Posted on 01-12-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs, Politics) by Rashtrakut

Mike is Huckabee under fire for yet another clemency grant.  However, unlike his previous politically motivated attempt to pardon Wayne DuMond this one seems to have been motivated by a genuine attempt to do the humanitarian thing that will (and is already being) exploited by his political opponents.    I have mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, as Yglesias notes the commutation of the sentence (Huckabee did not send Clemons out of the jail house door) may have been justified at the time.  On the other hand as Joe Conason at Salon notes, Huckabee who disdains the separation of church and state may have let the professions of religion influence his commutations.  Just as when the conversion of death row inmate Karla Faye Tucker to Christianity brought calls for clemency from Pat Robertson, one wonders whether a conversion to another faith would have been as helpful to Clemons.

Even though Huckabee’s excessive public displays of religiosity and his refusal to acknowledge the utility of the wall between church and state are a turnoff to me and like Sarah Palin he is somewhat light in his grasp of policy,  he is in many ways an appealing politician.  He does not come off as mean spirited and has a affability and sense of humor that can draw people to him.  Whatever his motivations, in a culture where the way to fight crime is to incarcerate and forget about rehabilitation he was willing to stick his neck out on the belief that people can reform.  This time it had tragic results and he will pay the price at the hands of a political and media culture that prefers cardboard cutout politicians.  It is a pity that there is no room for him in the dog-eat-dog political world today.

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Posted on 01-12-2009
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut
  • Formerly conservative blogger Charles Johnson on why he parted ways with the right.
  • The latest from a birther unable to accept the results of the 2008 Presidential election trying to get a local jury to indict Barack Obama for treason, even though treason is a federal and not a state offense.
  • Praise for George W. Bush.
  • This one made me chuckle (picture below).  Using humor to bash gay bashers.

Coudroy skirts are a sin

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Posted on 01-12-2009
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

Jackie Ashley from the Guardian has an article detailing the various machinations on the subject.  On a sidebar after reading the article, it is amusing to see how much the cause of union is aided by the Scottish need for a financial bailout.  A major selling point for the Act of Union in 1707 allegedly was a financial bailout for the disastrous Darien Scheme.  With Scottish Banks requiring bailout today it is not surprising that some Scots can appreciate the benefits of the Union Jack over the Saltire standing by itself.  With the Scots absorbing a higher proportion of Westminster’s largess it is not surprising that the English have cooled a bit on the Union.

The modification in English attitudes reminds me of the response of a friend resident in Ontario at the thought of Quebec seceding from Canada.  He was tired of Ontario subsidizing Quebec and then hearing grumbling from Québécois on how they would be better off with their own country.  Similar attitudes prevail today in Belgium with Flanders and Wallonia eternally at odds with each other and very few “Belgian” institutions (the monarchy and the soccer team) in place holding the country together.  Unions of different cultures are always difficult to sustain.  When the common bond (historically it was often religion or a personal union of crowns) starts to fray, people are all to eager to question whether the sum of the whole exceeds the sum of the parts.  A few more velvet divorces may be in the offing.

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