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The Hughes Report
Saturday, July 30, 2005
Sinking of the Indy
Today marks the 60th anniversary of one of the most tragic events in U.S. Navy history. On its previous cruise, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis had suffered a kamikaze attack in which 13 crewmen were killed. On July 16, 1945, she sailed from San Francisco on a secret mission to deliver Atomic Bomb parts to Tinian Island in the Pacific. Soon the bombs made from those parts would end World War II and save an estimated 2 million casualties, American and Japanese, that would have resulted from a conventional invasion of Japan.

Around midnight on July 30, the Indianapolis was struck by a Japanese torpedo and sank in twelve minutes. Because her mission was secret, no one knew where she was or that she was in trouble.

About 400 members of the Indy's crew died in the sinking. The rest resorted to rubber rafts and life vests. There they endured 4-5 days lost at sea. They suffered from their wounds, thirst, and exposure. Many died from shark attack. Some became delirious and swam off toward an imagined island. Of the original 1200 men, only 316 were rescued.

The captain, Charles B. McVay III, was blamed for the sinking and convicted in a court martial, but his sentence was commuted and he returned to duty. Sadly, McVay committed suicide in 1968. In 2000, he was exonerated by act of Congress.

Survivors of the Indianapolis gather each year in her namesake city to commemorate the sinking, remember those lost, and relate their experiences. Of her crew, 93 still survive.

"I never gave up," said Loel Dene "L.D." Cox. The men that did, they didn't make it back. And it was easier to give up than it was to stay alive."

"Through this experience, I really knew that there was a God, and it sent me to searching," said crew member Charles McKissick. "I just remembered my mother saying that she knew who could go out there with me, that Jesus could go with me and take care of me -- and He did!"

According to Cletus LeBeau, "I was scared to death and I just said, `Lord, help me.' And I just heard a voice saying, `Fear not.'"

Al Havens considered himself a "modern-day Jonah" who had been running away from God. "That's what God wanted," said Havens. "He wanted to lead me into a place where I would say, `All right, it's out of my hands. Now it's in yours, totally."

L.D. Cox is still haunted by a recurring dream of those desperate days in the sea. "I turn around and [my shipmates are] gone. I hunt for them, and I may accidentally find one of them, and lose him again. It's that way every night."

Cox returned to Texas A&M to finish his degree, then became a teacher, rancher, and bank director. "I'm thankful to be alive and I believe in God," he said.

"He delivered us from the ocean," added one survivor, "and I feel like and know that He delivered us for a purpose."

[Sources: The 700 Club, August 17, 1995; John W. Gonzalez, "Nightmare at Sea," Houston Chronicle, July 29, 2005, pp. B1, 6.]

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 12:25 AM CDT
Friday, July 29, 2005
Chinese Woman Killed for Distributing Bibles
Topic: China Watch
Newmax.com and Voice of the Martyrs report than a 34-year-old woman was arrested in Guizhou Province for "suspected spreading of rumor and disturbing the social order." Jiang Zongxiu and her mother-in-law had been handing out Bibles and other Christian literature.

Officially, the woman is listed as dying of "natural causes" on June 18. According to her family and documented by photographs, she was beaten to death.

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 12:11 PM CDT
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Tom Lehrer and the Souter Surprise
Topic: Roberts Nomination
I must reluctantly confess that for several years I was an avid listener to the Garrison Keillor radio show, that Trojan horse of liberalism couched in a veil of nostalgia. I enjoyed the music and comedy, except of course for the parts that made me sick to my stomach. I class Keillor's show along with my other guilty pleasures, the sitcoms "Seinfeld" and "Frazier," which I find simultaneously entertaining and morally repugnant. At least it is good to know what the Left is up to.

Keillor lost me after the 1992 election when he declared that he had finally found a president he could support, and pledged to do so unequivocally.

To get on with the story, back then I used to tape Keillor's show and sock away my favorite snippets for later. I still have these tapes somewhere. Among them is a performance of a Tom Lehrer piece that dealt with David Souter's appointment to the Supreme Court. Lehrer, if you are not aware, writes left-wing political ditties.

There is genuine concern among conservatives, including myself, that John Roberts, current nominee to the Court might, like Souter, be revealed, too late, to be a closet liberal. The Souter appointment has been one of my main disappoints with George Bush, Sr., along with his failure to remove Saddam Hussein in the First Gulf War. I think most conservatives would be content with a justice who would simply honor the Constitution's original intent -- which is the only legitimate interpretation of it -- without being ideological; but of course, those are fighting words to the Left.

The Democrats are prepared to skewer any candidate that is not left of center. Sen. Charles Schumer is demanding the nominee answer 7 pages of specific questions. Sen. Patrick Leahy has already signaled his opposition to any nominee "out of the mainstream," a tactic he has used for many years, as if there were any requirement to be "mainstream" in the Constitution. Apparently, "mainstream" refers to anyone to agrees with him.

However, conservatives might also benefit from the process of grilling the nominee, to be assured that Roberts is one who will swear allegiance to the Constitution, not just his opinions about it. We ought to have at least listened to the scuttlebutt about Souter in 1990.

This is where Tom Lehrer comes in, for he seems to have known some inside information. His song, performed on Keillor's show, includes such lines as, "The man is a liberal, and ACL Liberal," "he'll vote for liberty," "liberal when shove comes to push," and "appointed by Barbara Bush."

The tune was quite catchy, but I discovered that Lehrer did not write it. The tune is, "He Had to Get Under, Get Out and Get Under, written by Maurice Abrahams and published in 1913.

My question is, how did Tom Lehrer know what the Republicans and the first Bush Administration did not?

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 1:33 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 24, 2005 1:36 PM CDT
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Returning Fire
Topic: Original Intent
Returning Fire

In his 1990 book, The Tempting of America, page 10, Robert Bork predicted, "The liberal elites will not be satisfied with blocking the nomination of judges who may be expected to adhere to the historic principles of the Constitution. They intend to root that idea out of the intellectual life of the law, to make the philosophy of original understanding, and the associated idea of political neutrality in judging, disqualifying for the men and women who hold them." Like Bork himself, conservative nominees would be cast as "out of the mainstream." Bork called this "merely part of a larger war in our culture." He quotes Alasdair MacIntyre, saying, "Modern politics is civil war carried on by other means."

Patrick Leahy fired the first shot in the war on Meet the Press on July 11, declaring any nominee who held to original intent to be unacceptable.

Now the President has returned fire, delaring in his weekly radio address that he would seek a "fair-minded individual who represents the mainstream of American law and American values." His nominee "will meet the highest standards of intellect, character and ability and will pledge to faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our country."

What he means, in softened terms, is that he will appoint a justice who will uphold the Constitution, not add invention to it.

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 11:24 AM CDT
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Original Intent
Topic: Original Intent
This morning, we were treated to Arlen Specter and Patrick Leahy discussing possible Supreme Court nominations on Meet the Press. Together they made the startling suggestion that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor might withdraw her resignation were she offered the post of Chief Justice. They seemed to hint that Rehnquist should step down in her favor for this purpose. Clearly, liberals (and I include Specter, though technically a Republican} quail at the prospect of losing a "liberal seat" on the Court.

Leahy threw down a gauntlet by declaring that a nominee who held to the "original intent" of the Constitution, as did Robert Bork, would be wholly unacceptable to Democrats. Original intent, along with unrestricted abortion, constitute Democrat litmus tests.

Those who fail to grasp the meaning and import of original intent will benefit from Bork's own explanation in his 1990 book, The Tempting of America: The Political Seduction of the Law (NY: The Free Press, 1990), pp. 5-6.

A judge, Bork writes, "is bound by the only thing that can be called law, the principles of the text, whether Constitution or statute, as generally understood at the enactment. The lay reader may wonder at the emphasis put upon this apparently simple point. Of course, the judge is bound to apply the law as those who made the law wanted him to. That is the common, everyday view of what law is. I stress the point only because that commonsense view is hotly, extensively, and eruditely denied by constitutional sophisticates, particularly those who teach the subject in the law schools.

He goes on to describe "today's constitutional cognoscenti, who would have judges remake the historic Constitution from such materials as natural law, conventional morality, prophetic vision, the understanding of an ideal democracy, or what have you. There is a remarkable consistency about these theorists. No matter the base from which they start, they all wind up in the same place, prescribing a new constitutional law that is much more egalitarian and socially permissive than either the actual Constitution or the legislative opinion of the American public. That, surely, is the point of their efforts."

In short, these "progressives" care neither for the actual intent for which a law was designed nor for its historical application (i.e., precedent) but for what they can read into it to support their own worldview and their own ends.

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 4:55 PM CDT
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Ted Kennedy Borks Again
I wrote the following prior to the last election, noting Ted Kennedy's unfounded prescience on what would become "Robert Bork's America":

John Kerry's America

At the Senate Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Robert Bork in 1991, Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts made the following alarmist statement:

"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, robed police could break down citizen's doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about Evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of the government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is often the only protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy."

The Bork hearings, one may recall, were made a public spectacle on broadcast television a la Watergate, and he was not confirmed by the Senate.

If Kennedy's "vision" of the future is fair, then how might one envision the future under the leadership of John Kerry?

John Kerry's America would be one in which a million or more healthy babies continue to be slaughtered each year for women's rights, population control, and personal convenience.

Official discrimination favoring only select minorities will increase in the name of Affirmative Action and "Diversity."

Following the lead of Sweden and other socialist countries, Christians and others who dare speak against homosexual marriage, abortion, and other approved causes will be tried for hate crimes, and religious institutions raided in the manner of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.

Schoolchildren will continue to be taught Evolution as established fact, and the mere mention of Creationism excluded from the classroom.

Reforms made to the National Endowment to the Arts will be undone, and so-called artists like Annie Sprinkle will be funded by the government.

Supreme Court justices William Renquist, Sandra Day O'Connor, and perhaps others, not to mention other federal judges, will retire and be replaced with liberal activist judges who will continue to undermine the fabric of American society, and purge from it all Christian influence.

The United States would look to the United Nations for permission to defend itself, and increasingly serve in the UN's causes at the expense of American taxpayers and American lives.

Finally, taxes and social spending would rise, while funding for defense and intelligence would, as Kerry's past voting record ably demonstrates, be gutted.

John Kerry is Ted Kennedy's choice for president. The choice in 2004 is not between personalities but two very different visions for the future of the United States of America. It is a clear moral choice. Undecided voters who continue to "waffle" between poll results must either be negligently ignorant of the facts, or totally lacking in guiding principles.

Copyright 2004 Paul A. Hughes

Now the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor has transpired, so we are in for a renewed skirmish in the "cultural wars." Ted Kennedy has already declared his opposition to any non-liberal nominee to the Supreme Court. Any nominee must brace him/herself for the same kind of rectal examination accorded Bork and Clarence Thomas.

With Thomas, there was no evidence of wrongdoing, only hearsay FBI interviews illegally "leaked" by a Democrat senator's office. I well recall Sam Nunn and (I think) Chris Dodd (or some other partisan) telling the press that in spite of lack of evidence, they must question Thomas's nomination "because of the seriousness of the charges. In short, Democrats have already proven that in the absence of evidence, they are willing enough to create some.

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 5:06 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, July 9, 2005 11:21 AM CDT
Liberals Out to Get DeLay
Liberal Democrats hounded Richard Nixon out of office, and have tried to use the media to destroy Republican leaders ever since. Such tactics failed to discredit Ronald Reagan or destroy Clarence Thomas, but successfully derailed Robert Bork, Dan Quayle, John Tower, Newt Gingrich, and Kenneth Starr. Now liberal media have taken aim at House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

A recent political cartoon portrays DeLay as Moses the Lawgiver. A caption reads, "The Reverend Tom DeLay, of the First Church of Political Opportunism in Christ, is down from the mountain with some new information . . . ." He carries two tablets which read,

"Thou shalt not deride poor Tom.

"Thou shalt not call poor Tom a snakeoil (sic.) salesman.

"Thou shalt not pick on poor Tom.

"Thou shalt not scorn poor Tom nor treat him with contempt."

The cartoon appears to convey an anti-Christian sentiment, as well.

Meanwhile, The Campaign for America's Future, a left-wing labor group backed by billionaire George Soros and tied to Nancy Pelosi, Betty Friedan, Howard Metzenbaum, and Jim Hightower, has produced TV commercials targeting DeLay's suburban Houston district. One depicts a man with a Rolex watch washing his hands as a narrator reads,

"Tom DeLay can't wash his hands of corruption by involving Congress in one family's personal tragedy. . . . But Congress can certainly wash its hands of Tom DeLay." Another ad refers to Terri Schiavo and urges Congress to "clean up Congress -- without DeLay."

[Sources: Oliphant, Universal Press Syndicate, 2005; Samantha Levine, "Liberal Group Targets DeLay in TV Ad to Air in His District," Houston Chronicle, March 30, 2005, p. A8; Carl Limbacher, "Anti-DeLay TV Ads Cite Schiavo," Newsmax.com, March 31, 2005.]

Copyright 2005 Paul A. Hughes

Posted by hughes at 4:48 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, July 9, 2005 11:20 AM CDT

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