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Well, that was certainly worth a Senate Democrat and Voinovich temper tantrum!
What has confounded John Bolton's abundant detractors, both American and foreign, is how little he has lived up to their caricature of him as the fire-breathing, unilateralist, neo-conservative pit bull during his first four months as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
"He's an intelligent person," says Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, a Bolton opponent on any number of issues, most critically now over U.N. management reform. "He's articulate, and he's a tough negotiator. As far as I'm concerned, he's quite okay."
Mr. Akram then pays Mr. Bolton the greatest compliment possible from within the ranks of diplomats deeply suspicious of his motives for wanting the U.N. job in the first place. "I have no reason to believe he's here to destroy the institution," the Pakistani envoy says. "I can work with him."That said, Mr. Akram and others remain far from viewing Mr. Bolton as their salvation, though that well may be what he represents. His appointment to the U.N. was the rough equivalent of Richard Nixon's visit to China, as he is determined to provoke needed change and has the hard-line credentials to sell skeptical congressmen on any agreed-upon reforms.
A neighbor commented on the weapons of choice:
"There are never any guns involved," she said. "They use knives."After we get rid of the knife epidemic, we're coming after blunt instruments. Is being able to play baseball really worth the risk of someone being beaten to death with a baseball bat? Are home repairs really worth the risk of someone's skull being smashed in with a hammer?
In other left-wing radio news, Marc Maron said this morning on Air America's Morning Sedition radio show that the show was being cancelled. I don't know what they are going to replace it with. I do know that during the breaks, they were airing a lot of public service announcements, a sign that they aren't selling enough ads.
UPDATE: I take it back about Communist Radio not being so communist any more. They did a story about the Minuteman Project at the border, and introduced it saying, "While some people say the Minutemen are racist...." I can't recall them ever introducing true racists, promoters of racial quotas, that way: "Reverend Jackson, it's good to have you on the program, even though some people say you are a racist..."
The Bush administration has backed down from one of its most unconstitutional actions: the indefinite detention of an American citizen without due process.
Three years after the Bush administration labeled U.S. citizen Jose Padilla an enemy combatant and denied him normal access to the courts, he's facing criminal charges that he trained as a terrorist in preparation to fight a jihad.
An indictment unsealed in Miami on Tuesday accuses Padilla and four other men of being part of a North American terror cell that sent money and recruits overseas to "murder, maim and kidnap." If convicted, Padilla could face life in prison. Two others charges, providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy, carry maximum prison terms of 15 years each.
The spectacular allegations that led President Bush to classify Padilla an "enemy combatant" in 2002 — that the former Chicago gang member sought to blow up U.S. hotels and apartment buildings and planned an attack on America with a radiological "dirty bomb" — were not part of the indictment.
I don't doubt that Padilla is guilty, but he's not worth destroying the constitution. Give him his due process and fair trial, and send him away!
The Hollywood set wants to spare "Tookie" because he's had a death row conversion, and is now publicly opposed to murder. How convenient! Tookie even writes children's books, and is said to have prevented hundreds of thousands of children from becoming gang members.
If he's such a good role model, why is his own son on the run from a charge of raping a 13-year-old girl at gunpoint, and why is another son serving 16 years for second-degree murder?
And what irony: two brothers were shot, one fatally, returning from the "Save Tookie" rally.
If you're going to be against capital punishment on principle (as I am), that's fine. But don't hold up this piece of garbage as your poster child.
If you can't see why that might be a bad idea, Pete du Pont explains it in an op-ed in OpinionJournal:
Paul Volcker's recent report on the United Nations Oil for Food scandal taught us a great deal about how the U.N. works. Ten billion dollars worth of Iraqi oil was illegally smuggled to adjacent nations. Saddam Hussein collected $229 million in bribes from 139 of 248 companies involved in the oil business and $1.5 billion in kickbacks and illegal payments from 2,253 firms out of 3,614 providing humanitarian goods under the U.N. program. The U.N., which supervised and controlled the Oil for Food program, did nothing about any of it.
Mr. Volcker concluded that the "Secretariat, the Security Council and U.N. contractors failed most grievously in their responsibilities to monitor the integrity of the program." Secretary-General Kofi Annan's reaction was that the report was helpful, but he has taken no action at all against the United Nations employees Mr. Volcker found to have performed unethically and improperly.
Indeed, last Tuesday Mr. Annan took action to reinstate U.N. Deputy Director Joseph Stephanides, who was fired six months ago for illegal bidding procedures. It seems that Mr. Annan didn't think what had happened in the Oil for Food program was really that bad after all. Or to put it our own perspective, Dennis Kozlowski stole $600 million from Tyco and got eight to 25 years in prison; Kofi Annan supervised more than $12 billion in international theft and will stay in his job.
All of which explains why allowing the United Nations to be in charge of running the Internet is a very bad idea.
The Old 97's are cowboy rock. The closest well-known band I could compare them to is the Rolling Stones on their country-most songs, like Sweet Virginia and Dead Flowers.
The show was at the Independent on Divisadero Street, pretty much San Francisco's smallest music venue that's bigger than pub-size. Catch this band now, while they are still playing venues this small. They have been playing for more than 10 years, but they are going to get some big exposure in a Hollywood film next summer.
Check out some Old 97's tunes online. Try Barrier Reef, Victoria, and West Texas Teardrops for a start. Then go buy the albums. And if they come to your town, see them live.
Reminds me of a bit of Dylan:
Come gather 'round bathophobes
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come socialists, bureaucrats
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
Krauthammer's prescription: France should be more like America, and integrate its immigrants and poor into mainstream society. Sacre bleu!
Homes are far more overpriced than gasoline.
What's more, this greedy corporate behavior is destroying the American Dream of homeownership. Affordability measures are at all time lows, meaning that in many areas an average-income family can't afford to buy an average house.
Why attack energy companies? The American Dream is not commuting 60 miles each way in an S.U.V.
So while average families either can't afford a home, or are pushed into suicidal variable-rate and interest-only mortgages, the fatcat homebuilders are lining their pockets with billions of dollars in ill-gotten gains. Here's how a typical homebuilder has done compared to ExxonMobil and the S&P 500:
Where's the outrage?
On the Democrats' closed-door Senate stunt:
After Reid made his motion for a closed session Tuesday afternoon, the Senate reopened about two hours later after members agreed to appoint a bipartisan group of senators to assess the progress of the intelligence committee's investigation, the office of Majority Leader Bill Frist said.
The three Republicans and three Democrats are to report back to Senate leaders by November 14.
By my watch, we're past November 14. After seeing their own rabidly pro-war quotes come back to haunt them, maybe the Democrats just want to bury this issue.
It was interesting to hear from the 9/11 Commission again on Tuesday. This self-perpetuating and privately funded group of lobbyists and lawyers has recently opined on hurricanes, nuclear weapons, the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and even the New York subway system. Now it offers yet another "report card" on the progress of the FBI and CIA in the war against terrorism, along with its "back-seat" take and some further unsolicited narrative about how things ought to be on the "front lines."
Yet this is also a good time for the country to make some assessments of the 9/11 Commission itself. Recent revelations from the military intelligence operation code-named "Able Danger" have cast light on a missed opportunity that could have potentially prevented 9/11. Specifically, Able Danger concluded in February 2000 that military experts had identified Mohamed Atta by name (and maybe photograph) as an al Qaeda agent operating in the U.S. Subsequently, military officers assigned to Able Danger were prevented from sharing this critical information with FBI agents, even though appointments had been made to do so. Why?
[The Commission's] dismissive and apparently unsupported conclusion would have us believe that a key piece of evidence was summarily rejected in less than 10 days without serious investigation. The commission, at the very least, should have interviewed the 80 members of Able Danger, as the Pentagon did, five of whom say they saw "the chart." But this would have required admitting that the late-breaking news was inconveniently raised. So it was grossly neglected and branded as insignificant. Such a half-baked conclusion, drawn in only 10 days without any real investigation, simply ignores what looks like substantial direct evidence to the contrary coming from our own trained military intelligence officers.
No wonder the 9/11 families were outraged by these revelations and called for a "new" commission to investigate. "I'm angry that my son's death could have been prevented," seethed Diane Horning, whose son Matthew was killed at the World Trade Center. On Aug. 17, 2005, a coalition of family members known as the September 11 Advocates rightly blasted 9/11 Commission leaders Mr. Kean and Lee Hamilton for pooh-poohing Able Danger's findings as not "historically significant." Advocate Mindy Kleinberg aptly notes, "They [the 9/11 Commission] somehow made a determination that this was not important enough. To me, that says somebody there is not using good judgment. And if I'm questioning the judgment of this one case, what other things might they have missed?" This is a stinging indictment of the commission by the 9/11 families.
If Paul Revere were alive today, he'd have his midnight work cut out for him. Most likely he'd be spreading the alarm not on horseback, but by Internet: The U.N. is coming! The U.N. is coming!
The United Nations' so-called World Summit on the Information Society opens today in Tunis, Tunisia, proposing to set up U.N. sway over the Internet under the slogan of bridging the "digital divide." But that's the wrong metaphor. This three-day jamboree is a U.N. turf grab: the latest case of the U.N. misinterpreting its noble mandate to promote peace as a license to take a piece of anything it can get.
For anyone who cares about the vast freedoms and opportunities afforded by the Internet--for pajama-clad bloggers, for journalists, for businessmen and especially for people in the poorest countries--it is time for a call to arms. Sen. Norm Coleman, whose investigations into U.N. corruption have provided him with more insight than most into the cracks and chasms of that aging institution, has already warned in The Wall Street Journal against the possibility of Tunis becoming a "digital Munich." Whether America retains control over the root directory or some other setup ultimately evolves, the clear bottom line right now is that allowing the U.N. to involve itself in these questions is the wrong answer. A U.N. unable even to audit its own accounts or police its own peacekeepers has no business making even a twitch toward control
of the Internet.
Worse, the corruption and incompetence at U.N. headquarters, however disturbing, are the least of the problems linked to the U.N.'s bid to control interconnectivity. The deeper trouble is that the U.N. has embraced the same tyrants who in the name of helping the downtrodden are now seeking via Internet control to tread them down some more.
This week, Sony announced it will stop putting this particular code on its CDs.
But they aren't retracting their "Screw the Customer" Customer Agreement, which reserves their right to install spyware on your computer:
Sony's misplaced zeal to protect its intellectual property suggests that the company sees its customers not as kings but as captives. The Electronic Frontier Foundation yesterday dissected the Sony-BMG end-user license agreement (EULA) that accompanies Sony-BMG CDs and detailed the terms of imprisonment.
As the EFF explains, the EULA says that 1) if your house gets burgled, you have to delete all your music from your laptop when you get home; 2) you can't keep your music on any computers at work; 3) if you move out of the country, you have to delete all your music; 4) you must install any and all updates, or else lose the music on your computer; 5) Sony-BMG can install and use backdoors in the copy protection software or media player to "enforce their rights" against you, at any time, without notice. And the list goes on.
Don't buy any Sony-BMG music. And to teach these vicious bastards a lesson, don't buy any Sony products of any kind. Who needs 'em anyway? There are plenty of good home electronics brands that don't try to install unremoveable spyware on your computer.
Thanks to Vodkapundit.
How to determine if your CD will infect your computer here. In particular the following CDs are known to have the malicious code on them, but other Sony-BMG CDs might also have it:
Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia)
Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic)
Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia)
Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia)
Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia)
Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia)
Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia)
The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia)
Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia)
Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic)
Amerie, Touch (Columbia)
Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic)
Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy)
Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy)
Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy)
The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia)
The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic)
Dion, The Essential Dion (Columbia Legacy)
Natasha Bedingfield, Unwritten (Epic)
Ricky Martin, Life (Columbia)
That's a shame. I've heard good things about the Neil Diamond CD and had intended to buy it. Would somebody please e-mail me the mp3s?
Well, the censorship policy seems to have changed. Imagine my surprise to see comments like this on a Huffington Post story about the French riots:
I'm glad to see these bastards finally getting what they deserve. They are such cowards that they won't even stand up and defend themselves from a horde of turban wearing teenagers.
This is the one and only time that I'm rooting for the Muslims!
Posted by: WhiteNRight on November 13, 2005 at 12:04am
Then, a comment recommending, and linking to, the National Vanguard ("an intelligent and responsible organization that stands up for the interests of White people") web site.
This is not your father's Huffington Post.
One rioter's answer:
"What else are you going to burn?"
Interestingly, though, car burning is very routine in France. It's just that the numbers are higher these past couple weeks:
No other country in Europe immolates cars with the gusto and single-minded efficiency of France. Even during tranquil periods, an average of 80 vehicles per day are set alight somewhere in the country.
"Burning cars is rather typically French," said Michel Wieviorka, a French sociologist who has studied the phenomenon. "The last two weeks have been unusual, but it is more common than people realize."
The practice, he said, goes back to the late 1970s, when the suburbs began to seethe. Parked cars made an inviting target for gangs of young men nursing a grudge and hungry for attention.
Heck, it's the national pastime! Those immigrants are just displaying patriotic fervor for their adopted homeland!
Or maybe they just want to follow in the footsteps of Jose Bove, who became a folk hero by destroying a McDonald's.
Just imagine being rendered the rough equivalent of a radio-controlled toy car.
Nippon Telegraph & Telephone, Japan's top telephone company, says it is developing the technology to perhaps make video games more realistic. But more sinister applications also come to mind.
I can envision it being added to a military's arsenals of so-called "non-lethal'' weapons.
A special headset was placed on my cranium by my hosts during a recent demonstration at an NTT research center. It sent a very low voltage electric current from the back of my ears through my head -- either from left to right or right to left, depending on which way the joystick on a remote-control was moved.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler has fun with the story.
UPDATE: More news and video of Mapes gone wild here.
Ohio rejected electoral reform that certainly would have led to more Democratic seats in Congress, and California rejected Proposition 77 which would have given the Democrats a chance to pick up seats in California.
The odds of another Republican Congress just went way up.
It doesn't matter how upset voters are with their representatives. Custom-drawn districts prevent incumbents from ever losing.
That's democracy? Well, California's retarded voters just voted for it.
Democrats, are you gloating because of the rebuke to Schwarzenegger? Don't. You just gave Tom DeLay an early Christmas present. The Democrats could have capitalized on the current anti-Republican mood and taken over Congress. Now, no matter how voters are feeling next year, the Democrats won't be able to pick up any California seats because there are no competitive districts. Without being able to pick up any California seats, it makes it much more difficult to pick up enough seats nationwide. Nice work, morons!
Don't buy Sony music, and certainly don't put any Sony CDs in your computer.
And teach these evil greedheads a lesson -- don't buy any Sony products at all.
Dr. Rice is also raising the priority of fostering democracy around the world. Instead of the defensive, security-focused State Department of the past, Dr. Rice wants a proactive State Department working to create a better world. It's not just the principled thing to do. It's also pragmatically the best direction, to improve the image of the US abroad while creating more stability around the world.
Meanwhile, the Draft Condi campaign goes on at full steam. Condi is focused on her current assignment and won't talk about the Presidency, but there's a lot of enthusiasm for her candidacy.
The twelfth night was a weak grounder to a fat and lazy third baseman, but the streak is still alive for now.
OpinionJournal tells us why there's nothing better for immigrant youth to do in France than riot:
Since the '70s, America has created 57 million new jobs, compared with just four million in Europe (with most of those jobs in government). In France and much of Western Europe, the economic system is weighted toward the already employed (the overwhelming majority native-born whites) and the growing mass of retirees. Those ensconced in state and corporate employment enjoy short weeks, early and well-funded retirement and first dibs on the public purse. So although the retirement of large numbers of workers should be opening up new job opportunities, unemployment among the young has been rising: In France, joblessness among workers in their 20s exceeds 20%, twice the overall national rate. In immigrant banlieues, where the population is much younger, average unemployment reaches 40%, and higher among the young.
To make matters worse, the elaborate French welfare state--government spending accounts for roughly half of GDP compared with 36% in the U.S.--also forces high tax burdens on younger workers lucky enough to have a job, largely to pay for an escalating number of pensioners and benefit recipients. In this system, the incentives are to take it easy, live well and then retire. The bloat of privileged aging blocks out opportunity for the young.
Luckily, better-educated young Frenchmen and other Continental Europeans can opt out of the system by emigrating to more open economies in Ireland, the U.K. and, particularly, the U.S. This is clearly true in technological fields, where Europe's best brains leave in droves. Some 400,000 European Union science graduates currently reside in the U.S. Barely one in seven, according to a recent poll, intends to return. Driven by the ambitious young, European immigration to the U.S. jumped by 16% during the '90s. Visa applications dropped after 9/11, but then increased last year by 10%. The total number of Europe-born immigrants increased by roughly 700,000 during the last three years, with a heavy inflow from the former Soviet Union, the former Yugoslavia, and Romania--as well as France. These new immigrants have been
particularly drawn to the metropolitan centers of California, Florida and New York.
The Lord giveth:
The liberal media finally gets what it's been clamouring for for years, ie the Arab street going berserk.
And He taketh away:
They can't pin it on Bush
Tough luck, suckers.
UPDATE: And here is Steyn's much-anticipated column on the new French Resistance:
''French youths,'' huh? You mean Pierre and Jacques and Marcel and Alphonse? Granted that most of the "youths" are technically citizens of the French Republic, it doesn't take much time in les banlieus of Paris to discover that the rioters do not think of their primary identity as ''French'': They're young men from North Africa growing ever more estranged from the broader community with each passing year and wedded ever more intensely to an assertive Muslim identity more implacable than anything you're likely to find in the Middle East. After four somnolent years, it turns out finally that there really is an explosive ''Arab street,'' but it's in Clichy-sous-Bois.
The notion that Texas neocon arrogance was responsible for frosting up trans-Atlantic relations was always preposterous, even for someone as complacent and blinkered as John Kerry. If you had millions of seething unassimilated Muslim youths in lawless suburbs ringing every major city, would you be so eager to send your troops into an Arab country fighting alongside the Americans? For half a decade, French Arabs have been carrying on a low-level intifada against synagogues, kosher butchers, Jewish schools, etc. The concern of the political class has been to prevent the spread of these attacks to targets of more, ah, general interest. They seem to have lost that battle. Unlike America's Europhiles, France's Arab street correctly identified Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war for what it was: a sign of weakness.
Read the whole thing. He nails it.
I'm supporting this measure. Why? Because I want to give our new and improved Supreme Court the opportunity to explain to these idiots the meaning of the Second Amendment!
The United States deserves our thanks for having developed the Internet and made it available to the world. For historical reasons, the United States has the ultimate authority over some of the Internet's core resources. It is an authority that many say should be shared with the international community. The United States, which has exercised its oversight responsibilities fairly and honorably, recognizes that other governments have legitimate public policy and sovereignty concerns, and that efforts to make the governance arrangements more international should continue.
Why not let the U.N. control the Internet? They do such a great job of fulfilling their existing mission!
France has a history of appeasing Islamic fascists around the world. Most recently, they supported the quasi-Islamic but extremely fascist Saddam Hussein and protected him from enforcement of UN resolutions. Now the Islamic fascist issue is hitting a bit close to home. I'm sure France will be as accomodating to this wave of fascists as they were to those visitors in the 1940's.
The French speak condescendingly of American capitalism, while the stagnation and unemployment caused by France's socialist economic policies is creating not only poverty but violence.
At least you have to give them credit for self-awareness. Even before the riots, two out of three French people agreed that France sucks.
This is a terrible thing, especially for the victims, like the disabled lady set on fire or the paramedics pelted with rocks while trying to help a sick person. The people of France are reaping what their corrupt, arrogant, and socialist politicians have sown for years.
But Islam means peace!
Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente, now running for mayor, is one of the leaders of Oakland's forced "redevelopment."
And now, according to prosecutors, while de la Fuente has been figuratively raping the people of Oakland, his son has been literally raping them.
Scooter Libby absolutely blows Newt Gingrich away.
From the New York Daily News, on Libby's 1996 novel "The Apprentice":
Luckily, in the latest New Yorker, Lauren Collins summarizes the novel's sex scenes.
"The main female character, Yukiko, draws hair on the 'mound' of a little girl," Collins reports. "The brothers of a dead samurai have sex with his daughter."
Meanwhile, "certain passages can better be described as reminiscent of Penthouse Forum," Collins writes. "Other sex scenes are less conventional."
Collins quotes from the indicted aide's novel: "At age 10 the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest."
British Literary Review editor Nancy Sladek, who oversees a Bad Sex fiction writing contest, tells Collins: "That's a bit depraved, isn't it, this kind of thing about bears and young girls?" Never mind the passage concerning sex with a deer.
Thanks to Captain Corruption for pointing this out.
In civil rights cases, Alito has agreed with the court's majority most of the time, The Post's review found. When he disagrees, he is not prone to inflammatory language or frontal challenges to Supreme Court precedent. Still, when he has taken a dissenting stance, Alito repeatedly has set a higher bar than his fellow judges for plaintiffs to prove that they were discriminatedThe actual text of the Bray dissent is here. It's long, but very well-reasoned and worth a read if you have the time. In short, Alito isn't making any reactionary anti-civil rights ruling. He just argues that the plaintiff didn't meet the burden of proof. There were job candidates who appeared equally qualified by objective measures for a managerial promotion. Bray claimed that her rival was chosen because Bray was a minority. Alito agreed with the lower court that heard the case that her evidence to support this claim was insufficient. How radical!
against -- and sometimes even to get a trial.
Alito has written six major dissents, including Bray [v. Marriott] , on cases involving employment discrimination, siding squarely with the employee one of those times. Given the large volume of cases, the review focused largely on instances in which Alito differed with the other dozen members of the Philadelphia-based 3rd Circuit, generally regarded as a comparatively moderate appeals court, rather than his entire body of writings on rights.
In other Alito news, this Seattle P-I story shows that Alito was not only pro-privacy but also actively pro-sodomy in college, an issue I'm sure Old Zeke cares about deeply:
In college, Samuel Alito led a student conference that urged legalization of sodomy and curbs on domestic intelligence, a sweeping defense of privacy rights he said were under threat by the government and the dawning computer age.
President Bush's choice for the Supreme Court, in a report written years before ubiquitous personal computers made electronic privacy the everyday concern it is now, warned of the potential for abuses by officials and companies collecting data on individuals.
Three decades before the Supreme Court decriminalized gay sex, Alito declared on behalf of his group of fellow Princeton students that "no private sexual act between consenting adults should be forbidden." Alito also called for an end to discrimination against homosexuals in hiring.
The closing tagline, printed across a black screen: "Fall seven times, stand up eight."
Leaving aside for a moment the unorthodox (dare I say retarded) spelling of Wade's first name, for which Converse surely cannot be held responsible, what exactly is that tagline supposed to mean?
It's hard to fault the idea that when knocked down, the admirable thing to do is get back up again. But the mind becomes fevered trying to figure out how to stand up eight times after falling seven.
If I fall down, I'm limited to a single, miserable episode of standing up. I guess that's why Dwyane is in the NBA making millions, and I play softball with fat guys and make somewhat less than that. Heck, I bet on a good day, Dwyane could fall seven times and stand up thirty-eight.
Anyway, it wasn't Nike/Converse or its admen who came up with this glorious bit of wisdom. No, for something this good, they had to rip it off from the Japanese...
Law professor Jonathan Adler says Alito gets that stuff right:
A Justice Alito may vote with Justice Scalia on many issues, but they would hardly march in lockstep--and when they disagree we would be treated to an intellectual debate of the highest order. One area we may expect to see differences between the two is on the First Amendment. Judge Alito's record suggests that he is more sympathetic to religious liberty claims, and more willing to hold that purportedly neutral government regulations unnecessarily impede upon the right to live in accord with one's religious ideals. He has ruled favorably in challenges by Muslims and Native Americans who argued that local laws impermissibly burdened the exercise of their faiths. There are also indications a Justice Alito could take a more expansive view of constitutional protection for free speech, including religious expression. In several cases he
has voted to protect public school students' rights to express their own religious views.
Read the whole thing. You'll like Alito.
A preliminary examination of his First Amendment opinions suggests that Alito is: (1) quite protective of several categories of expression, including religious and commercial expression; (2) far less protective of First Amendment claims raised by prisoners; (3) guardedly protective of First Amendment rights in defamation cases, and (4) generally concerned about prior restraints on expression.
Overall, his opinions suggest he is scholarly in his approach to deciding such cases, and sensitive to precedent but nonetheless capable of working around it when he deems necessary.
The article goes on to cite Alito smacking down school speech codes, college newspaper ad bans, anti-Muslim-beard police department rules, school censorship of a kindergartner's religious drawing, and police department gag orders.
It ain't exactly John Roberts and the hapless toad, but it's solid.
Thanks to TalkLeft.