More Conservative Values

It seems Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia didn’t just make an obscene gesture at reporters outside his church on Sunday; he also told his critics to “vaffanculo”. In case you don’t know what that means (I didn’t), it’s Italian for “f*ck you”, or “go and take it in your *ss”. How charming.

This lovely story comes on the heels of reports that Scalia recently gave a speech signaling that he would rule against a Guantanamo detainee whose case is currently before the Supreme Court (Scalia has refused to recuse himself), and that he would like to overturn Lawrence v. Texas, which invalidated most state laws that criminalized homosexual behavior. I’m not surprised that Scalia thinks this way, but I’m a bit surprised that he would say so, even in an unpublicized speech. All we heard during the Roberts and Alito hearings was, “It would be inappropriate to comment on a case that might come before me if I’m confirmed.” That line was used to weasel out of countless questions, but I guess it only applies before one becomes a Justice.

Does anyone else think Scalia is losing it?

13 Responses to “More Conservative Values”

  1. Blue Gal says:

    Ya know, if we load Cheney’s gun with tranquilizer dart, he can take Scalia down with no harm to the animal or his pelt. Testing for rabies may commence.

  2. Kathy says:

    Maybe going duck hunting with Cheney did have a detrimental effect on Scalia even though he did avoid being gunned down by Dead-Eye Dick. He seems to have become kookier since then. Perhaps there was something in the “soft” drinks they took along…

  3. Del says:

    When I read about the gesture on Salon, I googled and found, among many other references, this site, which claims to reprint illustrations from “La Gestualitita’ dei Siciliani” by Fabio Oliveri. So I don’t think it’s definite that the gesture was obscene–not like giving the reporter the finger, for instance, which was the way the story was first reported. So, now this one guy is saying he said vaffanculo, although nobody else seemed able to hear it? I’m not sure I buy it. I think years of saturation with mob movies have given America the idea that when an Italian makes a gesture meaning something as innocuous as “it’s all the same to me” we decide it really means “f*ck you up the ass.” Cause, you know, that’s the way those people are.

    It’s disgraceful that this excuse for a jurist, who wants to erase most of the social progress of the 20th century, can travel the country arrogantly giving his opinion on all kinds of things that are going to come before the court and then fail to recuse himself when they do. We are not going to bring him down (is there even any way to bring down a Supreme Court justice?) by making a priggish flap about the vulgar way he chooses to express himself. Anyway, every liberal board I’ve ever visited sprays the F-word around like verbal air freshener.

    I’m sorry to be so cantankerous. Must be my Eyetalian blood. :)

  4. Kathy says:

    Feel free to be cantankerous anytime, Del.

  5. My mother grew up in Brooklyn in the 1930s, surrounded by mostly Italian families. Animated gestures, shall we say, were not at all uncommon, she says.

    But Scalia is asking for trouble, throwing his weight, or attitude, or arrogance, around in front of the camera. He should know all this. “You’re not on “Pimp My Ride”, Mr. Justice Scalia — let’s tone it down a bit, shall we?”

  6. Bottom Line says:

    The link to the article you posted even clarifies (although it was buried at the end) that the gesture was not necessarily what you liberals are all ranting about. I quote:

    Scalia went on to cite Luigi Barzini’s book, “The Italians,” which describes a seemingly different gesture – “the extended fingers of one hand moving slowly back and forth under the raised chin” – and its meaning – “ ‘I couldn’t care less. It’s no business of mine. Count me out.’ ”

    Typical of the left wing media to take every single chance to spread half truths and mislead the public. I guess a headline of “Scalia gestures “I couldn’t care less” isn’t has fun for the liberal “haters” to read about the despised right wing judge. I really love reading things like this blog, because it makes me glad I am not a liberal. I am so sorry I haven’t been able to post messages lately, I really missed stirring you guys up.

  7. Kathy says:

    Well, I’m touched to be considered a member of the left-wing media. I’m not sure about Scalia’s gesture either, but if he said what’s been reported, there’s not much doubt about the meaning. Most of us are taught to show respect for other people in public, even if we don’t agree with them privately. I certainly wouldn’t hold his behavior up as an example for my children.

  8. Bill says:

    Bottom Line,

    You’re right, I am also you’re not a liberal. You would be really pissed if you read the crap that your media writes about Senator Clinton, President Clinton, President Carter, Senator Kerry, people who care about the environment, people who believe in peace, people who care about the poor, the poor, people who supported the war because of promised WMD’s but withdrew their support because the WMD’s weren’t real, Keith Olbermann, gays, lesbians, people who believe in balanced budgets, the judiciary (except for Roberts/Thomas/Scalia), the conspirators against Christmas/Easter/ Christianity/American Way of Life and Christians who believe Jesus meant the words in the Sermon on the Mount.

    My God, if you were a liberal and were forced to listen to ten minutes on any Faux News program on any of the above listed subjects, you would have an aneurysm. Since it’s so much fun to have debates with you, I’m glad you’re not a liberal. Because knowing how sensitive you are to “you liberals/Democrats/Bush-haters”, I am certain five minutes of Bill O’Reilly would make your head explode if you weren’t a prisoner of the dark side of the force.

  9. Bottom Line says:

    Bill-
    You just made my day. I really love how liberals like yourself rant and rave about Fox news and have serious “aneurysms” because of the fact that you may actually see the other side to a story. After years of the big three news networks spreading liberal bias stories, CNN revolutionaized the socialist movement to a new level of bias. And you call it “my media”? However, when one news station comes along and is enormously successful because it offers a different view to the world events, you claim it is fake and false. You have failed to understand that just occasionally the genious minds of the Clintons, Carter, Kennedy, Kerry, Gore, Byrd,and Boxer may actually be wrong once in a while or God forbid they may actually be causing more harm than good with their actions and views.(by the way, thanks for having those folks lead your party; a couple of drunks, a womanizer/abuser, bad driver, racist and spineless wimps are perfect to lead the democrats)

    I would also like to thank you for bring up the famous WMD lie issue. First of all, all those big wigs saw the same intelligence and came to the same conclusions. I personally don’t think it was a lie, I just think that Iraq is a huge place and has porous borders, perfect for a dictator to hide and move many things (bodies, bombs, etc). You have got to admit that he probably had them and was able to hide or move them to another place before they could be found. Forget the fact that many of the weapons he used against us were supposed to have been destroyed because of the treaties after the 1st Gulf War. Not to mention the fact that all of those politicians said the same thing that we can’t take the chance (chance implies not being 100% sure) that Iraq may have WMD.

    Then you have the compassion and keen insight to point out that your heroes are advocates of peace and love, but fail to see that a war in Iraq did free millions of people and saved thousands more. Do you actually think a car bomb that kills 30 compares to years of a dictators rule that killed whole villages or anyone else that stood in his way? Heck his sons killed husbands of wives they wanted to screw. Let me clue you in here, we know your real reason for hating the Iraq war, you hate it because you use it as a tool to leverage against Bush. Where were you when your hero Bill Clinton, bombed Kosovo from 30,000 feet for several weeks and pushed troops into an engagement with out and end in sight (although he did put a timeline in that wasn’t met)? Where was your outrage at the lies when the Clintons lied under oath to the courts? Where was your outrage when Kennedy drove young girl to her death, or when Byrd was in the KKK?

    Finally my favorite position of the liberals is how they champion the cause for the minorities. But the very things you believe in only lock them into economic and social problems more deeply. Heck, Reagan did much more for minorities than Clinton and Carter combined. And this one will really burn you, Bush actually has minorities in the highest cabinet positions. It burns liberals so much that the have the nerve to call Rice and Powell, racist names that I won’t repeat. Thanks again and I enjoyed the Star Wars reference, it points out that liberal reality is in the movies and la la land. Maybe if the liberals get in your Jedi outfits, grab your lightsabers and run to the theatre they can get a good spot in line for the next Sci Fi movie blockbuster.

  10. Bottom Line says:

    Sorry, that last bit was uncalled for, I hope I didn’t offend any Liberal Jedi Masters.

  11. Bill says:

    Bottom Line,

    Just having fun with you!

  12. Bill says:

    Bottom Line,

    Sorry if my previous post was confusing. I missed your first post. The reference to just having fun with you was the dark side comment. I enjoyed your Jedi response.

    Now to responding to your earlier e-mail. Let me try to address the specific points you make:

    By “your” media I am not addressing you personally, I am addressing all persons of your political persuasion. Very clearly, Fox News, is unabashed in its support for George Bush and the Republican Party. Their focus on the Republican Party’s periodic talking points is well known.

    I actually agree with you about several of the individuals you mentioned. Kennedy’s personal history speaks for itself. I believe that Robert Byrd was the worst abuser of the citizenry’s taxes in my lifetime until the current administration and congress came along. His abuse of pork is disgusting and was virtually unsurpassed before Ted “Build a Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens came along.

    I do not question at one time Saddam had WMDs. However, the record is becoming increasing clear that he did NOT have them in the period shortly before before Bush made the decision to go to war. It is clear that the President wanted the war and was willing to find any reason he could to justify his intentions. And you know he and his associates now tell us that WMDs were not the reason we went to war in the first place. Does that not strike you as dishonest? You and I do not agree about much political, but I sense integrity in your thought processes. I do not sense integrity in the administration’s justification for the war. There were WMDs. Then there weren’t. Republicans didn’t believe in nation building when “Clinton bombed Kosovo from 30,000 feet”. But they believe in nation building in the Middle East, to bring “democracy” there. That would be great if it were possible. Then we were there to get rid of Saddam. But was Saddam more evil than Milosevic? Why are Democrats and Independents pathetic, gutless, cowardly vermin when they go to war for the stated purpose of preventing genocide, but Republicans are heroes ordained by God for going to war for reasons that change? And change a lot?

    Bottom Line, this is my take on the war. Not trying to inflame, just stating the truth. When Bush made the case for the war, I told a good (very Republican) friend that I will never vote for Bush. But he is my President and he said there is conclusive proof of the WMD threat to our country from Iraq. I will take it on faith that he is right and will therefore support him. However, if there are no WMDs, he should be impeached. I said that three years ago. I meant my support for him because I trusted my government (frankly, largely because of my respect for General Powell).
    But now, I believe he lied to me and to the country. Whatever reasons he gives now….Saddam’s evil (true)/Saddam’s relationship with bin Laden (not true)/nation building (folly under Democrats but now glorious) do not change the fact that he used up our great nation’s credibility and, more importantly, moral authority by not being honest about the most solemn decision a leader should ever make.

    I am confused about your comments about minorities. I think it is great that Bush has minorities in his cabinet. I think General Powell is a great man. I do not believe that his successor is a great woman. But she is a woman and a minority, so that does suggest that Bush is not sexist and racist. And that’s good. However, you say that Reagan did great things for minorities. How is that? By having Ed Meese Attorney General? If you are talking about what Reagan and Bush have done with respect to economic opportunities (?), I ask you to consider what they have done to our children. I don’t know about you, but I am 47 years old and fairly well off. I do not need more tax cuts so that my grandchildren can pay for the irresponsible behavior of my generation (Bush years) and my parents’ generation (Reagan years). Being conservative used to mean fiscally responsible. In that sense, I believe in what Republicans used to believe in. If your minority comments were not economic in nature, I am curious
    as to what you meant.

    Anyway, excuse the length of this tome, but some of what you wrote genuinely confused me. Some, of course, I just disagreed with. But, as always, I look forward to your response.

  13. Bottom Line says:

    Bill-
    It is always fun debating with you guys, I don’t have much time to debate all the points you made (have to go away for work this weekend), but here it goes. My point with the WMD and the Iraq war is this. Bush made lots of points and lots of cases for going to war with Iraq. Yes he made assertions about WMD, but because he made those assertions based on intelligence does not mean he was lying. Yes he may have placed too much emphasis on that point, but that is not an indictment of lying or dishonesty. Additionally, he also stressed many times that if we have treaties we should enforce them. Iraq broke numerous treaties, not to include the WMD. They wouldn’t even let the UN search without their “guides”. Plus the other weapon systems they were required to destroy. Also he had to prove he destroyed the WMD Iraq admitted to possess. They did not do this either, which also broke agreements. We seem to forget the fact that they admitted to having WMD after the first gulf war, agreed to destroy them, and failed to show proof they complied. Wouldn’t you agree this alone would lead one to believe he may still have WMDs?
    As for your economic points, I agree both parties are fiscally irresponsible. I just believe the Republicans are the better of two evils when it comes to this. I wish we would go to the FairTax or at least a flat tax. You may be willing to pay more taxes to support more social reform. But I think taxes should be fairly distrubuted or we are no better than any other socialist system. That is another reason for the FairTax. Graduated tax rates discourage achievement and ultimately hurt our society. The economic recovery and growth during the Reagan years and the recent recovey from the recession Clinton started (the recovery was due to Bush’s tax cuts) prove that more money in the people’s hands helps everyone. Plus the less payroll taxes we pay allows those dollars to cycle through the economy faster and helps the economy and ultimately will increase tax revenue due to the fact that those dollars hit more hands in a one year period. If the slow government gets that dollar, it takes awhile for it to cycle through the economy. Plus I don’t want the government having more control than it already has and giving them more control with more direct taxes does just that. I gotta run since I am in a hurry. I apologize for any typos, I didn’t have time to proofread this, but I wanted to respond. Take care and I will read your response when I get back.

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