- Top 100: Mark Young at Hendersonville Post put together an update of the “Top 100 Conservative Websites” originally put together back in July by IntellectualConservative.com and based on Alexa traffic rankings. He emailed me to let me know that this site had moved from #103 to #54. How much that means I don’t know, but the whole list is worth checking out.
- ACLU: In his comments, Mr. Young noted that I have an ACLU ad running and wondered if perhaps I ought to be excommunicated for this sin (my words, not his). I’m actually removing the ad now anyway, but it linked to this page about the threat that the US is becoming a surveillance society. The US Supreme Court had to step in and say that spying inside private homes with infrared imaging without a warrant is an illegal search (in an opinion written by Antonin Scalia and joined by Clarence Thomas). Initiatives are underway to use spy satellites to watch us the second we step into our privacy fenced backyards, without reasonable suspicion let alone probable cause. Conservatives should be comfortable with that? I don’t think so.
I purposely chose the ad version that included “ACLU” for a couple a of reasons. First, honesty – it leads to the ACLU’s site and if you were going to click it, I wanted you to know that. Second, conservatives overreact to the flaws of the ACLU. Civil liberties are a vital part of the Constitution. The Constitution and its protection of civil liberties is a huge part of what we want to “conserve.” As I’ve noted before, Ollie North owes ACLU lawyers for getting his wrongful felony conviction overturned. Until conservatives produce our own organization dedicated to vigorously defending the Constitution in the nation’s Courts, for all its many shortcomings the ACLU is the only game in town. It would be great to have an organization that concerned itself with property rights, gun rights, freedom of expression and illegal searches, but until that day, we have the NRA for gun rights, the NAR for property rights and the ACLU for the rest.
- Pakistan: Our democracy fetish is at play again. The reason democracy is good is that it’s a bulwark against tyranny, but when it comes to tyranny, democracy is not a panacea. In fact, the most dangerous tyranny is the democratic “tyranny of the majority.” Arguably the regime that Musharraf’s first coup ousted fit that bill. It was inarguably horribly corrupt, however democratically it was elected. In terms of liberty, the Musharraf government has been an improvement over its corrupt but “democractic” predecessor. Since the coup, Musharraf has shown by word and deed that he does intend to restore democracy (including, not least, by holding elections). More importantly, he’s shown that he does not intend to institute anything that might reasonably called “tyranny.” Until this state of emergency, the Pakistani government was lenient with the opposition including, unfortunately, the hard line Islamist opposition that attempted to assassinate Benazir Bhutto immediately on her return to Pakistan. When it comes to liberty, which should be our real concern, democracy is both the best defense and potentially the worst enemy. Musharraf has pledged that elections will not be postponed more than a month, so perhaps democracy fetishists need to learn a little the value of delayed gratification.
- Budget Busters: Bush finally uses his veto pen on a spending boondoggle and Congress promptly overrides the veto. With the budget on trend to be in balance in May of 2009 without any spending cuts, the $23 billion eliminated by Bush’s veto of the water bill could have moved the budget into balance even sooner. Of course, Democrats wouldn’t want the budget in balance before Hillary and Rudy face off next November because that would take ammo out of their artillery. Now ironically because they overrode a veto to spend money unwisely they’ll be able to beat the deficit drum through the election season.