In my last comment, I wrote about diversity and how the liberal Left views diversity as a worthy goal. The Left has a very monolithic view of race that is outright racist: people are lumped into a group and are expected to behave as part of that group. How narrow-minded! You are not an individual in their view; you are nothing more than a tag: Black, Conservative, Latino, Gay, Southern, Woman, Man.

This is why Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown are so vilified by the Democrat senators. Here are two people who ought to be marching lock-step to the liberal view of what a Latino and a Black should be. How dare they have independent thoughts! Let’s look a little closer at these two nominees put forward by Pres. Bush and blocked by the liberal Democrat senators.

Justice Miguel Estrada spent over two years before the Senate Judiciary Committee. In fact, it took over 16 months before Estrada was granted his first hearing before the committee after his nomination. This is a prime example of the Democrat foot-dragging President Bush has endured during his time in office — something that the liberal Democrats refuse to acknowledge even today. Estrada had the gold seal of approval from the American Bar Association with their “well-qualified” rating. But this was not sufficient for the Democrats on the committee. Why are the liberals so afraid of letting Estrada’s nomination be voted on by the whole body of the Senate? It is simple — he would get the 51 votes needed to be confirmed a member of the D.C. Court of Appeals, and this would put him on the short list for a Supreme Court position when one comes open. Had he been approved, Estrada might have been the first Hispanic judge to sit on the nation’s highest court, but the liberals, ever-faithful champions of the minorities, have blocked his nomination. You see, he isn’t “Latino” enough for them. He does not fit their narrow-minded vision of what a Hispanic person should be, and so they refused to even give him the decency of a full Senate vote. In September, tired of the 28 months of partisan wranglings of the sanctimonious liberal Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Estrada withdrew his name from consideration for this judgeship.

Pete Martinez summed up the liberal Democrats’ position in his post to HispanicVista.com: “We have found nothing negative in Mr. Estrada’s past. He is by all accounts a brilliant attorney. Was a brilliant student, has led an exemplary life and is a bona fide role model not only to Latinos, but indeed to all Americans — but he refuses to answer our questions on how he would decide cases that may come before the court — he refuses to tell us that he would decide as we the Democrats believe he should decide, so it can only mean he would use either his independent thinking or follow the philosophy of the Republican party — so we cannot allow him to be confirmed.”

Justice Janice Rogers Brown is another well-qualified nominee for a high court position. But she is also being blocked by the liberal Democrats sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee. They view her as being far out of the mainstream, so she should not sit on the D.C. Court of Appeals. It is interesting to note that she was reelected to her California judgeship with 76% of the vote. How can she be so far out of the mainstream when a pretty liberal state like California is so firmly behind her? The answer is simple: she is not out of the mainstream, but she is too conservative for the far-left liberal Democrats in the committee. She isn’t acting Black enough in their viewpoint to be a good judge. Sen. Kennedy called Brown and the other nominees “Neanderthals,” but this racist comment barely made a ripple in the news. But the message is clear: if you are a minority, you had better conform to the Democrat concept of how you should behave. If you dare to think or act differently than the way liberals think you should, then you are somehow not Latino or Black enough. If you are Black, you must be the liberal stereotype of Black. If you are Hispanic, you must be the liberal stereotype of Hispanic. If you are female, you must be the liberal stereotype of female. What a bunch of pig-headed, racist nonsense!

The problem with this static liberal view of race is that race in America is far from static. People have called Tiger Woods, the championship winning golfer, Black or African-American. But they do so by ignoring the rest of his heritage. Newsweek, in December 1996, reported that “Tiger is one-eighth Native American, one-eighth African-American, one-quarter white, one-quarter Chinese, one-quarter Thai.” Tiger himself explained in a press release, “On my father’s side, I am African-American. On my mother’s side, I am Thai. Truthfully, I feel very fortunate, and EQUALLY PROUD, to be both African-American and Asian!” We can see that regardless of percentages, Tiger identifies himself the way he wishes. He sees himself as both Black and Thai while these identities are 12.5% and 25% of his makeup, respectively. He could just as validly claim to be Native American and White, also 12.5% and 25%. Does his race matter? Only to people who like to pigeonhole other people.

At what point do we tell someone that he or she cannot be called Black/White/Purple/whatever because he or she is less than 25%/10%/5% of that race? Years ago, this was a major issue for society. The following breakdown of races comes from a 1884 book with a truly long name: The People’s Cyclopedia of Universal Knowledge, with numerous appendixes invaluable for reference in all departments of industrial life. The whole brought down to the year 1884 with the Pronunciation and Orthography Conformed to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary. Illustrated with More than Five Thousand Engravings, and Fifty-two Handsomely Colored Double-Page Maps., by W.H. De Puy, A.M., D.D.

Father Mother Half-Caste
White Negro Mulatto
White Indian Mestizo
Indian Negro Chino
White Mulatta Cuarteron
White Mestiza Creole, only distinguished from the white by a pale brown complexion.
White Chinese Chino-blanco
White Cuarterona Quintero
White Quintera White
Negro N.A. Indian Zambo or Cariboco
Negro S.A. Indian Mameluco
Negro Mulatta Zambo-negro or Cubra
Negro Mestiza Mulatto-oscuro
Negro Chinese Zambo-chino
Negro Zamba Zambo-negro (perfectly black.)
Negro Cuarterona Mulatto (rather dark.)
Negro Quinterona Pardoc
Indian Mulatta Chino-oscuro
Indian Mestiza Mestizo-claro (frequently very beautiful.)
Indian China Chino-cholo
Indian Zamba Zambo-claro
Indian China-cholo Indian (with short frizzy hair.)
Indian Cuarterona Mestizo (rather brown.)
Indian Quintera Mestizo
Mulatto Zamba Zambo
Mulatto Mestiza Chino (of rather clear complexion.)
Mulatto China Chino (rather dark.)

According to the definition of the late 19th Century, someone who is only 6.25% Black is considered White. Judging from his Black heritage, Tiger Woods would be classified a Quintero (12.5% Black) had he lived in the 1880s. But all this hyper-sensitivity over race misses the whole point now that we live in the 21st Century. Regardless of the race of the mother and father, the resulting child is an American.

Isn’t that much simpler?

I didn’t feel like covering the latest example of Democrat outrage, increasingly called “Leakgate” by the media, but since it is being misreported and people do not seem to understand what it is all about, I thought it was time to chime in. Several items about this whole issue smell very fishy to me.

It all started July 14, 2003, with the publication of Bob Novak’s article called Mission to Niger, about Joseph Wilson’s trip to Africa to investigate allegations of Iraq buying yellowcake uranium. Notice that this was written in July. Why did Wilson start freaking out about this article months later? The response delay does smell fishy, does it not?

Novak was curious to discover why Wilson was chosen to investigate the alleged sale of uranium. After all, Wilson was an ambassador, not an investigator. He is a Democrat, staunchly anti-Bush and firmly against the war in Iraq, so how did he get sent on a critical mission to investigate the claims that Iraq was seeking uranium? Novak wanted to uncover why, and he believed he found the reason in the person of Wilson’s wife.

Here is the offending paragraph that has bunched the Dem’s undies:

Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson’s wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him.

The Democrats are screaming that revealing Wilson’s wife’s status in the CIA violates a law about revealing the identity of undercover intelligence officers. They are hoping this will be the wedge they can use to pry open the White House and oust President Bush. Who it was that told Novak about Plame is not known, because Novak refuses to identify his sources. His article says “senior administration officials,” but this does not necessarily mean the White House. It could apply to any senior bureaucrat serving anywhere in the executive branch of government. In fact, on Crossfire Novak said, “Nobody in the Bush administration called me to leak this.” But that hasn’t stopped liberals from pointing the finger of blame right at the White House.

Here’s a typical bit of liberal ranting found on one Bush-bashing site: “The intentional leaking of the name of a CIA operative by Senior White House Officials (AKA Karl Rove), was most certainly politically motivated.” Are there any facts in this sentence? Here they have changed Novak’s description to cast aspersions on the White House, and have specifically named Karl Rove, Bush’s chief strategist. These are not the only people to direct their anger toward Rove. Wilson himself did this before an audience in Seattle. He said he wanted “to see whether or not we can get Karl Rove frog-marched out of the White House in handcuffs.” Later on ABC’s Good Morning America, Wilson had to shamefacedly confess, “I don’t have any knowledge that Karl Rove himself was either the leaker or the authorizer of the leak.” That should clear Rove, right? But Wilson went on to state, “I have great confidence that, at a minimum, [Rove] condoned it and certainly did nothing to shut it down.” He offers no proof, just the same type of baseless assertion that he gave in Seattle and later retracted.

But regardless of who passed the information about Plame to Novak, the Democrats say this was a violation of law. Even Bush is calling this leak a “criminal matter,” but I must disagree. Granted, I am not a legal scholar, but I do not see how this leak actually violates the law. The law in question states that the United States must take affirmative measures to conceal a covert agent’s relationship with the United States. So, did the CIA hide the matter of Plame’s employment? I cannot see how the CIA could be taking “affirmative measures to conceal” if they confirmed to Bob Novak, and columnists Clifford May and Josh Marshall, that Plame was a CIA employee. If the CIA had been trying to hide her employment, they could have denied that she worked for them or repeated the standard “we can neither confirm nor deny” routine. But they chose neither of these options. It seems pretty clear that the CIA took no measures to conceal Plame’s employment.

So Plame works for the CIA, as freely admitted by the CIA itself. If she is a covert agent or some other secret operative, instead of the analyst the CIA claims she is, whose fault is it that her employment with the CIA was uncovered? Clearly it is the CIA’s fault for confirming her employment. Do you see the liberals barking after the CIA, asking for heads to roll or people to be frog-marched out? Are you silly? Their target is Bush, and they will stop at nothing to hammer away at him. Democrats have called for a special prosecutor to investigate this matter. They are all excited about the need for a special investigator because they know that their ox will not be gored. If a prosecutor is called, then the investigation will continue through the upcoming election year, muddying the waters and giving the Democrats ample ammunition with which to attack Bush.

But one thing should be very noticeable in this whole manufactured, inflated brouhaha: Bush is not dragging his feet in this investigation. He has informed the White House staff that they will cooperate fully with the Justice Department. Gone are the days of the Clinton administration, of declarations of executive privilege and shameless stonewalling. Staff members are willingly handing over documents, rather than letting them appear mysteriously years later in the residential part of the White House.

Addendum: CIA suspected that Soviet spy, Aldrich Ames gave Valerie Plame’s name with others to the Russians in 1994. They were certain enough that he had handed over her name, so they recalled her back to Washington. So she’s not been a covert agent since at least 1994. This information was posted on Oct. 11th by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times.

So why did the CIA send someone known to be a rabid Bush hater to Africa to scope out the veracity of this story, especially since Wilson has no experience being an investigator? In his own words, he spend his time “investigating” by talking with government officials in his hotel while sipping sweet mint tea. So when they said they absolutely did not sell yellowcake uranium to Iraq, he believed them. Some great investigator.

Did the White House send him? Originally he said his mission came from Vice President Cheney’s office, but they have no record of this. So someone in the CIA, and most certainly a Democrat who wanted to embarrass Bush, sent Wilson. And Bob Novak wanted to know why someone like Wilson was given this assignment when he had no experience in this area. The simple answer is that his wife played a key part in his selection. See how it all ties together?

With the recent battles over the Ten Commandments in Alabama, the way the Christmas holiday is morphing into “Winter Festival,” and the panicked way liberals chant “separation of Church and State” at every chance, you’d think that Christianity and other religions were a massive threat to your safety and liberty. Have you noticed that the phrase is normally given a high level of importance by calling it “the Constitutionally mandated separation of Church and State?” But that phrase does not appear in the Constitution. It was penned by Thomas Jefferson years later in a letter. The part about religion that does appear, when liberals get around to reading the Constitution, is in the 1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

But what does that mean? It’s simple, really. Congress can do nothing either in favor of or against a religion. The Founding Fathers had seen the way state-sponsored religion, in the forms of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, had disrupted the peace of England. Up to the reign of Henry VIII, the state religion of England was Roman Catholic, but when Pope Clement VII nullified Henry’s second divorce and excommunicated him, Henry broke with the Catholic Church. Parliament declared Henry “Supreme Head of the Church of England” in 1534. Henry’s son, Edward VI, succeeded him in 1547 but died shortly in 1553, and this left England with the choice of two of Henry’s daughters: Mary Tudor and Elizabeth I. The people supported Mary as queen, and she promptly made the Catholic Church the state religion again. This was not done peacefully, and to this day she is often referred to as “Bloody Mary.” Five years after the death of Edward VI, Mary Tudor died childless, and her half-sister Elizabeth I became queen. She removed the Catholic Church from power and reestablished the Church of England, albeit with closer theological ties this time and less bloodshed.

All in all, these were times of turmoil and death in England, and the country lost much political power in Europe along with its last properties in France. It is no wonder that the Founding Fathers did not want to establish a national church in the newly-formed United States. They had seen the horrors that can come from one.

But did they restrict the individual states from making an official state religion within their borders? No. They did not. “Blasphemy!” screams the modern liberal. But it is true. The 1st Amendment states that Congress shall make no laws either for or against religion–but Congress is not the states. The 9th and 10th Amendments specify that any rights not already given to the United States (the federal government) or expressly forbidden the states or people, belong to the states and people. This means that the right to form a state religion does belong to the states. The Founding Fathers wanted the individual states to have enough autonomy to work out their own success. You may think of the United States today as fifty state laboratories each working away trying to do their best. If something works well in one state, it will be noticed and copied by others. Likewise, if something fails miserably it will be rejected by other states–well, that is, unless the failure is propped up by liberals. So by what right can a federal judge order a state judge to remove the Ten Commandments from a courthouse in Alabama? If you said “none,” you are correct. Remember, “Congress shall make no law” applies to the federal government, but how can it apply to a state and a member of the judicial branch? The constant and ill-informed carping of “separation of Church and State” by liberals has muddied the waters in this debate, and it is clear that people do not understand the underlying reasons why the Founding Fathers put this amendment in place any more.

Redefining a word or phrase and then legislating from the new definition is a common tactic among the liberal left. The Founding Fathers are plain about the purpose of the 1st Amendment in their writings. They wanted a freedom of religion to prevent it from being meddled with as it was in 16th-century England. But modern-day liberals have redefined this as freedom from religion. And now that they have redefined this in the minds of the people, they want the judiciary to enforce their new definition. You see this in the constantly outraged left decrying anything Christmas- or God-centered. A nativity scene is now an establishment of religion, and saying “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is somehow a violation of people’s civil rights. When the Breen Elementary School in Rocklin, California posted “God Bless America,” the religion-hating ACLU objected to this “hurtful, divisive message.” This mistaken idea even leads to such silliness as the Golden Corral restaurant in Tyler, Texas posting “Bless America” because adding “God” to that phrase might offend someone. God save us from the perpetually offended!

But this is a good thing, the liberals tell us, because we do not want to have some religion forcing its beliefs on us. That would be just terrible, they cry. Really? How many laws have been written because of religion? Other than local “blue laws” regarding liquor and shopping on Sunday, can you name any religious laws enforced in the United States? But there is a group of people who have forced their beliefs on us via the law and judiciary: liberals.

Want to buy a 3 1/2-gallon toilet so you don’t have to flush two or three times? You can’t. Liberals don’t want you to flush away that much water. Want to buy an efficient freon-based refrigerator? You can’t. Liberals don’t want you to destroy the ozone with nasty CFCs. Never mind that CFCs are at least four times heavier than air, so how are they making it up to the ozone layer in the first place? Want to drive a large car? You can’t. Liberals have mandated the MPG and energy efficiency of cars, so America no longer produces the large, powerful cars of yesteryear. On every front liberals have been telling us what to do, where to go, how to eat, what to buy, how to believe. But they scream and pitch a fit whenever someone brings up the idea that God might be important in our lives. Why? Because they cannot attack our God-given rights if God still exists. But once God is out of the picture, then our God-given rights become government-given rights. And what government giveth, government also taketh away. Are you comfortable with that? I am not.