The Local Crank

Musings & Sardonic Commentary on Politics, Religion, Culture & Native American Issues. Bringing you the finest in radioactive screeds since 2002! "The Local Crank" newspaper column is distributed by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.

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Location: Cleburne, Texas, United States

Just a simple Cherokee trial lawyer, Barkman has been forcing his opinions on others in print since, for reasons that passeth understanding, he was an unsuccessful candidate for state representative in 2002. His philosophy: "If people had wanted me to be nice, they should've voted for me."

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Cleburne Times-Review Column for 28 May, 2006

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
--John 15:13

There are three main holidays where we as a Nation celebrate those who wear or have worn their country’s uniform. On Armed Forces Day (May 20), we honor those who currently stand watch over our liberty and safety. On Veterans Day (November 11), formerly Armistice Day, we thank those who served their country in the past. But on the last Monday in May, we observe Memorial Day in recognition of those who never came home. John Alexander Logan, a former Congressman from Illinois who later served as a general in the Union Army, proclaimed the first Memorial Day as Commander in Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic on May 5, 1868. In his General Orders Number 11, he wrote, “Let us, then, at the time appointed gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with the choicest flowers of spring-time; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from his honor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon a nation's gratitude, the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.” The Civil War, still our bloodiest conflict, left many to memorialize. It is hardly surprising then that the haunting refrain of “Taps,” also appeared as a result of that terrible conflagration, prepared by General Daniel Butterfield and his bugler, Oliver Wilcox Norton. Part of the unofficial lyrics to “Taps,” run, “Go to sleep, peaceful sleep, May the soldier or sailor, God keep. On the land or the deep, Safe in sleep.”

Decades later, when the awful engines of the modern world produced the horrors of scientific, technological butchery in World War One, John McCrae was moved to write, “In Flanders fields the poppies blow; Between the crosses, row on row; That mark our place; and in the sky; The larks, still bravely singing, fly; Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago; We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie; In Flanders fields.” To this day, in France and Belgium and the nations of the former British Empire, Remembrance Day is celebrated with veterans wearing poppies in their lapels and passing them out to the public.

So what, if anything, will you do to remember the fallen on this Memorial Day? In our current conflict, whether you support it or not, we the general public have not been called upon to endure any sacrifice, or indeed even any mild inconvenience, in support of the cause. Save only for those families who have sadly lost a loved one, most of us would never know a war was being fought half a world away, or that young men and women were dying nearly every day. There is a movement afoot to fix the date of Memorial Day, instead of allowing it to float for the convenience of a long weekend. Surely, we can make at least that much of a sacrifice? To give up a trip to the lake or mall to actually pause and remember those who were willing to put on a uniform, pick up a weapon, and interpose their bodies between us and our families and those who would kill or enslave us? Those who “gave the last full measure of devotion”?

The Iraq War is a source of great controversy and divisiveness in this country; that much is painfully obvious. Some who have lost children in the conflict, such as Cindy Sheehan, are passionately opposed to the fighting; others support the cause with equal fervor. Yet, beyond dispute, is the brutal undeniable fact that as of the moment I type these words, 2,459 American soldiers have died. So divided is the country, that even listing their names on television is controversial. Yet how will we remember them? How will we honor their sacrifice? Are we willing to give up anything, anything at all, to show them and their families that we appreciate them? Are the flags downtown enough? Do your children even know why they are flying? What will you tell them?

Shakespeare put these words in the mouth of Henry V: “This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered-We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.”

Will we teach our sons? Will we remember?


Friday, May 26, 2006

Support Native American Veterans

From Native American Times. Due to an "accounting error" by the Defense Department, Native Americans whose residence was in Indian Country had state taxes wrongfully withheld from their salaries. Though the practice was finally stopped in 2001, a bill to reimburse these honored veterans has been languishing in Congress since October 7, 2004. Memorial Day is a fitting time to demand that Congress right this wrong.


On A Related Note..., women, all age groups, whites, blacks, Hispanics, independents, moderates, people with master's degrees, people who never finished college, people who never attended college, people who never go to church, always go to church or sometimes go to church, North Texans, West Texans, East Texans and people from Harris County all prefer head lice to Rick Perry. Okay, well maybe I exaggerate just a tad, but these are abysmal numbers for an incumbent who thinks he can get re-elected.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

John Cornyn: More Popular than Perry, but Less Popular than Mange

According to Survey USA, John Cornyn is one of the least popular Senators currently serving, with an approval/disapproval rating of 43/47. Men, women, age groups below 55+, Independents and Moderates all have a negative opinion of this smarmy blowhard. So, who out there will step up?


The Surprises Continue

For the first time ever, President Bush seems to suggest that there may actually be a limit to the pharaoh-like powers of the Executive Branch. In the meantime, as usual, the Bull Moose makes a good point.

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"I clearly have serious concerns about what happened and whether people at the Justice Department have looked at the Constitution lately," said House Majority Leader John Boehner.

After all the many, many instances where the Bush Administration has clearly demonstrated its' sheer unvarnished contempt for the rule of law and the separation of powers, it takes an FBI raid on the Congressional offices of a DEMOCRAT (who by all appearances is so crooked that when he dies they will have to screw him into the ground) to get Congressional Republicans' dander up?

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Surprisingly Enough...

From The Onion.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Things Get Ugly

Six Nations protestors (rather quaintly referred to as "aboriginals" by the Toronto Sun) were attacked by local white residents, who also roughed-up former Ontario Premier David Peterson, who has been acting as a mediator in the dispute over lands granted to the Six Nations by King George III as a reward for their service to the crown during the American Revolution.

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Stupid White Man of the Week: Lou Dobbs

Yes, we have a tie this week. Normally, I like Lou Dobbs, since he is just about the only person in the MSM who regularly discusses the disastrous economic effects of outsourcing, but unfortunately Lou has gone batshit crazy on the immigration issue. Mr. Dobbs, when engaging in bizarre, paranoid ramblings about the dangers of brown people infiltrating land stolen from Native Americans by white people, it's very important to check your sources.


Lloyd Bentsen, Last of the Patricians

Lloyd Bentsen has passed away. I actually got to meet the former Senator and Secretary of the Treasury back in 1988 in Waco when he made his first official campaign appearance as the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate. He and and his wife Beryl Ann came out of their hotel room in slippers and bathrobes to shake our hands. I think she may have actually distributed cookies. Yes, he was an extremely conservative Democrat and yes he used some questionable tactics to defeat the late, great "Raff" Yarborough, but he was still a class act, he beat George H.W. Bush for the US Senate, he decapitated Dan Quayle, and he would've made a fine vice president.

But A Sign of Hope...

A bipartisan coalition in the House of Representatives voted against the Bush Administration's proposals and restored funding to Indian health programs. Wa-do. Good on them.


Sore Winners

"Something for nothing." Absolutely pathetic. Once again, Native Americans learn that no matter how heinous the crime, some "legal" rationale will always be found to retroactively justify it.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Or Maybe Not

Democrats Can Be Crooked, Too... the interest of fairness...

The Right Is Cracking, Part IV...

Richard Viguerie hates George W. Bush.

The State of Education Today

From The Poor Man Institute. This puts me in mind of back when I was in law school and teaching government at a couple of local community colleges in Houston to make ends meet. There were the two girls who told me they were dropping my course because it was "too hard," and besides they were just slumming in community college until they transferred to A&M. And there was the priceless look on students' faces when I told they had to write a 20 page research paper (double-spaced, and they had all semester to write it); you'd have thought I had told them to take out their own spleens using only a spork!


Burning Down the House

From The Moderate Voice, more indications that the House GOP is in serious trouble. Will Democrats manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

Stupid White Man of the Week: Michelle Dallacroce

Founder of something called "Mothers Against Illegal Aliens."


Cleburne Times-Review Column for 21 May, 2006

“He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.”
--Psalm 146:7-9

President Bush’s poll numbers have collapsed, with a nationwide approval rating of 29% that ranks him alongside Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon. Across the country, the President has a net positive approval rating in just three states (Idaho, Utah and Wyoming), and is viewed negatively even in formerly ultra-red states like Georgia (58% disapprove), North Dakota (56% disapprove), and South Carolina (62% disapprove). Former battleground states have swung against him as well: 65% of Ohioans have a negative opinion of this Administration, and 61% of Floridians join them. Even 56% of Texans disapprove of their former Governor; and when you break the numbers down, you begin to see why Bush’s approval ratings have sunk much lower than anyone (including me) would ever have imagined. It is not just that liberals and moderates dislike this Administration; they still do. This latest free-fall is triggered by discontent among conservatives, even religious conservatives, the very people who “elected” Bush in 2000 and re-elected him in 2004. In Texas, for example, only 73% of self-described Republicans and 70% of self-described conservatives support the President. Only 46% of those who claim to attend church regularly and 52% of those who self-identify as pro-life still stand by George W. Bush. This gibes with a recent Gallup poll showing an astonishing 13 percentage point drop in support for the President among Republicans. Bush even lost to, of all people, Bill Clinton, on the issue of trustworthiness! This is incredibly bad news, not just for a lame-duck Administration with limited political capital to begin with, but also for increasingly frantic GOP efforts to hold onto control of Congress, with the public telling pollsters they trust Democrats more on issues like Iraq, the economy and immigration.

So what is turning off Conservatives about an Administration they once so adored? Two issues: spending and immigration. The recent tax cut (which works out to a whopping $46 per year for a family making $45,000 per year, but offers $41,997 to a family making $1.5 million per year) was apparently not enough to disguise the fact that this Congress is spending money like the proverbial drunken sailor on shore leave, with Bush’s threats of a first-ever veto scornfully ignored. On immigration, Bush’s recent proposal truly had something for everyone…to hate, that is. Liberals and moderates scorn the idea of deploying the overworked and thinly stretched National Guard and building a Great Wall of Tax Dollars, and nativist conservatives (a fairly polite term that also includes some pretty blatantly knuckle-dragging racists) despise what they see as “amnesty.” The National Guard, border governors, the Mexican government (which tends to get a little leery when an American army appears on its border) and even the pathetic “Minutemen” have all fallen over one another to denounce the President’s speech. Some of the “Fighting Keyboardists” of the conservative blogosphere are even calling for Bush to be impeached!

And here’s the really sad part of it all: President Bush is right, at least in general. Yes, he fudged some facts during his speech while trying to pander to screeching race-baiting opportunists like Cong. Tom Tancredo of Colorado, but overall he is correct. Mass deportations are a ludicrous fantasy, as is the idea of locking up 12-20 million people. Using “guest workers” along the German gastarbeiter model, without offering the chance of citizenship, gets you a radicalized, marginalized and violent sub-culture. But the President is also correct that border security has to be increased. For one thing, we cannot continue having mass amnesties every 20 years. No matter how you slice it, it isn’t fair to essentially reward people for breaking the law, while enforcing cumbersome bureaucratic regulations on those who play by the rules in trying to lawfully enter the country that was blatantly stolen from Native Americans (old joke: a bright, young sociologist asks an elder Indian, “What did you call North America before the arrival of white men? “Ours,” he replies). For another reason, our national security really is imperiled by having such a porous border. As I reported in a previous column, government investigations have revealed how ludicrously easy it would be to smuggle the components for a weapon of mass destruction into this country.

So, ultimately, a large portion of the 12-20 million illegal aliens currently in this country will wind up on the road to citizenship. At the same time, it is equally essential that we increase our border security, get serious about penalizing employers who hire illegal aliens with impunity, and come up with a realistic plan to help the economies in Latin America (as opposed to the current NAFTA strategy of turning them into mass sweatshops) so the poor and dispossessed in those countries will have opportunities at home more attractive than the long and dangerous journey to El Norte.


Friday, May 19, 2006

The Right Is Cracking, Part III...

Talk Radio hates George W. Bush.

The Right Is Cracking, Part II...

Baseball nerd George Will hates Phyllis Schlafly.

The Right Is Cracking...

Anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly hates Rick Perry. And Nathan Hecht. And she doesn't care that much for George W. Bush, either.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Bush Orders National Guard to Protect Approval Rating

From the Borowitz Report.


Monday, May 15, 2006

Sure Didn't See THAT Coming!

As an homage to George W. Bush, Rick Perry and the GOP Lege have duplicated his feat in turning a surplus into a deficit. AND they managed to do it without spending a dime more on education.


Feeling A Little Blue

According to the latest polling data, President Bush has a net positive approval rating in only three states (Idaho, Utah and Wyoming). His approval rating in Texas is an anemic 42%, compared to 56% disapproving (once again, I am accidentally in the majority); with a majority of men, women, all age groups, independants, moderates, and even those who "attend church regularly" disapproving. His approval rating among whites in Texas is only 50%, with 49% disapproving. His approval rating among those who identify as pro-life is just 52%, with 46% disapproving. His lowest approval rating is in Harris County (33% approval, 62% disapproval), but just behind that is East Texas, with a 39% approval, 58% disapproval. Even in West Texas, Bush is behind the eight-ball, with 46% approval and 52% disapproval. These numbers are absolutely mind-blowing and indicate just how badly the political slats under this Administration have rotted away.

Justice Delayed is Okay with the Supremes

The US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a decision from the 2nd Circuit denying the Cayuga Nation's attempts to reclaim 64,000 acres stolen from them by the State of New York. The 2nd Circuit ruled that the Cayuga had "waited" too long and the land claim was too "disruptive." So the moral of this story is: if you steal something and keep it long enough so that justice might be inconvenient, that makes it okay.

Making the Trains Run On Time

This is about six different kinds of creepy. Ya know, nothing strengthens the argument for deportation more than explicitly referring to NAZI GERMANY as an example of how one could "rid themselves" of a "problem" population.

Can You Hear Me Now?

"Confidential sources" (take that with a grain of salt) tell ABC News that the government is now monitoring journalists' telephone conversations in an attempt to discover the identities of the person or persons who have leaked politically embarassing revelations of this Administration's penchant for breaking the law. Digby has some fascinating parallels between this situation and another one involving a prior President with an unpopular war, leaks, and an approval rating in the 20's (see if you can guess who).

By Any Means Necessary

The Bull Moose recognizes Bush's expected calling out of the remnants of the National Guard for what it truly is: an attempt to protect not the border but the GOP majority in Congress. My Right Honorable Colleague, Kvatch at Blognonymous, has similar thoughts about Senator Frist's shameless efforts to gin up outrage over the threat of gay people getting married while burning American flags. Will these pyromaniacal homosexuals never learn?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Restore the Power!

From Indian Country Today, an editorial that raises the excellent point that if Congress is really serious about border security, it should override the Supreme Court's moronic decision in Oliphant and restore to tribes full authority to enforce the law within their sovereign territory.


Manning the Barricades of Freedom

Profiles of some of the Six Nations warriors re-occupying tribal land in southeastern Canada.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Turd Blossom Special Derails

From Truthout, all indications suggest that Karl Rove, Bush's brain, will be indicted for perjury and lying to investigators, and sooner rather than later. The timing on this could not possibly be worse for the White House, given the President's humiliating poll numbers.


Rock Bottom

Bush drops to a 29% approval rating. The only way this makes sense is in light of other recent news suggesting that the core Republican constituency (the Kitten Bitin' Republicans) are now losing faith in both the White House and Congress. This is NOT because the KBR's have suddenly seen the light and come to Jesus; no, the hard-core conservatives are finally being repulsed by the Administration and Congress' drunken sailor spending habits and sheer incompetence. They won't be rushing to vote Democratic in November, but they may just stay home: one more indicator that 2006 may end up as a 1994 or 1974 style whupping for the GOP.

Meanwhile, Three Years Later...

From the Burnt Orange Report, a review of yesterday's third anniversary of the Great Ardmore Exodus.

...As If Millions of Republicans Suddenly Cried Out...

Stupid White Man of the Week: John Gibson

Can someone please explain to me how this is not sheer unvarnished racism? What a tool!

"There is an endless supply of white men. There has always been a limited number of human beings."


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Friends in Low Places

Turns out, according to recently-released emails, the White House offered Abramoff help with "damage control." Because, you know, the White House is so good at that (cough! 31%! cough!).

Please Speak Clearly Into the Microphone...

From The Daily Kos, the NSA discovers that millions upon millions of Americans are actually terrorists. Never fear, though, the President explains it all (except to the person in charge of it, General Hayden). Smarter legal minds than mine discuss just how egregiously illegal this is. And while we're at it, how did USA Today, known to most Americans as that brightly covered doormat in front of their hotel rooms in the morning, manage this scoop?

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Republicans Hate Children, Teachers, Taxpayers, Public Schools and Local Control

From the Burnt Orange Report, all that is bad about House Bill 1.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Republicans on Welfare

My colleague, the Right Honorable Blognonymous, dissects the GOP Congress' efforts to speed emergency relief to poor, unfortunate Americans...providing they make $1.5 million per year, of course.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Right Next to the Lost Ark

In a cave beneath Kansas, the federal government is stockpiling records (only a fraction which still exist) that detail how as much as $150 billion of Indian trust fund money was lost due to the ineptitude and greed of the BIA. However, the Cobell Plaintiffs are worried that, since everyone agrees that most of the records have been lost, this is all just an attempt to low-ball what the tribes are actually owed.

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Credit Where Credit is Due

The Bush Administration is backing the Cayuga Nation's appeal of its land claim against the State of New York to the US Supreme Court. The Cayuga, like the Oneidas, had ancestral lands illegally stolen from them by New York in violation of federal treaties.

Thank You, Arlene Wohlgemuth (Wherever You Are)!

From The Jeffersonian, yet more proof that Republicans hate children...

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The Sound of Silence

The United States ranks near the bottom in survival rates for newborns, tied with Hungary, Malta, Poland and Slovakia, and outranking only THE FORMER SOVIET REPUBLIC of Latvia. Now, hang on a second and let's listen for the howls of outrage and demands for action from the Pro Life Community. National Right to Life? Seems to have slipped their notice. Focus on the Family? Darn, Doctor Dobson must've just missed it. Surely Pat Robertson has been briefed? No?
Gosh, I wonder whatever could be the problem here?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Oh, NOW He Tells Us!

"But after reviewing the jury verdict and reading how the jurors set aside their emotions and disgust for me and focused on the law and the evidence ... I now see that it is possible that I can receive a fair trial even with Americans as jurors."

Gosh, that's awfully sweet of you, Mr. Moussaoui! Now get back to your cell!

Hayden Nomination Off to Flying Stop

Bush once again proves he is a "uniter, not a divider..."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Preparing In Case We Accidentally Win? Good.

ANY talk even remotely close to impeachment? Bad. And stupid. What happened to the Republicans when they started going after Bill Clinton hammer and tongs? They ended up looking like morons and boosted Clinton to his highest approval ratings. Also, remember Iran-Contra? Congress did such a bungled job of "investigating" with their sideshow committee hearings they ended up making that bucolic fascist Oliver North into a hero of the tinfoil hat crowd and ruined any chances for a meaningful criminal prosecution. If Nancy Pelosi does become Speaker, she would do well to remember recent history.

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The Fix is In

Apparently, General Hayden will be nominated to be the next CIA Director, and already Republicans are crab-walking. From our good friends at Firedog Lake.

Friday, May 05, 2006

He'll Fit Right In

One of the names being floated as a potential new CIA Director is General Michael Hayden, a perfect match for the Bush Administration: arrogant, smug and too self-important to bother reading the Constitution he violates.


Are We Better or Worse Off...

...that it's been 14 months without a head of the BIA?

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So Much for "Local Control"

Senator Florence Shapiro's bill to force school districts to spend money only on things she finds important has caused an implosion on the Finance Committee, with six Republican Senators walking out. Quick! Someone call Tom DeLay and have him get Homeland Security to check Ardmore, Oklahoma!

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Yesterday Upon the Stair...

...I saw a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today; I guess he's from the CIA.

Cleburne Times-Review Column for 7 May, 2006

“Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph.”
--Amos 5:15

And so Zacarias Moussaoui, pathetic, bumbling terrorist wannabe, will not spend the next several years in the news as his death sentence appeal grinds its way through the courts. Instead, he will quietly and anonymously rot in a federal prison in Colorado, forgotten and ignored by the nation he despises. “America, you lost…I won!” the man who was apparently considered a nuisance by Al Qaida shouted as he was trundled out of court. But in this (doubtless the same insipid slogan he would have yelled if the jury had given him the needle), as in almost everything else, Moussaoui was wrong. First, I’m sure this shambling loser who was too incompetent to actually carry out a terrorist attack would have much preferred the death penalty, a martyr’s death. In the twisted snake-pit of what passes for Moussaoui’s mind, he no doubt sees himself as an inspirational figure, much like another self-important worm, Timothy McVeigh, who believed that blowing up children in Oklahoma City would ignite a race war. Second, Moussaoui was wrong because, regardless of whether his wasted life is ended earlier by lethal injection or later by old age in the penitentiary, the trial he worked so hard to sabotage proved that our system, the system of secular democracy and the rule of law, is superior to the medieval theocratic fascist dictatorship dreamed of by Al Qaida. In how many other nations on Earth, much less the Middle East, would someone accused of Moussaoui’s crimes been given even a show trial, much less a fair trial, with court-appointed counsel and an impartial jury? How many countries, faced with a 9-11 style attack, would merely have rounded up the usual suspects and had a private or public mass execution? No, this trial was as important in some ways as the Nuremburg Trials of Nazi war criminals at the end of the Second World War, because this trial, like Nuremburg, shows that the law is more powerful than the savagery of those on trial.

There was quite a bit of pontificating by the talking heads when the Moussaoui trial started about how the US criminal justice system couldn’t “handle” prosecuting terrorists. It was claimed that Moussaoui couldn’t be tried without revealing sensitive intelligence data. It was claimed that Moussaoui’s outlandish behavior would make it impossible to make it to verdict. John Kerry was mocked for allegedly wanting to treat terrorism as a “criminal justice” matter instead of a war. Better to go with the Bush Administration’s plan where anyone deemed an “enemy combatant” by the President, even American citizens arrested on American soil, could be locked up for the rest of their lives, subjected to torture, and never given access to the courts, a lawyer or even their families. These critics, too, were all wrong. Moussaoui got his fair trial, in spite of himself. Judge Leonie Brinkema, in sharp contrast to the feckless Judge Lance Ito during the OJ Simpson trial, kept her cool and kept her court under control. Neither Moussaoui’s rants, nor the government giving into the temptation to try to stack the deck, rattled her for long. Moussaoui’s court-appointed defense lawyers, led by Gerald Zerkin, ably defended their client, often against his wishes. In short, the system worked.

Would I have preferred to see this waste of oxygen executed? You better believe it. Moussaoui is a vicious contemptible thug, a pure sociopath with a fanatic’s utter disregard for human life, even his own. While he may have only been tagging along for 9-11, it was clear he knew of the plot, and he allowed it to happen; indeed, he was its’ ghoulish cheerleader. That makes him an accessory and as deserving of execution as the vermin who piloted the planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. Having said that, though, I can also imagine what the jury might have been thinking, and they may have intended a particularly brutal final insult. Moussaoui portrayed himself, after several years of denial, as some sort of a criminal terrorist mastermind. He claimed that he and the equally pathetic “shoe bomber” Richard Reid were supposed to crash into the White House on September 11, 2001. On the stand, he gloated over the pain of the 9-11 victims’ families and boasted of his desire to kill more Americans. In response, though, maybe, just maybe the jury was trying to show how little they thought of his empty braggadocio. Moussaoui is no mastermind. He hasn’t the brain pan to organize his sock drawer, much less a vast criminal conspiracy like 9-11. He, the jury seemed to be saying, is just some pathetic loser who hates America, who hates the modern world, and thinks he’s a big shot. He is not worthy of our contempt. He is beneath our notice. Let him rot in his prison cell, alone with his own twisted thoughts. No one, not even other terrorists, will ever mourn him. His name will not be celebrated as some martyr to the glorious jihad against the Great Satan. Instead, he will return to the obscurity he so richly deserves.

The rule of law in America has survived civil war, depressions, anti-communist witch hunts, world wars and politicians who would cast it aside as an inconvenience. Now, Zacarias Moussaoui, whether he realizes it or not, has proved that the rule of law is more powerful than terrorism as well. He proved that the country and the system he hates, while flawed, are still infinitely preferable to all the alternatives. If there’s any justice, he’ll be thinking about that, as well as the innocent lives lost to his brand of blind hatred, as he slowly wastes away in his cell.


Donald Ducks...

...but not fast enough.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I Like Judge Brinkema

“Mr. Moussaoui, you came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory,” she said, “but to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper.”

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bob Bullock Rides Again

From Off the Kuff, an excellent review of the Bullock Amendment, which requires that 2/3rds of all the revenue from any state income tax go to property tax relief and 1/3rd to the schools, with any rate increases subject to voter approval.