Monday, October 03, 2005

Bush Nominee for High Court - Part Deux

Well you know that when Harry Reid agrees with President Bush, we are in trouble; yet the Democratic leader seems to like Ms. Harriet Miers as the latest nomination to the Supreme Court. According to a story by the San Francisco Chronicle, Reid "praised Miers, a graduate of Southern Methodist University, former president of the Texas State Bar Association and former Dallas City Council member, for her practical experience as a lawyer and her lack of an Ivy League resume." Wait a minute there, Harry! Doesn't Hillary, the heir apparant to the Democrat throne have an Ivy League resume? Is this an indication that the Reidmeister is shifting to the right? I highly doubt it.

Now I agree that the endorsement of Harry Reid should not reflect badly on Ms. Miers but it may not help President Bush in the future either. In a time when many on the right were hoping for a staunch conservative to replace Justice O'Connor, the thought of a nominee chosen to pacify the left will not be viewed as the act of a hard line, Republican President. With a majority in both the House and Senate, as well as a majority of state governors, one would think that the White House would seize the day, but this doesn't seem to be the case.

It will be interesting to see what party conservatives say in public - whether they back the President in his choice or not. Some will undoubtedly be nice and support him, while others may be totally honest with their views; either way it is going to make for some good times around the nation's water coolers for the next few months.

Then again, at least Senator Reid is happy...

Bush Nominee for High Court

Well now that the President has made his choice for the second open seat on the Supreme Court, we can begin another few months of political wrangling and questioning. However the fact that Mr. Bush has chosen Harriet Miers, whom in fact has never been a judge, ought to drive everyone crazy trying to guess how she will lean on issues before the court. There are no judicial decisions to look at, or cases to read; just her past as a lawyer and White House counsel.

This will undoubtedly become a major issue for Republicans and Democrats alike, as they all try to determine if this appointment will further either party's agendas. With his leanings to the center by the President lately, some conservatives may see this as a progressive trend to appease the left. On the other hand, as a close confidant and counselor Ms. Miers may give the liberals reason to believe that G.W. is just trying to make Washington another Dallas. Either way, only the President knows what in fact is true.

Unfortunately, no one will really know the fallout from such a nomination until it is too late and the first real test most likely won't come until sometime next year. Until then, I think the conservative Republicans ought to begin realizing that they have held power in Washington for nearly eight years - and really have nothing to show for it. 2008 is coming quickly, and either the Republicans wake up and start doing some serious stratigizing, or just give up and let the liberals take over.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Who's to Blame for Societal Woes?

In the Rule of Benedict (yes, St. Benedict the father of Western Monasticism) there is a reminder of how responsible each of us is for our own actions. In Chapter VII of the Rule, entitled Of Humility, he wrote:

“Therefore, in order that he may always be on his guard against evil thoughts, let the humble brother always say in his heart: "Then I shall be spotless before Him, if I shall keep myself from iniquity" (Ps 18:24).”

In other words, in order to guard myself against evil, I ought to remind myself that I will only be seen as blameless before God if I keep MYSELF away from doing wicked things. This means that no one else is responsible for my actions; no one else is responsible for making sure I do what is right; no one else is responsible for what I do or don’t do. I can’t blame the school system, or the government, or my neighborhood, or my parents, or even those radicals on talk radio. If I am to remain on God’s good side, then I myself must strive to do all that is good.

How different that is from modern society, where it is customary to expect others to do what is right. So many individuals and groups today, proclaim to be victims of “the system”. No one is made responsible for their own lives anymore; no one is held accountable for choices they make. If little Bobby is disruptive in class and can’t read, it’s thought to be because he’s ADHD and can’t concentrate in school. If little Sally gets pregnant at the age of 14, it’s apparently because those nasty fundamentalists wouldn’t allow condoms to be handed out in her classroom. But then how can we expect the kids to be good anyway; Mom works all day because the evil automobile corporations make minivans so awfully expensive, and Dad has no time for the family because his college educated boss makes him work too hard. It is amazing that they can ever get together to watch “Survivor” on that 52” HD television of theirs, let alone have quality time at McDonalds on Sunday mornings which by the way, forces them to miss church. Oh the horror of it all!

In all seriousness, we live in a swamp of decaying morals because people are allowed to blame everyone else for what happens to them. If people were actually expected to take responsibility for the choices they make and the actions they take, the nation would be a different place; a better place. Just imagine what it would be like to know that the taxes you pay on the wages you earn would be used for something other than paying refunds to people without jobs and earned incomes. Or think upon the possibilities that could abound in a society where criminals were actually punished, and law abiding citizens were rewarded; where true patriots were honored, and those who endorse our enemies were exiled; where Presidents who uphold the law are praised, while those who desecrate the Oval Office are cast into political oblivion.

But who am I kidding? As an educated, over forty male who has a job, an SUV, and a mortgage, the cause of our present societal ills is as plain as the nose on Barbara’s face: it’s my fault. After all, didn’t I vow to uphold the Constitution that guarantees victims’ rights when I was a war mongering Navy member? It’s MY fault! I (along with all my Western European ancestors) am the reason for the curse upon our land. I guess St. Benedict just didn't get it.

Excuse me while I go whip myself with leather straps (mea culpa, mea culpa…)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Enough Already!

With so much political finger pointing over the problems in Louisiana, I can’t help but wonder when those illustrious leaders will quit whining, and actually get to work helping the people they represent. Having lived in Algiers, directly across the Mississippi River from downtown New Orleans, I have a soft spot in my heart for the folks who live there. Not everyone in New Orleans conducted themselves in the manner displayed by the media, and now we are finding out that not all of the horror stories reported even took place.

So, Mr. Mayor, Madame Governor, and all you others who wish to blame everyone else just need to get over it. Face it – a disaster took place in your city, the situation was made worse by a lack of proper preparation, and now you need to get to work putting it all back together. That’s it! All the federal monies in Washington will not replace the lost lives, or the lost respect you have brought to yourselves and the New Orleans metropolitan area.

By the way, while I am addressing people who will probably never read this: Mr. President, please don’t make this out to be a federal government issue. States’ rights are a dear part of southern life, and most of us realize that with such rights comes responsibility. Look at the examples of Mississippi, Texas and Florida; not at Louisiana. The federal government has a bigger job to do protecting the citizens of this great nation, so please keep that as your primary goal.

I am planning on this being the last you hear from me on this issue. There are other situations taking place in this wonderful place called America, which need to be remembered and addressed; my focus will shift to those from now on.

(Photo courtesy of

Monday, September 26, 2005

Looting and Piracy on the Net

One of the big, yet unfortunate stories that came out of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina was that of all the looting. People were breaking into, or just walking into stores and taking anything they could get their hands on; knowing it was illegal. Why? Because they could, I guess, even though they knew what they were doing was morally wrong because they were taking advantage of the situation to acquire what was not rightfully theirs.

Well my dear friends, there is another type of looting going on, only this is not taking place in a city, but here on the net. People, who have no scruples, are using the comment block on blogs as “free” advertising space. They are taking advantage of the popularity of the blogosphere, and using it for profit, while those of us who write the blogs are doing all the work and (sometimes) paying all the fees.

I would like to keep my comment block open, so that everyone who reads my thoughts can comment openly. However because of the tacky way some folks have used this, I may be forced to close down that portion leaving no forum for open debate. Therefore if you read this blog, even semi-regularly, and also feel that these scum-sucking leeches have overstepped their bounds, please let the folks at know. Perhaps we can come up with a way to keep these looters off of the blogs.

In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy reading my thoughts and insights.