolick, a longtime conservative legal activist. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution coined the angry verb “to bork,” which meant to destroy a nominee by whatever means necessary. When Republicans borked the Democratic House Speaker Jim Wright less than two years later, there wasn’t a trace of remorse, not after what the Democrats had done to Bork. The anger between Democrats and Republicans, the unwillingness to work together, the profound mistrust — the line from Bork to today’s ugly politics is a straight one.

This article is an excellent counterpoint to the horseshit that shows up at “MediaMatters.” A simple reading of the Wiki article shows MediaMatters to be the liars most people believe them to be. Even with the six Republican moral cowards, Bork would have lost the confirmation.

Why bring this up? Well, one reason that sits like a burr beneath a saddle (not that I feel remotely like this blog is a saddle 😛 ), is having Commander Admin over at AmeriKAZAM call me out. Another reason is that writer over at Ameri… wait, I may have mentioned that already. Oh, and that really sharp dude over at Responsibility – Freedom Demands It, yeah him too. Of course, there is also that mouthy broad over at Mad Conservative – she just kind of compels me to jump back in and keep swinging. The clearest reason for bringing this up though, is a question. Do we continue with civil discourse when confronted with brutish uncivil behavior and speech? Or, should one give the offender the deserved poke in the nose and test the claim of pacifism? Seriously though, where do you go from here? This whole getting borked thing is a festering wound that has only escalated. AmeriKAZAM pokes it with a bundle of sticks, er, a stable of Jon Swifts, but funnier. What do we do if we want to win back our country?

One thing is for certain… it ain’t just writing in a blog. How’s that old saw go? “Ya gotta get off yer apathy and do something.” Time to do something – what’s it gonna be??

I once went to seminary and got one of the M.Div. things, and though most would consider me an apostate, I still have some favorite Bible verses… Here’s what we should do next, from Judges, chapter 15:

Samson Badass

For now, let’s just make asses of them. Let’s go with Joe’s concluding thought:

Today, of course, the court has a conservative majority, and liberal victories are, indeed, being overturned. Interestingly, Bolick says Bork’s beliefs would have made him a restraining force. Theodore Olson, who served as solicitor general under George W. Bush, also pointed out that after Bork, nominees would scarcely acknowledge that they had rich and nuanced judicial philosophies for fear of giving ammunition to the other side. Those philosophies would be unveiled only after they were on the court.

Mostly, though, the point remains this: The next time a liberal asks why Republicans are so intransigent, you might suggest that the answer lies in the mirror.

Cheers you wielders of the sharpened word,
The Skald.

On Peaceniks and Turncoats

May 27th, 2011 No comments

I’ve a couple of truly worthwhile videos line up here, the kind that should raise an eyebrow, the blood pressure, or more. Now then, I love the arts, but my strongest passion is reserved for my country and countrymen. Moreover, I want to see other peoples enjoy what we too often take for granted, and now, even more often let be taken from us by the soft power of cultural transmogrification. This is an easy six minutes.

Having watched Hitchens and Hanson, please, take the time for Bill Whittle’s video. Follow the suggestion about visiting Amazon for Victor Davis Hanson’s nice little broadside. It’s a short yet stunning read!! Oh, and consider becoming a “Citizen Producer,” it’s worth the price of admission.
Cheers All!!

The Meme Eater: Bill Whittle

May 12th, 2011 2 comments

Tired of hearing our blue brethren whine about nuanced views of this or that, when what they usually mean is, “let’s obfuscate the issue?” Here’s Bill Whittle on a very nuanced view of several memes that have been offered as retreads lately… concerning the killing of USB ~ no, no, no, not that port in your computer. Oh, alright, Osama bin Laden. The FBI has pretty much stuck with Usama, but either way, this is another devastating little video!

Eat the Rich!!

April 19th, 2011 1 comment

As usual, Bill Whittle hits it out of the park ~ of course, he’s using Iowahawk’s material (which is worth the visit!), but doing it with video ~ it definitely puts this debt problem and how to take care of it in perspective. Here’s our new Jonathan Swift!

Cheers Everyone! 😉

16 Tons in Debt…

April 17th, 2011 7 comments

Gotta check out things over at Iowahawk!

😀

Restricting Freedom of Speech

April 4th, 2011 2 comments

If you haven’t visited The Virginian, take a trip on by for this tidbit: The Virginian: U.S. flag burning: OK…Koran burning: Restricted. I’ll be attempting fuller and richer posts of my own soon, but I had to get back in the swing of this blogging business the easy way… with someone else’s work 🙂  Be seein’ ya!

Rehabilitation and Corrections…

January 15th, 2011 3 comments

Middle management sent out an email recently addressing the concept of rehabilitation with respect to Correctional Officers. One of the ideas equated Oregon’s framework of accountability (within the Oregon Accountability Model) with the concept of rehabilitation. This was in reference to an article by Chris Jones recently published at CorrectionsOne. The article’s title, An officer’s responsibility to rehabilitation, opens a can of worms with well meaning intention. While there is much I’d like to address in this article, I want to keep this post to a reasonable length, so I’ll restrict most of my comments to the first few paragraphs:

I hear this statement from fellow officers all the time: “Rehabilitation doesn’t work.” Those who say it, all of whom are intelligent corrections professionals, cite numerous reasons. Some point to the astronomical recidivism rate. Some say that offenders are wholly uninterested in change. They wonder why we should waste precious time and resources attempting to change a group of individuals who have no interest at all in changing. Who are we, many ask, to question this accepted wisdom?

We are corrections professionals with minds of our own, and the ability to see past the single-minded ideas presented by those — some even within our own ranks — who think that punishment and security are the only things with which correctional officers need to concern themselves.

I’ve also heard time and again, “I’m not a guard. I’m an officer.” I couldn’t agree with more that sentiment. We are not guards, we are correctional officers. We work in security, but we are not security officers. We are not punishment officers. We are correctional officers. Because of that, the things we do — or should be doing — every shift contribute to our departmental and institutional mission of rehabilitation. After all, what is rehabilitation other than correcting attitudes and behaviors?

Even within these first few paragraphs there is much to discuss concerning diction, or the precision with which words are chosen to convey meaning. Moreover, Jones immediately calls into question what he perceives as received wisdom, i.e., “rehabilitation doesn’t work,” and justifies challenging that “wisdom” with the idea that we are “corrections professionals with minds of our own….”

If you have the time, read the whole article, but for the purposes of this discussion, I’ll be focusing on the words rehabilitation, corrections, and accountability. I realize that what I’m about to say may seem obvious, but typically, when we challenge the meaning of words by challenging the way in which they are used the common defense is – “I’m not going to argue semantics with you.” Now then, I’m going to define four words.

First, semantics is the study of meaning. Saying, “I’m not going to argue semantics with you” when the challenge is about meaning is nothing more than a cowardly retreat or copout. Semantics focuses on the denotation of a word without forgetting its possible connotations. Let’s be honest, meaning is important to effective communications.

Second, rehabilitation isn’t nearly as easy to define! Unless of course, we do without the connotations and focus on denotations, then rehabilitation means the action of restoring something to a former state or capacity. When we go into rehabilitation for alcoholism, we hope to be restored to a sober state. The very word rehabilitate assumes the existence of a prior and preferred state of being. For many inmates there really isn’t a prior and preferred state of being. Still, the idea of rehabilitation carries the seeds of our modern notions of restorative justice, i.e., restoring the offender to an amicable relationship with his community.

Third, being accountable means being subject to giving an account, being answerable for, being responsible for ones actions. Think in terms of money, accounts payable. Holding a party accountable for damages should give us a good idea of what accountability means.

Finally, the word corrections is probably a word that should not have been used for a penal institution unless some very radical changes were orchestrated. Think of this in terms of correcting a math paper, and then corrections are the act of altering or adjusting the problem to some standard or required state. In terms of our penal system, according to Webster’s, it is the act of punishing or disciplining with a view to reforming or improving one’s behavior.

While the last three words are used in the corrections field (our old penal system), they are not synonymous and we do a disservice to our chosen profession when we are not clear about the terms we use to communicate to each other and the public. On Oregon’s Department of Corrections website, there is a page devoted to the mission, vision, and core values of the department – no mention of the word rehabilitate. Look up the Oregon Accountability Model (OAM); you’ll be hard pressed to find the word rehabilitate or rehabilitation. Accountability and restoring the inmate to the community (re-entry) figure large in the OAM, but not rehab. I think this is a good thing, because it isn’t just “old time guards” that doubt the claims of rehabilitation programs; the public tends to share those doubts. Accountability, restoration, and reformation are good words to use within the framework of correctional professionals.

Feel free to tear me up here – after all, I did give short shrift to Jones’ article to keep this one manageable. My primary focus was to correct the notion that you can equate the concepts of rehabilitation and accountability, and that no, rehabilitation really isn’t simply correcting attitudes and behaviors.

Cheers!

The Fundamental Problem…

November 21st, 2010 2 comments

“The fundamental problem we have in this country is the rich have all the money and they’re not spending it,” outgoing Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) said.


After watching that horse hooey, perhaps we could refashion his quote… “The fundamental problem we have in this country is that government keeps spending money it not only does not have, but ultimately, has no real right to…” Rep. Grayson in the other reality.

Categories: Government, Politics, Video Tags:

Bill Whittle: On Immigration – The Legal Kind?

November 12th, 2010 3 comments

Tired of the same old accusations about your character simply because you don’t believe the popular line of mind numbingly stupid political positions? Visit a bit of Thomas Paine… you know, common sense discourse and exposition. Watch, enjoy, act!

Whiner-in-Chief

November 5th, 2010 3 comments

He had defined himself as a world-class whiner even before Rahm Emanuel, a world-class flatterer, declared that Obama had dealt masterfully with “the toughest times any president has ever faced” – quite a claim, considering that before the first president from Illinois was even inaugurated, seven of the then-34 states had seceded. Today’s president from Illinois, a chronic campaigner and incontinent complainer who is uninhibited by considerations of presidential dignity, has blamed his difficulties on:

George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, the Supreme Court, a Cincinnati congressman (John Boehner), Karl Rove, Americans for Prosperity and other “groups with harmless-sounding names” (Hillary Clinton’s “vast right-wing conspiracy” redux), “shadowy third-party groups” (they are as shadowy as steam calliopes), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, finally, the American people. They have deeply disappointed him by being impervious to “facts and science and argument.”

Yes! Is George Will a word mechanic or what? I mean, dude! Alright – I won’t be quite as disrespectful as Jon Stewart was when he sucked the authority and dignity of the Presidency right out of B.H.Obama. Will does a marvelous job of describing both the arrogance and condescension of the progressive caucus of the democratic party. I’ve read several articles from the left, and virtually all ignore the possibility that voters had a brain. So often as to be contemptible, many on the left decide that people who disagree with their agenda are simply immoral, uncaring, unthinking, racist or cowering in fear. The foundations of strictly liberal education would crumble if any legitimacy was ascribed to those, those… Never mind, I’m not going there with them.

Will the DemoRats get the message? It’s actually doubtful, but will the Repulsivcans get the message? I hope they get the message… otherwise they should just camp at a KOA outside D.C. until 2012 and the indies put them up for shellacking. Leave the social agenda alone and focus on our founding principles. I mean really – the EU’s “constitution is nearly 80,000 words and HAS NOT BEEN VOTED ON… The U.S. Constitution (with ammendments) is less than 7,500 words. Our republic is astonishing in its elegant longevity and simplicity. Obama really doesn’t get it! What’s it take to make us “a happy and a prosperous people?” When Roger Kimball quotes Jefferson in his Weekly Standard article, I believe he’s got it right!

A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.

Every link in here is worth the read (well, maybe not the tea party haters), but if you read only one – read the Roger Kimball article and buy the new book he is reviewing, now THAT is worth the read! The New Road to Serfdom: A Letter of Warning to America by Daniel Hannan.  Awesome book.

Cheers Friends!

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