The answer to Durbin’s favorite question for SCOTUS nominees is in: Merrick Garland favors restricting personal freedoms

Blogger with Durbin in Chicago in 2019

By John Ruberry

When Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland in the final year of his presidency to replace Antonin Scalia on the US Supreme Court he was hailed by some as a moderate. 

Well “Moderate Merrick,” if he ever existed, is gone. 

Garland’s nomination was never acted upon by the US Senate, which was then in Republican control, and President Trump nominated Neal Gorsuch for the Scalia seat–and the Senate went on to confirm Gorsuch.

Had Garland faced the Senate he might have been asked this question from Sen. Dick Durbin, who is from Garland’s home state of Illinois, “Will you restrict the personal freedoms we enjoy as Americans or will you expand them?” Durbin posed that query to John Roberts during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings sixteen years ago and he has asked the same question, as did his predecessor, Paul Simon, during confirmation hearings for other SCOTUS nominees. 

Well we have the answer to the question that Durbin never asked Garland. Joe Biden’s attorney general favors restricting personal freedoms.

Last week, citing unnamed threats against unnamed school board members, Garland in a memorandum declared, “I am directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with each United States Attorney, to convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district within 30 days of the issuance of this memorandum.”

In short, Garland is unleashing the FBI against parents who have spoken out against hateful and bigoted Critical Race Theory offal that is being rammed down the throats of their children. Do you want someone like Agent Petty from Ozark showing up at your front door? Clearly Garland is plotting to separate parents from their children. After all, leftists from Karl Marx on have viewed parents as an obstacle to pursuing their goal of a perfect society, which of course is a totalitarian state where the elites, who of course are so much wiser than everyone else, guide the rabble. Yes the rabble. You know, people like me and you, part of a multi-million member conglomeration similar to Ozark’s redneck Langmore clan. That’s how our leftist “betters” see us.

Last month at a Virginia gubernatorial candidate debate, the Democrat nominee, longtime Clintonista Terry McAuliffe, let loose this surprising bit of candidness, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

I believe parents should have the defining voice in school curricula—as do undoubtedly most Americans. 

In his farewell address in 1989 Ronald Reagan said, “And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table.” And that is as it always should be.

But in his first inauguration speech as California governor the Gipper warned, “Freedom is a fragile thing and it’s never more than one generation away from extinction.”

We now have an attorney general–and a White House administration–that favors restricting freedom.

Don’t look for Durbin to call them out on it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Caring about what you actually control

Apparently its a thing to not have kids due to climate change.

https://www.popsci.com/environment/having-children-climate-change/

‘It’s a human right to decide whether or not you want a child. It’s not a human right to drive an SUV or fly in planes.’

-Sara Watson

The article references a survey of 10,000 young people (16-25), with 59% “very or extremely” worried about climate change, and 45% “said their feelings negatively affect their daily life.”

After actually reading the survey, my biggest critique is that there is no control group. The survey asked questions like “Do you think the previous generations did not take care of the planet?” Are you surprised that 81% said yes? I would take it more seriously if we had a control group to measure how much young people at that age normally hate authority figures because, fun fact, that’s typical for that age group. I thought my parents were morons when I was 18, and it wasn’t until my late 20s that I realized “Gee, maybe Mom and Dad were pretty smart about the choices they made.” That age group is also naturally anxious about…well, everything, yet we don’t have a control to compare the normal anxiety to climate anxiety.

Control groups are really important in studies. We’ve seen this in COVID-19 vaccine discussions. I’ll see a headline “Woman dies of (insert crazy condition here) a day after receiving the (insert vaccine here)!” OK, that’s sad, but that’s all we know. Did this woman have underlying health conditions? What else was going on at the time? And what’s the normal rate of dying from these conditions? It’s similar to the “bacon causes colon cancer” discussion. Once you realize that it takes eating a pound of bacon a day to raise the less than 1% chance of colon cancer to…less than one percent, you quickly realize the study is nonsense.

Actual solutions to problems aren’t typically sexy. There’s an apocryphal story about an elevator mechanic called in to to fix elevator timing in a large skyscraper. He tested all elevators and spent a day investigating where things could be wrong. Finding nothing wrong with the elevators, but still being told that people are “waiting too long,” he installed mirrors near all the elevator doors. Soon people were fixing their hair and adjusting suit coats, and the complaints disappeared.

In terms of climate change, there are a lot of things we can change now, on our own, without government telling us to. Driving and flying less is inside our control. Composting and having a small garden are inside our control (at one time, Victory Gardens accounted for over half of US agricultural output). Better insulating homes to reduce electricity costs is inside our control. Spending less time on social media, which relies on big server farms consuming fossil-fueled electricity, is inside our control.

Will not having kids help? Is that something inside our control? Would that actually help climate change?

Doubtful. Even Vox (Vox!) has doubts. And from looking at the sort of people running movements like BirthStrike, I have to wonder if its simply a continuation of how they were already inclined to think vs. a movement inspired by climate change. Wouldn’t a control group be nice to compare this to?

Which makes me ask, is the movement to not have kids really just an extension of pre-existing beliefs? If so, do you subscribe to those beliefs? I find the belief that humans are bad for the planet and need to be eradicated (the only logical end of not having kids) pretty sickening. I’ll place my faith in us getting smart about the planet and cleaning it up. I’ll happily do my small part, knowing that long term, its only through thousands of small actions that we’ll actually help the planet in any long term scenario. And I don’t need the government to do anything to get started.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency. If you want to support me, please purchase my book, To Build A House, on Amazon.