Friday, June 30, 2006

President's Precedents

Now that the Supreme Court has interfered in military matters (big time) with its decision yesterday on a certain prisoner held at Guantanamo, it may be worthwhile to look at what has happened in the past as presidents have directed their militaries.

President Abraham Lincoln is a case in point. During his war against the South, he organized military tribunals to handle trials of civilians in the North who disagreed with him. Not only did he take away their weapons, but he also suspended American citizen’s right of habeas corpus.

Some 13,000 northern or neutral state males were tried by military courts and tossed into prison for the flimsiest of reasons. In addition, the President destroyed about 200 printing presses. Yes, if he disagreed with a Northern newspaper, he sent General Burnside in with troops to physically mutilate that paper’s printing press.

The only reason the President did not destroy a large Chicago newspaper printing press was that the troops were met by a large mob milling around outside the newspaper’s building. Rather than shoot the citizens who were in the way, the troops withdrew and the paper continued to publish. It was the last such attack.

One should bear in mind that Congress can suspend habeas corpus, but not a President. Yet the Supreme court was remarkably quiet as all this went on.

Am I making this up? No, it is information found in most history books that were written by diligent researchers. But not much was made of these Presidential acts. Writers seemed to think the ends justified the means.

So what if a few dainty Americans get worked up because terrorists are not treated well enough? Can you imagine what would have happened to them in 1864? President Bush seems quite mellow compared to his predecessor.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Supreme Court Makes Treaty with Enemy

The Supreme Court has just concluded a treaty with terrorists. In its latest decision, larded with votes from its Liberal justices, the court has decided that terrorists should be included in the group of Geneva Convention nations. These nations are in the Convention by treaty. By including the terrorists in the Convention, the Supreme Court has conducted a treaty with them.

In this country even the president cannot make treaties. Treaties are the province of the U. S. Senate.

Not since Andrew Jackson has a President defied the Supreme Court. If the President and the Senate acted toward the Supreme Court as the Supreme Court acted toward the other two departments of government, there would be even more chaos.

The Senate needs to act quickly.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Oops! in Cause for Global Warming

This morning my local newspaper carried the story that the temperature was warm and had not been so warm in four hundred years. I assumed that the subject was global temperature and not the temperature in Southern California, which seems to have been cooler this year.

With this story, the proponents of “global warming caused by the SUV in your driveway” crowd seem to have shot themselves in the foot. One may reasonably ask what caused the warming period four hundred years ago? Was it the SUV in the driveway of my ancestor in Renaissance Europe, or worse, in the driveway of my Native American ancestor in Virginia?

If the answer is neither, that these things happen naturally, some wag is likely to ask if the present warming is not also naturally caused and the battle will continue. But I will not ask that. I come from a family whose child didn’t just shoot himself in the foot, he blew off his big toe with a shotgun. For evidence see my book, Four on the Floor, which is kind of self-explanatory.