Calling all Supreme Court justices

Yet one more reason to like the Cowgirl:

Late in the second quarter, linebacker Buster Davis laid out one of Florida’s most dynamic players, freshman receiver/running back Percy Harvin. I have never heard a stadium grow more silent. The visitor section sat there, stunned. Minutes passed as Harvin remained motionless on the ground, being tended to by numerous paramedics. Then, almost in unison, the entire Gator bench left their sideline, came out to the hash marks and knelt in prayer. What happened next, though, really shocked me.

Upon the Gators’ impromptu vigil, Florida State and Florida fans alike rose and applauded. Not in a “hooting and hollering” sort of way, but in one that said, “This is what the game is supposed to be about: camaraderie, sportsmanship and faith.” This moment, of course, was probably never televised, but it was one of the most pivotal and moving in the game.

I’m not exactly a fan of female sportswriters, but Miss Sterger is more than mere eye candy. Sure, she writes about herself, but she also grasps that it’s not actually all about her.

No doubt Michael “Pain in the Atheist” Newdow will soon be filing suit against the Florida football team.

Pick your poison

While this is indicative of a larger problem, it’s also not a bad idea:

In his book Islam in Britain, Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, says there is an “alternative parallel unofficial legal system” that operates in the Muslim community on a voluntary basis.

“Sharia courts now operate in most larger cities, with different sectarian and ethnic groups operating their own courts that cater to their specific needs according to their traditions,” he says. These are based on sharia councils, set up in Britain to help Muslims solve family and personal problems.

Sharia councils may grant divorces under religious law to a woman whose husband refuses to complete a civil divorce by declaring his marriage over. There is evidence that these councils are evolving into courts of arbitration.

Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, a barrister and principal of Hijaz College Islamic University, near Nuneaton, Warwicks, said this type of court had advantages for Muslims. “It operates on a low budget, it operates on very small timescales and the process and the laws of evidence are far more lenient and it’s less awesome an environment than the English courts,” he said.

Mr Siddiqi predicted that there would be a formal network of Muslim courts within a decade.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with this sort of unofficial court providing arbitration, indeed, it’s more legitimate than any American immigration, family or tax courts, most of which are prohibited under the various constitutional separation of powers doctrines. (It’s easy to verify, first read your state’s constitution and then find out who writes the “judges” checks. If it’s an executive-branch agency, it’s a fake court. Abandon justice, all ye who enter….) But it is interesting that Britain hasn’t even finished its transition into post-Christianity before seeing an alternative religious structure being erected.

Like nature, the human spirit abhors a vaccuum, especially a vacuous one of the sort secularism has on offer.

A writer in need of a dictionary

Arnaud de Borchgrave plays word games:

The costly effort in blood and treasure to foster democracy in Iraq is clearly beyond our reach. Henry Kissinger, chief mandarin of geopoliticians, who negotiated the 1973 agreements that ended the Vietnam War, says Iraq is unwinnable. If by victory, he explained, we mean a viable democratic Iraqi state, able to sustain itself, forget it because it can’t be done. A far cry from “failure is not an option.”

The “go big,” “go long,” and “go home” options bear little relationship to the art of the possible. A broken military cannot afford to go big, unless, of course, the draft is re-enacted, which a Democratic Congress would reject. To go long would require domestic support, which has waned to 30 percent. And to pack it in and go home under Option 3 would be tantamount to surrender to America’s enemies throughout the Middle East. Borne out, too, would be Osama bin Laden’s predictions about America’s lack of staying power. This weekend, Jordan’s King Abdullah warned against the danger of civil wars breaking out in neighboring Arab countries.

While I would not say that the US military is broken – the fact that it’s having problems doing something that no military is designed to do doesn’t mean that it can’t fulfill its true purposes – the democracy project is impossible. I argued that it was a deeply stupid proposition from the start, only now has this become obvious to everyone but the most clueless of the neoconned.

What’s strange is the stubborn assertion that going home “is not possible”. Of course it is! In fact, it’s not only possible, as it has been since the beginninng, but is now thankfully probable. I really despise this sort of attempt to control the agenda by perverting the language, it’s sad to see how conservative commentators now write almost as deceptively as their liberal counterparts.