Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New York Is Not Mumbai

The attack that shut down the city of Mumbai would never have succeeded in an American city of comparable size - our cops are too well trained and too well armed. So writes Jonathan Foreman in a piece for the New York Post titled Mumbai's Lessons for New York.

What Foreman doesn't mention but which is almost certainly true is that a similar terrorist attack in many places in the U.S. would encounter not only an effective police response but also armed citizens who, unlike those poor Indians, would not be sitting ducks for the terrorists to pick off at their leisure.

Even so, there are other scenarios for terror attacks on our cities to which we are vulnerable and Foreman discusses some of these. Check out his essay here.


Let it Rest

The Supreme Court has refused to hear the latest challenge to President-elect Obama's constitutional right to be president of the United States, based on alleged hankey-pankey with his birth certificate. Ron Kessler summarizes the contretemps and concludes what a lot of people had concluded some time ago - there's nothing to it. It would be a big relief if the matter is now laid to rest because the last thing this nation needs is a crisis of legitimacy in the White House.

Even if Obama was born out of the country because his mother was traveling in Kenya and was unfit to return home until after her delivery - and all the hard evidence I've seen runs counter to this hypothetical - I wonder if it wouldn't still be a miscarriage of justice to deny Obama the White House on such a technicality. Conservatives rightly complain when courts overturn the clearly expressed will of the people in voter referenda because the jurists manage to espy some technical punctilio of the law that the referenda violates. Conservatives should be equally opposed to allowing a technicality to thwart the democratic process and the will of the electorate on the matter of Obama's presidency. The last thing conservatives should wish to do is sound like those on the left who threw tantrums because they thought George Bush was an illegitimate president after the 2000 election.

Yet I confess to being conflicted about all this because I believe strongly that the constitution is not just a helpful guideline but is rather an essential anchor that keeps us from being blown about by the winds of ideological fashion. I don't want to treat the constitution as though its provisions could be ignored just because they prove inconvenient.

So, let's hope that President-elect Obama has no qualificational skeletons in his closet, and let's hope as well that future candidates are much more thoroughly vetted by the media and their parties than was Obama. In his case the media was so eager to see him elected that there was just no appetite to do any digging into anything that might impede that outcome.


Black Women and Gay Marriage

Charles M. Blow lays out a strategy in the New York Times by which gays might win the support of African American women, a demographic which in California last month voted overwhelmingly against Prop 8. Blow offers up some interesting reasons why black women are opposed to gay marriage, but he dances all around what is almost certainly the main reason without really coming out and acknowledging it. He points out that black women go to church, that they tend to be socially conservative, and that they frown on interracial marriage because they believe there aren't enough good black men to go around without having them marrying each other. He never really says clearly, though, that the reason these women voted against gay marriage is because they simply believe that it's wrong and they don't want government meddling with traditional marriage.

It's hard for our educated elite to believe that in this day and age anyone would really think that any consensual act might be wrong, but there you have it. There still are, apparently, a lot of people who believe that homosexual behavior violates the natural law, that it violates the law of God, and therefore should not receive our collective stamp of approval. Imagine.