Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Senator Leahy: Sotomayor = Marshall

Meanwhile, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., the Judiciary Committee chairman, told civil rights leaders and law students that Sotomayor's confirmation was a certainty.
"You better believe we're going to get her confirmed — take that one to the bank," Leahy said during a speech at the University of the District of Columbia law school.
He compared Sotomayor's nomination to that of Thurgood Marshall, the first black to sit on the court, saying they both faced adversity. He noted that Republicans questioned Marshall at his confirmation hearings about whether he would discriminate against white people — much as they have challenged Sotomayor for saying that she hoped that a "wise Latina" would usually reach a better conclusion than a white male without similar experiences.

And Thurgood Marshall went on to do exactly that.

Q: In terms of making sure you don't exclude African Americans. Would you say it's on a historical basis that they must be included now because they had been excluded previously?
A: I guess that's one of the arguments. But the other one is that the whole comparison is faulted because there's been this discrimination for all of these years and therefore people are in a position that they wouldn't have been in if it were not for that way that passed. So the only way to get rid of the weighted past is to weigh the future. Not as much, but considerably.
Q: But what about colleagues who say that violates the whites' rights?
A: I guess it does
, but I don't think the Constitution was meant to use anything that was unlawfully gained and their right is unlawfully gained. For example, your grandfather had a job that a Negro couldn't get. Your father got a job that a Negro couldn't get, therefore you have a better education than the children of those people. So somebody's got to pay for that.
Q: If I say that to a white man he says I didn't own any slaves. I didn't discriminate against anybody.
A: Did he go apply for a job and say he wasn't white? Did he accept the job knowing that Negroes had been excluded? But his father did. That's how he got the money. He got the money from his father to get educated.
Q: But he says let's call it all equal now and I'm qualified but you Negroes aren't qualified.
A: I absolutely agree with that as of 1896, Plessey v. Ferguson [the precedent setting Supreme Court decision legalizing segregated seating on trains]. I agree with him as of that time. If it had been done then I would be with you now. Well if the Plessey v. Ferguson says everybody is equal and the Constitution is color blind and they went through with that, I would say that as of now you have to face up like everybody else and that's not about the race.
Q: A 100 years later?
A: Why of course.
Q: So I say to you how much longer does white America have to make recompense?
A: I don't have the slightest idea. I don't know. I know all that's happened in the past.

The notion that "two wrongs don't make a right" apparently didn't mean much to Justice Marshall. Or that his logic might be a little bit stale four or five generations from slavery, but the country would lack any democratic method to correct his moral failure to uphold the Constitution.

My maternal grandfather was an Air Force sergeant and my paternal grandfather was a Mexican butcher. I'm not sure which of them cheated the black man out of their lofty position; probably both. My father drew the loot in his own person, and went through college. Then I inherited his ill-gotten gains by going to Catholic school so poor, Mom sewed our uniform shirts herself. I suppose I further cheated the other America by borrowing my way through community college, then the University of California, then flunking out of a graduate program in medieval history, and then paying my way through paralegal "night" school--airquotes, I went to work my shift after "night" school let out.

Yeah. Of course.

Thing is though, I wasn't asked if I was white enough or even if I could pay my own way...I couldn't, most of it. I was just called on to prove I could hack it, and I delivered that proof out of my own self. I developed myself to the point I could prove it.

And ANY other human of whatever color who can show and prove, put themselves on top. They made themselves. That's the only way you can deliver reliably, you have it in you, because you trained yourself to do it.

I KNOW Thurgood Marshall is wrong, and if Sotomayor thinks that way, she's wrong too, and a brake on the development of America into something better than a bigger Yugoslavia. And a bigot.

We Californios know why this liberal bastion tossed affirmative action--because it MUST lead to nonwhites demanding their "fair share" from other nonwhites. There is literally no future in "weighing" the future to "atone" for the past. It won't resemble the past, for one thing.

Anybody who thinks we can build a Great Society by "weighing" competing bigotries ought to be deported to Bosnia, and see how it fails.

Leahy also defended the belief that a judge should take into account the real-world impact of his or her decisions, saying the failures of the court's "conservative activists," including Chief Justice John Roberts, to do so recently resulted in the gutting of key anti-discrimination and civil rights laws.

Perhaps Mr. Leahy oughta assuage the groaning yoke of oppression by moving to a democratic republic, and running for the national legislature, and working to secure a majority for his own party in all chambers and the executive, and thus--one day--enabling him to draft the laws as he sees fit.

Oh hey, that's right... he already does have that power...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

It's Good to Have Allies

LONDON: A planned US missile shield may not strengthen Europe's security and could hurt NATO's interests if deployed in the face of Russian opposition, British members of parliament said yesterday. The United States says the anti-missile system is designed to prevent potential attacks from countries such as Iran, but the plan has outraged Moscow which sees it as a threat.

Russia has urged Washington to drop its plan to put 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic. Both former Soviet satellites are now NATO members. Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, made up of legislators from the main political parties, voiced reservations about the US plan in a report on weapons proliferation. "We are not convinced that, as they are currently envisaged and under current circumstances, the United States' planned ballistic missile defense (BMD) deploy
ments in the Czech Republic and Poland represent a net gain for European security," it said.

We conclude that if the deployments are carried out in the face of opposition from Russia, this could be highly detrimental to NATO's overall security interests," the report said. It did not elaborate but Moscow has threatened to respond to the shield by placing short-range Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad enclave, between NATO members Poland and Lithuania. If a ballistic missile defense system in Europe were to be developed at all, it should be as a joint system between the United States, NATO and Russia, the committee said.

The British government's early agreement to allow two Royal Air Force (RAF) bases in Britain to be used as part of the US missile defense system was "regrettable, given that the United States' development of its system involved its abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty," the committee said. The United States withdrew from the treaty in 2002. (From the Kuwait Times)

I'd respond but it seems the Brits feel there's no such thing as a unilateral treaty? I'd better get permission from Moscow to discuss US-UK relations. After all, if the Special Relationship persists in the face of Russian opposition, that might not be a net gain for European security...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sontomayor Is Not a Racist. She Just Says Racist Things.

Today the NYT quoted her as saying "You can't have a racially neutral policy that affects minorities negatively, unless you have an overriding business reason".

Yeah, I remember that in the XIV Amendment.

I can't rent to people based on the math, if it turns out later that not enough blacks got apartments? After the fact?

I'm glad to support racially neutral policies that benefit minorities over majorities, such as college entrance exams. Asian Americans do disproportionately better on those. That OF COURSE is "racist" because they OWE my race slots proportionate to our standing in the last census...right? Or are you saying "wait, what race are you again" because some races are more in need of proportional representation than others...

Or maybe we just celebrate a racially neutral policy and be glad we can even propose racially neutral policy...unlike, well, anywhere else on earth really...

Now having said that, of course we don't want to call her a racist. That is, as Newt said on TV, sweating through his grin, "too direct and strong". And Direct Strength is the last thing the GOP wants to look like (calling the GOP "aimless and weak" may be, well, too direct and strong). So everybody toss Newt's tweet down the Memory Hole. He didn't say it! And don't imagine she is a racist...just that she says things that are open to interpretation...if you conceded Newt and his ilk a right to interpret...