Masri torture case against Tenet dismissed

The Masri torture case against George Tenet was dismissed in court today.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis agreed with government arguments that moving forward with the case of Khaled el-Masri would risk national security by exposing state secrets about CIA activities vital to the U.S. war on terrorism.

“While dismissal of the complaint deprives el-Masri of an American judicial forum for vindicating his claims …. el-Masri’s private interests must give way to the national interest in preserving state secrets,” Ellis wrote in a 17-page ruling

Bush speaks on Nuclear Power

This is going to get lost in the immigration hubub, but it’s very important. One of the the most significant things President Bush has done is to bring nuclear power back into discussion, and with a favorable light. See coverage of the speech and video here at NEI.

We are entering a time of great promise. Our economy is creating new jobs. It is also creating new demands for energy. Our electricity demand is projected to increase nearly 50 percent over the next 25 years.

America needs domestic sources of clean, affordable electricity, and that is why I strongly support nuclear power.

America’s 103 nuclear power plants now account for about 20 percent of our nation’s electricity, more than any other source except for coal. And those plants generate safe, reliable power without producing any air pollution or greenhouse gases.

There is a growing consensus that nuclear power is a key part of a clean, secure energy future.

America has not ordered a nuclear power plant in decades. France by contrast has built 58 plants since the 1970s and now gets 78 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.

Ballot Initiative season

Our country is a wonderful experiment — constitutionally provisioned to allow fifty separate states and governments to work in concert, but at the same time hold separate laws. After several years of liberal constitutional interpretations, some see no purpose to state laws that differ from federal. I say pish on that. The passengers on flight 93 didn’t call out for federal help and if they had it wouldn’t have been there. We shouldn’t expect all immigration problems to be solved by the Feds either.

Well-crafted state laws hold the high ground in bulk of decided cases across our land, but the operative words are “well-crafted”.  This is clearly demonstrated by the numbers, here’s a comparison from Wikipedia:

About 91% of people in prison at any given time got there via state rather than federal court convictions, including 99% of people on death row. Federal courts disproportionately handle white collar crimes, immigration related crimes and drug offenses (these crimes make up about 70% of the federal docket, but just 19% of the state court criminal docket). A large share of the violent crimes prosecuted in federal courts arise on Indian Reservations or federal property.

The trend is similar in civil cases. For example, in Colorado, in 2002, roughly 97% of all civil cases were filed in state courts and 89% of the cases filed in federal court were bankruptcies. In Colorado, in 2002, there were 79 civil trials in federal court (41 jury and 38 non-jury), and 5950 civil trials in state court (300 jury and 5650 non-jury).

So many more than 80 percent of cases are clearly decided by the relevant state laws. Of those carried to federal courts in the greater bulk of cases the state law stands. So state and local laws are still extremely important to the functioning of our great nation. In many cases, where federal law fails, state law prevails. If the feds don’t explicity take the power then that power does belong to the various states.

With that in mind there are several issues on the table of concern to conservatives at present, and it would be great to get ballot initiatives, propositions, and proposals on the ballots across the country. These would help get disheartened conservatives to the polls this November, and help ensure that we maintain control of the Senate and House.

Here are a few suggestions, and I would wager that one or another are of import to your state:

  1. Stricter restrictions of emminent domain, better definitions of “public good”, and well crafted tightening of the takings clause of the constitution. Our property rights are under attack, and it’s time to stop that.
  2. Immigration: while many localities refuse to support federal law because there is no federal incentive to do so, in the long term they harm themselves by importing poverty. It’s time to make sure that law enforcement agencies either enforce federal legislation on immigration, or tighten legislation for your state.
  3. Maybe you are a border state or city and think you need better fences than the Feds are providing?
  4. Enabling legislation for citizen groups to assist local authorities in case of emergency, and for illegal immigration processing. The daunting task of deportation isn’t getting the illegal arrested or deported, it’s the grueling work of processing the papers that make people declare it impossible to rid ourselves of the 8-12 million illegals in country right now. The minute men would probably be willing to help with that paperwork.
  5. Civil Defense used to do a great job until Carter got rid of them. The aftermath of Katrina tells you that you better not be fully dependent on the Feds in emergencies. Community defense corps, militias, or deputized volunteer emergency aid groups might be an idea whose time has come again.

We are six months out from mid-term elections, and over the past three months we severely disheartened many of our voters. If we hope to win in November then we better get cracking with some well-crafted initiatives.

Above and beyond that, many of the senators advancing the Illegal Immigrant cause over their constituents aren’t up for re-election this season and feel safe.

After writing all of this I popped over to Jerry Pournelle’s site to catch up on sane reading for the week, and saw that we are well in agreement: Jerry Pournelle Wednesday view for some other excellent suggestions:

We all know how to control the borders. Just Do It. Allocate $1 million/mile/year to be paid to the local county sheriff for use in border control. Add $10 million/year for each border city. Now levy a $1000 fine (not ruinous, but discouraging) for employing an illegal immigrant for more than five days, and pay half of that to whomever turned in the employer to the local sheriff. The other half goes to the sheriff’s office. Add a Federal bonus for each sheriff, interior or border, say $1000 per illegal immigrant apprehended and delivered to the Federal authorities. Local sheriffs who don’t want to catch immigrants just for being immigrants will at least have a way to deal with crime coming to their attention. The whole thing won’t cost $20 billion a year, far less than the savings in social service. The result will be that apprehension of those currently here will be adjusted to local sentiments — counties where no one much cares will not have vigorous enforcement, but will have a way to cut down on criminal and gang activities; the borders will be closed effectively; citizens hiring someone at the local Home Depot won’t face the fines; and the attractiveness of crossing the border will diminish.

Of course this won’t be done.  — Jerry Pournelle

More on why you really need to go to the polls from Right Wing Nuthouse.

Communism is like rust

Communism is like rust, in that it never sleeps.

Communism is like rust in that it never sleeps. See this great article in American Thinker about Ken Livingston, the Brit’s latest apologist for Communist tyranny. Communism without doubt was the greatest evil of last century, and it’s sad that the dregs of the movement in the west still wriggle on occasion.

More on Ken at Pajamas media.

Sean Penn to weep before Congress

Get ready for another liberal mythology movie just prior to elections in ’08. Sean Penn is signed to play Richard Clarke, as Drudge forwards this report. This looks to be a block-DUDster.

Christopher Isham Reports:

Former White House counter-terrorism official Richard Clarke, now an ABC News consultant, will be portrayed by Sean Penn in the Sony film of Clarke’s “Against All Enemies.”   The book chronicles what happened inside the White House leading up to and through the 9/ll attacks. The film will be directed by Paul Haggis.