The Magazine

Coretta's funeral, Merkel, and more.

Feb 20, 2006, Vol. 11, No. 22 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

We want to prevent the production of Iranian nuclear weapons, and we must. Iran's nuclear program prompts the justified suspicion, the justified concern, the justified fear that its goal is not the peaceful utilization of nuclear energy, but that military considerations are also in play. Iran has willfully--I am afraid I have to say this--and knowingly overstepped the mark. I must add that we are, of course, compelled to respond to the totally unacceptable provocations of the Iranian president. I am particularly called to say this in my role as chancellor of Germany. A president who questions Israel's right to exist, a president who denies the Holocaust, cannot expect Germany to show any tolerance at all on this issue. We have learned the lessons of our past.

This, of course, prompted Iranian officials to compare Merkel to Hitler. Protesters in Tehran held up posters featuring her caricature and the words "Stupid Zionist." According to the latest polls, the chancellor's popularity is high and growing higher.

Condemning Souter

In last week's cover story, Matt Labash detailed the revenge fantasy of Logan Darrow Clements and the Committee for the Protection of Natural Rights (CPNR). Aghast at the Supreme Court's Kelo decision, which allows government to seize people's property and give it to private companies for "economic development," Clements and Co. are trying to persuade the town of Weare, New Hampshire, to seize the house of Justice David Souter, on whose land they hope to erect the Lost Liberty Hotel.

The day after we went to press, an AP headline announced "N.H. Town Rejects Plan to Evict Souter." But this is premature. As Clements says, paraphrasing a guy with a very similar last name, "Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated."

The confusion came after a ballot initiative was put forward by the anti-Souter forces. Outnumbered at the town selectmen's meeting, they saw their initiative language changed to prevent selectmen from taking Souter's property. But the measure is nonbinding, meaning the selectmen are still pretty much free to do what they want. Thus, the real action will take place in Weare's March election, in which two of the five selectman's seats are up for grabs, and two of the five candidates running for those seats are pro-Liberty Hotel candidates.

While it's always been unlikely that a majority of selectmen would carry out the anti-Souter campaign against the wishes of the townspeople, it only takes three selectmen to start proceedings against Souter's property. Clements says if his forces win two seats and can't persuade another selectman to join them, "We're prepared to stick around for another year until the next election."

In other words, David Souter might not want to start any long-term redecorating projects just yet. Keith Lacasse, a Clements ally and candidate for selectman, concurs that the fight isn't over just because of a little parliamentary dirty pool. "Remember what Benjamin Franklin said about democracy: 'Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'"