Saturday, May 30, 2009

Flush Rush

Sonia Sotomayor is our latest nominee for the Supreme Court. Immediately Rush Limbaughger Cheese attacks reverse racism, or how the hell is it reverse, the term is just racism. That's like people using the word irregardless, it is just regardless no "ir" prefix. The guy is just a fidiot. Yeah, lets attack her, someone with impeccable qualifications. Perhaps her past decisions might yield a clue about her future renderings, but past history is not a predictor when it comes to Supreme court rulings. Retiring Justice Souter was nominated because of his conservative nature and turned out to be a liberal on the court.

So the Senate should do a good job of questioning her. I've read the text of her so called faux paux on the role of the Apellate Court and she is actually correct in her statement. The interpretation of the constitution does alter law over time. Who would have ever thought the Supreme Court would use the clause on the control of interstate commerce to prosecute a person for raping a person along side a federal "I" system highway in the Southeast. In fact, that was the argument the Supreme Court supported to allow the federal government to try a rapist when he had been found not guilty in state court. Of course court ruling expand, interprete and alter the original intent of our constitution, yet it provides frameworks for those ruling and hopefully our courts don't get too far afield.

I say question Ms. Sotomayor, insure she is qualified, then approve her. In the meantime, Flush Rush!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

They finally got to me

I try not to take too much extreme rhetoric to heart. I feel the size of the electorate and the views of our populace tend to moderate extremism. That said, some extreme talk really infuriates me. Two colleagues sent me a copy of a letter this week purported to be written by a Fourth Grade teacher in Missouri. I could barely read the letter without seeing red.

The letter is highly critical of President Obama, which I do not ordinarily mind. However this one derided Obama for bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia, for reaching out to Muslims, for allegedly saying that Americans provided aid to the world and doesn't Europe know how much we help rebuild them after WWII. A letter veiled in so called patriotism was nothing more than an extreme hate letter written by a teacher of our young minds, God help us.

Obviously this woman thinks that because we rebuilt the economies of France, Germany, Italy, but she left out Japan after WWII we should be viewed as some great savior country. The fact is we would not have had the tremendous economic expansion if we had not created overseas markets to take out goods. The real mistake we made was greed. Instead of listening to the people who had fashioned quality standards that made our military superior in WWII we took the attitude of get it out ASAP and damn the consequences so all kinds of quality procedures that had been built into the military procurement methods were abandoned. We produced goods, but even in our own country the quality image of our manufactures became a joke.

In the meantime countries who had long histories of craftsmanship and quality, plus Japan who learned from the Americans who had helped establish the quality procedures during the war listened and learned and eventually took markets away from us. We founded the electronics industry, it went offshore. We founded mass production of automobiles, we allowed offshore competition to make huge inroads into our auto industry until it is on the verge of collapse today. Our position was here, these are goods made by the great and wonderful U.S. Take them, pay us, and bow to our superiority. It didn't take long until they shoved our superiority up our ass.

This woman goes on to criticize Obama for bowing to a Saudi King. It could've been a head nod. Regardless, it seems to me that we need to reach out to someone in the Mideast. I've nodded my head in recognition of someone, even a slight bow is a sign of respect not subordination.

This woman then goes on to say how dare President Obama reach out to Muslims, doesn't he know that this country is founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic. There's an idea. First this country was founded on the principles of independence, independence to choose and act in a manner that we choose. People who came to this country also came to escape religious persecution, which means you have to freedom to practice any religion you choose. Now as to the idea that we were founded on the Judeo-Christian ethic, there a good idea. In the middle ages some of the worst atrocities and most cruel actions were initiated by good Christians trying to liberate Jeruselam. Our J-C Ethic allowed people to go to church on Sunday and bid at auction on slaves on Monday without batting an eye. Our J-C Ethic permited the wholesale slaughter of Native Americans and subjugated them so thoroughly they have not recovered to this day. Some hate crimes are committed by overzealous self-rightous defenders of the faith.

I do not agree with everything that President Obama is advocating. However, I do think it is time we reach out to our enemies. I think it is time to end the boycott of Cuba. I think it is time we actively pursue partnerships with our South American brothers. The economy is now global, our dependence on that global economy is very deep. We need to quit pursuing this holier than thou attitude and pursue friendship and building relationships with others in the world. There is that old saying, "Pride goeth before the Fall." That saying doesn't mean that pride disappears before the fall, it means that first come pride, then comes disaster. We can take pride in materials, pride in our materialism and stick it where the sun don't shine for all I care. I take pride in members of my family, my daughters, but I certainly don't think the sun rises and sets with them. This teacher in Missouri, if she really is a teacher should be fired before she inflicts any more self-rightous propaganda on her students.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Walking Partners

This morning I took our two new dogs, Molly and Lily on my morning walk. They stayed right with me for 30 minutes. I shortened my route so I did not have to go down near the road, Fairview Drive, which would be a possible danger for them. We did walk along Fairview at one point the the yard at our other property is elevated and the dogs are actually kind of hidden or some feet above Fairview so I do not feel they would get away from me. However as they spend time here and get familiar with our surroundings they may tend to wander, right now they stay close.

My morning walk is altered. Usually I start rather slow and as I loosen up my pace picks up and I find myself striding down the paths and over the yards. Today instead of stride, stride, stride in measured rhythm it was more step to the side, pick up a foot, shove, kick, half step, partially stumble, stride and so on. That will improve as they become familiar with the territory and who knows I may end up having to leave them home. Right now it is fun to watch them sniff, snoop, and ponder their new surroundings.

We did come to the realization that we were underfeeding them. The bowls we used held a cup of food and that is what they got morning and evening. Reading the label on the bag we realized they should be having at least double that measure so we brought out larger bowls and now they have plump round bellies. As I write they are both asleep on the floor of the living room, stuffed and resting after a 30 minute walk and a sumptuous breakfast. Can't help but admire their trust and lifestyle. Me, I have to go to work.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Answer to Abortion

A dear friend sent me an email from another friend who is a strong Catholic. In his short essay he made the case for praying for President Obama and other like minded persons to change their mind about Pro Choice and swing toward Pro Life. I disagree. I replied in that vein to my dear friend. I then received a reply that while he hates to see a child brought into a loveless life, or hates to see an unwanted child potentially ruin a young woman's life he decries man playing God.

So I have an answer. We are a democracy. Lets vote in our society that science shall develop an infertility method that renders males impotent and sterile, and females unable to produce eggs and also sterile. Then when proof of insurance, stability of income, and stability of emotional behavior are demonstrated, after age 25 the effects are reversed and they are able to bear young. Then the Pro Lifers would be satisfied, and the Pro Choice people would be satisfied. Abortions could be done away with by lack of necessity rather than making it a moral choice.

Welcome to 1984.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Additions

Last Sunday, May 3 was Mother's Day. Terry called her Mom to wish her a good day and tell her that she was planning on taking a day trip to Hardy, AR to visit her. At the time she learned that her mother had taken in two Yellow Lab pups who had made their way to her doorstep in the midst of a terrible thunder storm. They were bedraggled and frightened. Terry's mother's home is not set up to handle a pair of pups. It is an old trailer with little accommodations and they already have an aging Border Collie who didn't cotton to the pups. The situation was not a good one.

Terry asked if we didn't need a couple of dogs. I was not prepared for that event, however I also know that Terry likes to have some company around if I'm not here. I left the decision up to her.

Monday, Terry brought the pups home. Two very cute Yellow Lab pups. Her Mother had asked neighbors if anyone had some dogs run away, and no one came asking if anyone saw some pups. This was for over a week. So Terry felt like whoever had the pups wasn't really looking for them.

Now we have two rambunctious, rolly polly, pups. I judge them to be about 4 months old. Right now I think that they are pretty pure in their breeding. Their color seems to be white. I don't know if they will darken over time, but they are obviously sisters. Now things have to be picked up, things have to be moved and toys added to accommodate the fact that pups learn by tasting and chewing. There is competition between them. Even though they each have a chew bone when one is chewing on a bone the other wants it even though there is an unoccupied bone. They are surprisingly well behaved. At night we put them in the main bathroom and for the most part they spend a quiet night. I am thankful for that. We do have some urine to clean up in the morning, and one morning one of them had pottyed in the room. However, they do seem to have the idea that going outside is where they are supposed to go.

We have decided to name them. One will be Lily, they other will be Molly. So welcome to the family Lily and Molly. May you have a good, long life and provide us with companionship we enjoy.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Wallering in a Waller book

Robert James Waller wrote the book "The Bridges of Madison County." I just finished another of his books titled "The Long Night of Winchell Dear." I read it in a day, actually I read it in about 5 hours. I tried to read it slowly and enjoy the different descriptive style Mr. Waller employs. I did not succeed. I would not characterize his book as gripping or deep, although some of the quotes used make one think. One quote struck me, but I can't say I make much sense of it, here it is: "So my nephew, listen to me and know my words: In the high desert, Time is an old, sly rider, a bandit of legend who will seal your days and take your woman and be smiling down at you as He boards the evening train." Hmmm!!!

I recommend the book."The Long Night of Winchell Dear" is an easy read. It is a pleasant book to while away some hours. It takes a number of characters somewhat unknown to each other yet with pasts and present that will intertwine and have an impact on each other. It causes a change of direction in the main character Winchell Dear who probably embodies the characteristics we would all dream about but would not undertake. The action part of the book takes place in the last couple of pages and is over almost as an after thought, yet central to the theme. It is an interesting book, I recommend it.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Will Republicans Recover

My Father was a Republican in a Democratic county. He used to jokingly say that Alger County should be in Georgia. Republican's did not have much of a say in Michigan at the time. However, raised in a Republican home I eventually did adopt the ideals of the party, I thought.

I used to think that the GOP stood for individual rights, minimal government interference in our private business, lower taxes, and individual accountability. Somewhere the party got hijacked. Somewhere we picked up this so called religious right or moral majority (after the last election a misnomer if I ever heard one.) All of a sudden we want to pass laws that violate what I believe to be a fundamental constitutional philosophy of the separation of church and state. Now we want to pass laws that forbid freedom of choice, we want to Christianize our country which I believe flies in the face of religious freedom.

I am working my way through the Federalist Papers. The "papers" provide insight into the arguments and intentions of the framers of our constitution. They do not refer to the growth of a federal government as being a goal of the constitution. In fact other than regulating commerce, limited taxation making treaties, and providing for the common defense most other issues are left to the states.

Yet here we are with the Republicans on the run. A group of party leaders are going around the country participating in town meetings to hear what the people have to say. My concern is that so much rhetoric has been blasted at us by the bombastic conservative talk show hosts that all that will show up at the town hall meetings will be persons who want to further the aims of that small but vocal part of the party.

I tend to be a fiscal conservative. I believe in individual rights and accountability. I believe that people should stand on their own and that public support programs should only be used in times of need and are not entitlements. I believe that government interference in our lives should be limited. I further believe that government should be transparent, I reject the hawkish designs of the former administration. It is people like Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, with their secrets and designs that will result in catastrophe for our society.

The world is changing, more rapidly than many are capable of dealing with. We should have dialogue with all countries. We should remove the sanctions against many countries, particularly Cuba. Hell, we've supported dictators and tyrants in the past. The fear of communism as a viable means of providing economic equality to all is an unworkable dream in the fashion of the cold war. It is time to get on with establishing a true new world relationship. We are in danger of making our country irrelevant.

I hope the GOP is able to refashion itself, however I don't think it will.