Monday, March 14, 2005

"RIGHT" AGAIN. An odd conservative tic I've noticed over the years is their tendency to describe rights as quote-unquote "rights" -- e.g., "There is no end to the so-called rights which can be demanded," and "So-called rights of homosexuals really amount to a campaign to legitimize homosexuality," and "I have no sympathy for the so called 'rights' of terrorists or killers or those that plan it at all," etc.

This schtick is taken a little further than usual today by Arnold Ahlert, whose credentials for his New York Post column are a mystery to me -- maybe someone at the paper thought it would be neat to hire someone who looked like Jerry Della Femina after two years in a survivalist camp. In an article regarding the Atlanta escaped-defendant incident, Ahlert writes, "If reports out of Atlanta are accurate, the so-called 'rights' of an accused person to a 'fair and impartial trial' have passed the point of absurdity."

Yeah, what kind of rights freak thinks you have a so-called right to a 'fair and impartial trial'? That's not even in the Bill of So-Called 'Rights'!

How to explain Western jurisprudence to Arnold Ahlert? Well, Francis Gaffney, speaking at an OSCE Meeting in 2003, said it pretty well (and on behalf of the U.S. Government): "...citizens should be able to expect that their grievances against the state or other individuals or against organizations will be addressed impartially in a professionally competent judicial system. This is a bedrock principle of democracy. In the absence of rule of law and an independent judiciary, democracy cannot take root or flourish. All the guarantees of a constitution are set aside when citizens cannot be assured of the right to a fair and impartial trial."

The relationship of Ahlert's outburst to the alleged topic of his article is tenuous at best. If you want to read something smart about a killing spree, try Julia.

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