Thursday, February 11, 2021

Uncommon Knowledge: The Impeachment of a Former President, with Richard Epstein, Andrew McCarthy, and John Yoo

This is a rarity: a rational, intelligent discussion on Trump and the impeachment trial in the Senate. Well worth the 80 minutes. 

It was a balm to my soul after the constant barrage of hysterics from Trump supporters and Trump opponents in the conservative movement. I was beginning to fear that the entire conservative movement had lost its head.

Saturday, February 06, 2021

Ben Sasse - Acting Like a Radical Not a Conservative

I used to like Ben Sasse a lot. But, his latest attempt to evade a censure for his vote that the Senate should try Trump on impeachment articles even though Trump is no longer president is somewhat disingenuous. First, he doesn't even mention that his view of what impeachment is for is a central issue--not his disagreements with Trump's words and actions.

Second, he is setting a horrible constitutional precedent that is in no way conservative. And, he is stoking the fires that "rule of law" means punishing those you disagree with. There's not a more sure fire way to destroy our Republic than that.

That he is trying to change the rules is clear from the threat of impeachment that caused Richard Nixon to resign. Everyone knew that if Nixon resigned (and was out of office), he wouldn't be impeached. That was in the 1970's when politics were about as ugly as at any time in my life except today.

Sasse and the Democrats believe impeachment should be a kind of censure rather than a tool in which  "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office" if found guilty of committing "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" (see Article II, Section 4). [emphasis added]

If you can use impeachment as a public punishment to those you disagree with, or who have been the author of policies that have caused grief irrespective of if they hold office or not, where will you stop? Impeach Franklin Roosevelt for interning 120,000 Japanese Americans? How about George W. Bush for the big lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and we should go to war? Of course, Bush's friends, including me, think he honestly believed they did have such weapons. But, unless you can read men's hearts, there's no way to say for sure. 

In light of his vote, I can't see how Sasse could make a credible case that Roosevelt, Nixon, Bush, Cheney, Reagan should not be impeached and judged guilty by the Senate irrespective of the fact that they cannot be removed from office since they hold no office. I know, there's the phrase that impeachment includes "disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States" as well as removal from office. (Article 1, Section 3, Clause 7) That couldn't apply to Franklin Roosevelt or Nixon, but could apply to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and every other living President, Vice President or civil officer.

None of this stretching of impeachment beyond any way it has been used in the past 200 years of the country's history is conservative or conducive of a peaceful, democratic society in which the rights of the minority are protected. 

Senator Sasse should be ashamed of himself for voting to rip up constitutional precedent just because he is incensed by Donald Trump's antics. Put that up against tearing away the property and interning 120,000 innocent American Japanese or the impact on thousands of US military men killed or maimed in the Iraq war. It kind of pales into insignificance.

Thursday, February 04, 2021

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Apparently Has Bad Side Effects for Younger Adults

I hear from a friend with a 30 something niece who cares for the elderly that she experienced bad flu like symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, extreme fatigue for two days after receiving the second Pfizer shot. She compared notes with other younger co-workers. A significant number of them got the same flu-like side effects about 16 hours after getting the shot. 

Interesting that no one is monitoring the shots or their after effects. One would think the medical profession would be interested in getting feedback on the new vaccine in order to give all the millions yet to take the shot a heads up on what they might encounter.  

Though, of course, bad side effect reports would not go along with the narrative the "experts" and "officials" give that the vaccination is almost totally good. Which is why one is always skeptical of their claims. They talk with complete authority until one of their claims is proved false. Then, and only then, do they fall back on the line that this is a new thing and they are learning too. But, they don't say that up front when trying to influence people and policies.

My friend who did a little research says that some have suggested that the vaccine is much harsher on younger people with strong immune systems than with older people. My friend who is 70 something and does volunteer help for older people with financial needs got the first shot yesterday. If there are bad side effects to report, I'll post on it.