Penn and Teller have been special for me since they appeared in "Babylon 5."
Since others have done it (too many to list), and I have some too, it's time for funny google searches that have led people to this site.
For those who don't know, site stats can track what search strings people use to get to sites. Here are a few search strings that people have used to get here:
survive series result: No idea what this one is for. I can only imagine it should have ben "survivor." I'm the first hit, even.
anniversary vacation photos: Apparently someone is looking for other people's anniversary vacation photos. I have some of each, by the way, just not a combination.
dante inferno musgrave marilyn: I checked and I'm the top listing for this one. I like that.
lemony snicket common law bad beginning: I can only begin to imagine what this one is about. It might be fun to go through the books and count the lawsuits, though.
thanksgiving belly gorged: I'm the number 2 hit on this one. 'nuff said.
Well, we got our second torts paper back today. My partner and I managed to score a straight-up A, which is even better than my satisfying grade on the first paper. Our oral exam scores are ready, but the Prof's assistant was unavailable at the time I went to go check it. I suppose it'll have to wait.
In the meantime, I confirmed today that I gained about 5 pounds over the holiday week. It's about what I expected, but it'll be gone in a week or so. I didn't start my program with the idea that I'd make myself miss out on the holidays, after all.
This morning I very reluctantly went to more of my incredibly boring extended training class. This is a 90 hour class that the State of Maryland says I need to have in order to be eligible for their pension program. I think it's just their way of quality control for para-professionals.
I didn't want to go to this training.
Not one bit.
I sort of felt like the other guy in Green Eggs and Ham, you know, the unnamed guy trying to explain to Sam I Am that he doesn't like Green Eggs and Ham, but in the end he actually likes it? Yeah, that guy? Well, I ended up like him today.
I was dragging myself kicking and screaming to the training this morning, dreading hours and hours of sitting and listening to library professionals tell us stuff we already know. I was more than pleasantly surprised. Instead of hours of lectures, we were lead on a crazy tour of the 6 stories of restricted areas, stacks and stacks and stacks of books, and a little hidden indoor children's garden. By 1:00, none of us knew where we were anymore, but no one cared. It was like our guide handed out a bunch of candy, we were so hyper and excited about being librarians.
The afternoon was even better. I won't bore you non-library folk with the details (because to librarians, this was incredibly awesome, to the rest of the world it would be one of the reasons not to be involved with the library profession.) Let's just say that 60 very happy Library Associates left the Enoch Pratt Library this afternoon.
This is basically also how my Thanksgiving went. I was pleasantly surprised by a good afternoon that, to be honest (and not to hurt people's feelings), I was kind of dreading.
I love my family. I love being around them.
Sometimes, I'm not terribly fond of their family.
I have had several incredibly negative run-ins with my uncle's in-laws. Until Thursday, I had never spent an outing with them where they didn't insult, injure or belittle me. This is not to say that there weren't moments of rudeness on Thursday. (I think it just must be the difference in our upbringings or something, in some ways, they probably find me quite rude.) But they were also very interested in my boyfriend. He was the reason I had a good time this Thanksgiving. He enjoyed the conversation he had with my uncle's in-laws. I don't think that he did this intentionally, but he also allowed my cousins and I time to talk to each other.
This year, I am thankful for pleasant surprises. I am thankful for Mackenzie's list of why Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday (and I agree with him 100%). I am thankful for my family. And I am thankful for my boyfriend. I am also thankful to Mackenzie for encouraging me to blog here from time to time.
Confirming the utter insanity of the US, Alabama failed yesterday to pass a state constitutional measure that would get rid of segregation. You heard right: Alabama voters decided by a majority that they would keep segregation. You can read about it here.
The real mind-twister is when you get to the part about how "powerful groups and personalities on the right campaigned heavily against it, claiming that the amendment opened the door to lawyers to sue the state and raise taxes."
Huh? Did I miss something here? After further reading, the "argument" (and I use the term loosely) seems to go something like this: if we remove this constitutional language referring to education, left-wing trial lawyers will start suing saying that people shouldn't have to be taxed for education because it isn't guaranteed by the constitution. This is one of those things that makes me sputter and spit because I can't decide which ludicrous part of that argument to demolish first. A couple of ideas:
1. The government taxes for all sorts of things not enumerated in the constitution.
2. If trial lawyers are aligned with the left, which the right is repeatedly alleging, then doesn't that mean that they'd be logically less likely to oppose taxes?
3. Wait a minute, you're part of the Alabama Conservative Coalition? Doesn't that mean it's your mission to push socially conservative (fire is a newfangled thing not to be trusted) agenda? Are you the same people that are seriously trying to get schools to push creationism as something that should get equal classroom time with evolution? Why don't I trust what you say?
(Oh, and incidentally, it's called SCIENCE class. You want your kids to learn creationism, send them to Sunday School. I have zero problem with that. But keep your belief system [with far less objective evidence] out of my public education.)
I wish I could say that this will make Alabama the new laughingstock of the country. I wish I could say that everyone would just point their fingers at the insane peeps down south and shake their heads. Sadly, I know that the general reaction will be for most people to pretty much ignore it.
What the hell is going on?
Let's face it, I have no juice. Nevertheless, there's a new movement to get Anonymous Lawyer into a book. This would be great, as through this site there's a frank critique of all the reasons I (as a 1L remember) don't want to go into a big firm. Let's all start talking up the call. Proposal via Notes from the (Legal) Underground.
Well, I've added a couple items to my Amazon.com Wish list (which you can access through my little sidebar - link should speak for itself).
Once again, a reminder: I promise that I won't buy anything on the list until after the new year, as painful as it is for me to wait that long for some of the stuff.
I promise that should I ever run for any public office, I will be nothing less than obsessive about this little faux pas. That ought to get me some votes right there.
I alluded in a comment to the fact that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, spending it alone or not. Here are a few reasons why:
1. Food. Too easy, I know. I'm a big fan of eating, so any holiday that expresses itself through one's stomach is a plus.
2. Two words: no gifts. Thanksgiving isn't one of those terribly commercial holidays where the corporations try to get you to buy everything for your loved ones to show that you love them. It's much more pure, a simple getting together and enjoying whatever bounty you have. In the US, there is a lot of bounty.
3. Not religious, and not dependant on national identity. So many of the holidays here in the US are Christian-based or US-based that it's almost inevitable that there is a group of people who will feel left out. Thanksgiving isn't one of those. It's a holiday that you could step off the boat and feel comfortable celebrating, because we all have things to be thankful. You could have any number of religious affiliations or even, like me, have no religious affiliation and you could still take some time to appreciate all the positive things in your life. Which brings me to the next point:
4. Positive thinking. There are too many holidays that are in some way related to death and destruction. I mean, there's a whole US holiday revolving around a guy being nailed to a tree! He did, you know, get better (which, I know, is the whole celebration), but it's still kind of depressing when you think about it. Veteran's Day: let's honor all the people who died to keep us free. Even Christmas is meant to celebrate this guy who is supposed to help us pull the world through because it was such a shithole before he got here. I mean, really, let's have some optimism! That's what Thanksgiving is all about to me, taking a positive attitude and reflecting on how lucky I am to have my life, my family and my friends.
Let's give it up for Today!
I must have some kind of jedi heritage. Some of my friends know that I never actually fall down; even on the rare occasions that I do slip or trip, I always catch myself. Today, though, I managed to catch two items in the kitchen. In one case I managed to catch the lid to something I was putting away, which was no big deal. The second case, however, I caught a Pyrex (tm) pie dish from across the kitchen about halfway from the counter as it was falling to the ground and almost certain destruction.
What can I say? I am that good. Too bad it doesn't translate to success in sports, and I would be invincible. Instead I'm a Jar-Jar in the wide world of sports (and yes, I know how perverse the link is, I just thought it was hilarious). Well, since I won't be appearing on any professional sport circuit, I'll see y'all later.
Yes. Stew is the essence of winter warmth. But red meat (or any meat at all) is not always necessary for that essence to seep inside us. There are other things, say, pumpkin scones pulled fresh from the oven, that can warm our bellies and satisfy our winter hearts.
That doesn't mean that I wouldn't eat some stew if it were sent to me.
I wish to everything that exists that I had been in Manhattan yesterday. I would have joined the crowd and run through the streets. I'm sure that whichever employer I had at the time wouldn't have minded...as everyone else was also chasing a truck loaded with Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. After their video emulating the Beatles, I knew that they'd find a way to surpass them. (Why in the world is this news story only on the foriegn wires?)
There are no children in the library today. They are all squired away at home, probably sent to their rooms for talking back to their parents who are frazzled with Thanksgiving preparations. I'm assuming that the parents deal with the children in much the same way my cousin suggested: "Tie them all to chairs and put ball-gags in their little mouths."
Can anyone tell me why we kill ourselves twice a year to have dinner with people we really can't stand (which is why we see them only at the holidays) and eat far too much only to complain about it later? It seems to me to be a strange use of our time. (Though the mashed potatoes are always appreciated.) Of course, working in a place where it is possible to borrow DVDs free for a week, I realize that no one actually spends any time talking to the family in their houses during the holidays. They couldn't possibly since all of them leave the library laden with movies. During Thanksgiving and Christmas, the DVD shelves are completely empty of their 3,000 titles.
My sister has the right idea. She's volunteering for a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving this year. I wish I could join her, but I have to bring the scones.
After having gorged myself on three bowls (large size) of my special family recipe stew (with a couple custom modifications by yours truly), I must say that I feel truly sorry for those of you who are unable to taste it. The Stew is truly a thing of beauty. I feel even sorrier for those of you who have chosen/are forced to forego red meat, for you have no chance of tasting it, even were you to ask me to ship it to you overnight (and I would, just email me and pay the costs). You are missing out on one of life's simply pleasures. For you I truly have pity.
And that's not even counting all the other specialty dishes I have available. Not all would ship well, however.
The brain of a geek is useless without the soul of an artist.
Well. I think that today is the day to top them all. After a growing hatred and bitterness toward the library and all people who walk in the doors (can we say that someone needs a vacation?), a war has broken loose.
This war is between the children who come to the library every day after school and the librarians. Okay, so this is nothing really new, especially for my library. But today there is a twist.
We have all had it with the elementary school aged children (who's parents use the library as free day-care) and the children's librarians were trying to figure out what to do to make our lot in life better. I mean, it's not just that we are poorly paid and asked to do too much to begin with, but we also have obnoxious behaviour from our patrons. The consenus was to do a special story hour for the kids after school all this week and then have designated homework time. Great idea, right?
It worked for about ten minutes. Then all pandemonium broke loose (I won't say Hell since we seem to already be there). The most patient and understanding librarian of the whole group of us lost it. She threw all of the kids out of the library. All of them. Even the one who we know will get beaten if she is found outside the library before her mother picks her up. (Okay, maybe not beaten, but her mother will be incredibly upset.)
The kids called the police.
Who were not happy to come out here for a "stupid thing."
Luckily, the cop told the kids that they couldn't tell us to let them back in the library since it's not his place. Unluckily one of my workmates decided to let them back in because the cop was overcome by one of the girls who was bawling her eyes out (complete with snotty nose projectiles).
So, I'm sure the next time they're thrown out of the library...they're going to call the cops.
Well, it was bound to happen: I've hit that self-indulgent, melancholy stage.
You know the one, where you think you'll never find anyone else, or that you'll never do better than what you had before, so you ask yourself if it was better to be unhappy and alone forever or unhappy with someone. You may also be a little depressed at the prospect that it was already as good as it gets.
I've started journaling and writing (privately) again, which is a good indication that there's something going on. The worst part is that I still have that intellectual part of me that is sort of watching from a distance, critically evaluating what I'm going through. It would actually be a lot easier if I didn't have that.
I suppose the next step is to spend some time wallowing in my (truly unjustified and rather silly) feeling-sorry-for-myself, hopefully just for the rest of tonight, and then kick out of it. Then I just need to relax and go out in the world again.
Oh, and I have an exam tomorrow. At least I'm prepared.
And yeah, I know its hard to know when to call me, with everything that's going on, all I can say is that my holiday break appears to be free of any obligations. As a bonus, I should be moderately out of this stage in the next couple of days, latest.
Note to persons going to gym:
Please avoid any heavy scenting. At the gym, you're supposed to smell bad. That's part of the charm.
That is all.
(except for the girl who smelled like peaches. That was nice.)
Yes, I remembered this week.
New laptop keyboard...mmm...space barry goodness...
Well, I got my two grades back, and it is not too bad. I ended up with what would be a high B if we were graded (as opposed to just scored) on my Contracts midterm, with which I am satisfied. I have another test next week, so I'm looking forward to studying for that and doing even better.
More surprising is my grade for my first draft of my open memo. We came to class and Prof. told us that we wouldn't get back our papers until the end, which means it's bad. The rest of the class we were told in no uncertain terms how bad we were at our papers. With great volume and enthusiasm. I could tell that she was really frustrated at our performance. When we actually did get our work back I was just about afraid to look at my grade. When I did I almost fell out of my chair. I came in at just barely under an A, far, far better than my closed memo first draft. There's definitely room to grow and get better and I look forward to looking at the comments more closely to figure out what to improve, because I didn't think that I did that well when I turned it in.
I must say, though, that I worked harder on this paper than I did for probably all of my undergraduate papers combined, pretty easily. This includes staying up until 2am the night before it was due. Hence that I didn't think it was that good, things were a little blurry at the time.
Overall, I'm pretty happy. I feel like I have a good chance of pulling an A out of writing/research, and the rest of my classes are still up for grabs.
So the bad news, for those who weren't quite sure, is that my girlfriend and I are now broken up. I think it has been coming for some time, but I didn't want to really acknowledge it to myself, and I certainly didn't want to do what I had to do on Saturday.
So now I'll be going through a period of adjustment for a little while, getting used to being single again. The weekends are hardest because that's about the only time we got to hang out.
In other news, I had my oral exam for torts today. 12 minutes to present our assessment of a fact pattern. Totally not anywhere close to enough time. In 30, maybe I could have done it. As it is, I only got halfway through breach, the second element of negligence out of four.
My laptop keyboard is breaking. I appear to have worn out the space bar. A new one is on its way.
And, as of today, I am officially of normal weight. And that means that I'm at half of my weight loss goal. I'm also getting to the point that my daily workout is a necessary part of my day; if I don't do it I feel awful, and I can only go two days or so.
Tomorrow we get our midterm exam grades back for Contracts. I'm cautiously optimistic.
It is done, and I'm single again. It was very hard, but necessary. That is all.
I know, I know, I'm working on it, dammit.
I'm sure in the four years to come this man won't look so...desperate. For now, I just feel bad for his family.
On a slightly happier note, my library was named the third best library in the country (in it's population category). In case you're wondering, Denver Public Library is number three in it's population category, as well. So, we here in Howard County Library pretty much rock.
Well, I'm afraid that I haven't been able to really move too far on my ideas of what is wrong with democrats. The Big Project is due tomorrow, so naturally I've been spending time on that. I did want to take a moment and make one clarification and address a couple comments (made via email rather than the comment feature).
First, the clarification. When I say that republicans have never been interested in anything other than making money, it's important to keep in mind that I'm referring to republicans as an institution, a group, not each and every republican. The same thing applies when I rip into democrats, hopefully around Tuesday or so. I'm talking about the overall goals of the party, not the actions of all the individuals. Naturally, there's no way to logically support the latter view. Perhaps I should be using the conservative-liberal distinction. As an example, one reader wrote:
On a historical note, let me point out that the Pure Food and Drug Act of the early 20th century was pushed by H.J. Heinz (the guy as well as the company), whose family has been famously Republican until quite recently. His great-grandson was a very popular senator with both hardcore Democrats as well as Republicans. But Sen. Heinz represented a wing of the Republican Party that is almost dead (exceptions include Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island).
That's absolutely true. As a matter of fact, when the Heinz company started, they had a reputation for fair treatment of workers and sanitary conditions. In fact, John Heinz, the great-grandson referred to, was active in environmental and social security legislation, among other things. Theodore Roosevelt is another great example. He was all about the environment and breaking up big big businesses. Very admirable, but this is, I would posit, the exception rather than the rule, particularly in today's america, but also historically. This is the same group in which Strom Thurmond found solace when the civil rights became an issue (he switched in 1964 two months after the Civil Rights Act was passed). Granted, Thurmond was pretty far out there, but he was considered one of the most respected members of the senate until his retirement. I should also note that in the senate, the Civil Rights Act passed with six republicans and 21 democrats opposing: showing that opposition from the then-democratic south. Something I'll get into when critiquing the democrats.
Another great comment:
The Repubs have long prided themselves on "individual responsibility" and as the party of small farmers and small businessmen . . . . Most of the classic Republicans I know are in those categories . . . .
I think that a lot of this is because the republicans push the Horatio Alger ideal onto the public. Unfortunately, this ideal is not attainable, but it does give the "little people" something to hope for. Our society is a pyramid, whether we like it or not, and we can choose to make it taller or shorter, but the basic shape will always be the same. That's just how it works in a capitalist system. But to say to people on the bottom that they're just not working hard enough, that there's room on top for everyone, that they can make it, well, that's just deluding them. I'm not suggesting that nobody can increase their station in life, I'm saying that the slots are limited, and whether or not you fill them probably has more to do with luck than hard work and native ability.
So, the bottom line is that I'm making two claims. That there are indeed exceptions to my asserted 'gimme gimme' attitude of republicans throughout history, but I think they tend to be made on an individual basis and don't reflect the trends of the party. The second is that the percieced attitude towards independence is a bit of a sham having the effect of keeping the plebeians in line and constantly hopeful that they can move up.
I suppose what I am saying is this: Republicans, your leadership has betrayed you. The stated ideals of the party just aren't lining up with reality, and I'm not sure that, with some few exception, they ever really have.
Next time: what the hell is up with those democrats?
Oh, btw, for those interested, I got my last Big Project back yesterday and I squeaked out an A for my final grade (between first and second drafts). The score was a measley 90.6, but it's an A nonetheless. So far, I'd say my law school career is looking fairly bright. Now, on to the next Big Project.
OK, so I've figured that I'm going to have to split my little thesis on what's wrong with the democrats and what to do about it into several parts. I won't do it all at once, but tonight will be the first section. First, a little record-keeping.
The first item is Yay for Stella and her guest blog! We haven't heard from her in a while, so don't forget to comment that you're glad she blogged. I haven't given up hope that she'll be addicted to blog-crack and start a fully featured blog at some point. She says cool stuff.
Second, I just need to share that I'm really happy about my criminal class and my professor in particular, with a lot of additional credit to my classmates. When we were getting near the topic of Rape, I was naturally somewhat apprehensive at how the class would handle it. I have to say that it went swimmingly. There was diversity of opinion, which is to be expected, but overall I felt like the level of sensitivity to victims while still exploring the legal issues was extremely good. In particular, I'm a great admirer of A, in my class, who referred to an argument the prof. was making (and yes, I'm sure it was for the purpose of argument only, not his true beliefs) as 'offensive.' Way to go! Not only that, but she was wearing a Guinness shirt not long after. mmm.... Guinness.... Anyway, I also have to say that the Prof's sense of humor is pretty good. It's very dry, to the point that sometimes you're not sure that he's joking or it's just accidental. He's absolutely brilliant, though, so I'm of the opinion that it's deliberate.
OK, on to what's with Democratism, and for that we require a smidge of history. I know, I know, but for the most part, I'm sure it's stuff you already know, I'm just loading it into your RAM so you can use it to process what I'm going to say after.
So let's start out with a basic premise: The Republicans have never (and I mean never been pro-little-guy. They've always been after one thing and one thing only: to get rich. The motive behind abolition was not any great humanitarian goal, not any wish to free a class of oppressed human beings, but it was an effort of the white northerners to cripple the economic power of the southern (democratic) landowners. This is not in great debate among serious scholars. Now, I'll admit that there were exceptions, but overwhelmingly, you'd have a hard time showing that the political aspect of the abolishionist movement was about anything other than power and money. Oh, and absolutely debilitating the other guy.
(NOTE: not that I disagree with the means, but we must keep a realistic attitude about the ends.)
During Reconstruction, there are a lot of happenings, particularly regarding democrats, of which I am not proud. Think vote-blocking (which is a strangely contemporary idea, though I don't know much about what happened this year). During this time, there was a complex relationship between democratism and racism that I don't fully understand. I leave that up to the specialists.
With the 20th century came a lot of changes. This is when the democrats really became (slowly) the party of the common person, all about making sure that people had 1) decent working conditions 2) decent working hours 3) reasonable restrictions on what hours a person could work and at what age 4) food safety (though we're still not there yet). There are more, but you get the idea. For a long time, democrats were seen as the party that wanted to make sure that everybody had civil rights and equal protection and all that.
Very heady days. Yet somehow today we see that a lot of the traditionally democratic states really went for republicans in this last election. These are states that often have a lot of poorly educated persons, through lack of resources and opportunities, and who might really benefit from traditionally democratic values like support for unions, minimum wage raises and social programs to help people get out of poverty.
Why is this? I believe it has to do with the "genderizing" of America. The theory goes something like this:
At some point, I point to about the mid 70's, the distinction between masculine and feminine qualities began to take on political significance. We started developing an awareness, and thereby measuring, candidates by how manly they were, or not. It took some time for this to be incorporated into political parties, then to find a reason for it to really come out, but we've hit that time. What happened, I believe, is that democrats took a look at the women's equality movement and, as a group, made a jerky, halting motion towards the idea that men and women aren't that different and that feminist ideology, mainstream that is, might have some validity. Meanwhile, the republicans naturally drew the red-neck, "no woman is as good as any man" crowd because of the religious-like (more on that later, too) adherence to "traditional values."
The effect is somewhat incongruous in that we then see a migration of the poor white person towards the republicans (in spite of the corporate puppetry) simply because the republicans have emphasized those masculine properties. We might see the same thing in minorities (and we do see it in a greater proportion of the hispanic population...we may or may not get to that). There's an emphasis, particularly in African-American men, on the toughness and physical strength as a way to get power or respect. I think that the only reason we don't see that in the polls is that for the most part, persons in the minority populations tend to identify ideologically before behaviorally. Thankfully.
So, we see an interesting trend here, with republicans getting the vote of people who may not actually benefit from their corporate welfare policies but seem to agree with their "kick their ass" policies. Which will also be bad, since the military does a disproportionate amount of recruiting in less affluent high schools and youth clubs and such.
So, start thinking about what we do about it, because that's what's up next.
I came in today and most people were wearing black. "We're in mourning," they explained to me. I suppose that I had been thinking along the same lines when I clothed myself this morning, black and blue. The blue being the same that we had all hoped to see on those maps last night.
I don't know if you've ever read "Casey at the Bat" but that is exactly how I feel today, as if I had been rooting for Mudville. It looked so promising at the end, and then ... nothing.
While I am sad, I don't want to wallow in it. There's nothing we can do now. Apparently we are the new minority. We're getting to be smaller and smaller by the year. A collegue of mine pointed out that the country itself is aging, and things tend to become more conservative with age. I wonder how that country is going to feel when it's social security is completely gone and it has to work far past the time when it should have retired because it elected the wrong man.
Just a little peep from your friendly neighborhood guest blogger.
With Kerry's recent concession, and even before when I saw it coming, I felt the need to come up with why it's not so bad, or at least situations that aren't affected so much. One of these is SCOTUS, the Supreme Court of the United States.
It's no secret that I'm concerned about the court. The heyday of the Warren court brought great progress in the realm of civil an human rights, and that's been eroding since Nixon. So, now I'll make an argument that things won't change significantly in the next for years. Not better, just no change. Naturally, I think this is bad enough by itself, but my point is that it could be worse.
So, let's start out with a couple assumptions. First off, that Bush is a right-wing maniacal nutjob. Naturally, not a stretch. Now, we'll assume that the justices who are not right-wing maniacal nutjobs themselves are cognizant of this quality in our president. Also not a stretch, they're intelligent people.
Now we'll look at this justice by justice. Ginsburg and Bryer, appointed by Clinton, are probably the most liberal members of the court. Looking at age, they're old, sure, but they're still pretty energetic. More importantly, I have a feeling that you would have a hard time prying them from the bench knowing what kind of person Bush would appoint to replace them. This means that the two most liberal justices are very likely to stick around.
Now we'll look at the more conservative justices. Rehnquist is obviously a concern. Now, I don't think he'll voluntarily retire, but not because of any ideological reason. I think that it's his personality to hold on and that his identity really relies on being part of the supreme court. But, it may not be his choice, given his health concerns.
So, let's say that Rehnquist is off the bench, what kind of judge will Bush appoint? Clearly it will be someone very conservative, so my question: will it be anyone moreso than Rehnquist? That's not very likely, so at worst, I think we'd be looking at the status quo on him.
The same logic applies to Kennedy, Scalia and Thomas. It's unlikely that Bush could nominate and get confirmed someone who is worse than these guys.
Souter, O'Connor and Stevens are more moderate, O'Connor moreso than the other. This is where the intelligence of these justices really comes in. I can't believe that they don't see the maniacal right-wing nutjob status of the present President, and I have to believe that they're scared, or at leased somewhat concerned, for who their replacement would be. I think that they will hold on another four years with the hope that even if a Republican is elected in 2008 that s/he will be more moderate than Bush. I realize that there's a lot of buzz about O'Connor retiring, but I'm not so sure.
The downside is that even if one of the conservatives are replaced, that would restart the clock on those seats, which would prolong the insanity. As I said, this situation is not ideal, but it's not as bad as it could be.
Of course, all this goes out the window if there's an upset, like something goes wrong with Stevens (he's been on the bench since Ford) or someone else gets ill, but overall, I think we have a little breathing room. And to clarify, it does not mean everything is hunkey-dorey. We'll have to wait longer to pull ourselves out of the dark ages. I'm just suggesting that 1984 isn't quite around the corner.
Oh, and one last thing. This isn't to say that everything'll be fine. It won't. Bush is now unleashed, so prepare for pain, violence, and devastation like never before. I've kept the folllowing graphic around for the last four years, and it seems appropriate now:
Naturally, like everyone else in the country, I'm really, really interested in politics today, and I have some thoughts to share, also much like everyone else in the country. I'll start out with my first post regarding the various races I was following.
Locally, a fairly close acquaintance won his race against a 16-year incumbent, which was a very good thing. Additionally, someone I know running for local school board made it, which was also rather nice.
The state senate seat for my area went wrong, as did a lot of state senate seats all around, though it's not too terrible in this state because even the democrats are pretty conservative and they all tend to be bipartisan. I say that it's good because at least they can get something done, even if I wouldn't agree with everything.
As far as our constitutional amendments, WY amendments C and D appear to have been defeated. C would have allowed required arbitration in cases of medical malpractice and D would have allowed the state to put a cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice. These results are good things.
For our House race, it looks like the Democratic challenger made a pretty good showing, but ultimately lost, as we all kind of expected. The good bit was that the margin was much smaller than the overwhelming state margin for Bush, showing that support for the not-overly-burdened-with-original-thought Cubin may be waning. Perhaps people are wising up that even as a conservative she's completely ineffectual. I could at least think favorably of Alan Simpson, who I felt was (and is) pretty intelligent and actually has a though process going on about why he is what he is. Cubin seems to be a puppet.
Naturally I'm also keeping an eye on the national scene. I'm a bit disappointed about the Dems losing so many Senate seats, I was hoping that they would pick up a couple, but that didn't happen. Of course, on the presidential scene, we're still waiting for final numbers. While I'm not ready to give up all hope, I must admit that I'm pretty much considering it a loss.
Next up, a discussion of where I think we go from here and why, at least in one respect, it's not quite so bad.