Been a tad busy, but no matter… on Wednesday the roomie and I enjoyed the final 15 minutes of the Boston College and Duke basketball game in Chestnut Hill. Even though Dickie V was doing the game, we were able to enjoy watching BC crawl back into the game from being down 18 to pulling within two (IIRC). I haven’t enjoyed a college b-ball game like that yet this season… great crowd, pretty cool seeing half of the who’s who of Boston at the game (Russert, Flutie, Bob Kraft, and others), fun game, and it’s always fun to root against Duke. Sure BC lost and on a bad non-call (Williams mugged Rice and no call was made), but hey, any time we enjoy a college b-ball game is a good day in my book.
I still think Alito would be a crappy neighbor, but go to give him props here. Alito sided with Michael Taylor, who is on death row in Missouri, voting to stop the state from executing (killing) Mr. Taylor. While this probably also tips Alito’s hand on any abortion case that may come in front of the Court (he’s pro-life apparently, not that that’s a surprise) we here appreciate Alito’s apparent consistency. While we don’t personally know the views or could necessarily classify Justices Sclia, Thomas, or Roberts as ‘pro-life’, it’s the lack of consistency (or apparent lack of consistency in Roberts case) of the three judges that bothers us most of all. How can one claim to be pro-life, but then turn around and say ‘fry the bastards!’? Not only is it bad intellect, but it’s hypocritical also. And please, do not give me, ‘it’s the law’ since the law currently allows the state to execute individuals who are found guilty in a court of law and the practice of abortion, in other words both are legal. So to say one should be illegal and the other legal is not consistent in our books. Shouldn’t the pro-life camp/justices also be ruling in favor of life in capital punishment cases also? (And as we noted neither Roberts or Alito’s views or voting record on abortion has been established on the Court).
Moving into full British and Guardian mode… first up, here is the Guardian’s Op-ed (or Leader as they say across the pond) on the State of the Union. Some interesting stuff here to look at (agree or disagree with what they say), “If the US president wants to wage war on terror and to let freedom reign, it affects his allies too.” A view that I think sometimes we forget here in the United States. There is the feeling that we are ‘at this alone’ that comes across in many speeches from the White House and especially from the media. We forget that the Brits, especially, are with us every step of the way. And the actions undertaken by Bush affects the British just as much as it effects us here in the US (more on that later).
Anyway, this might be the most interesting sentence in the whole piece, “US diplomats would be better employed appealing to Iranian self-interest - refining Russian proposals for controlled uranium enrichment or drawing up security guarantees - than reinforcing old suspicions.” Ummm… makes ya wonder doesn’t it… is this the best policy? The talks the EU has had with Iran have basically accomplished nothing. So is guaranteeing Iran security really the best policy? Telling Iran, ‘we won’t attack you!’ probably isn’t going to make Iran suddenly say, ‘well in that case, we won’t enrich uranium!’. Unfortunately it isn’t that easy. But the idea of going to the table with the Russian proposal is something to consider.
Now the final piece:
The State of the Union address is the moment when the president talks to his fellow Americans - who want to hear about the Katrina disaster, energy, the deficit and health care as well as global issues. Millions of others listen too - especially for signs that Mr Bush is aware of their concerns about how he uses power. For, like it or not, and many do not, the US is still the one truly indispensable nation.
I couldn’t agree more about address issues such as health care and Katrina and the lack of response there (and then to find out a day later that the federal government completely dropped the ball on the entire disaster, something we pretty much knew, but we also now know that Bush and the White House could have and should have acted faster). It is also interesting and refreshing to see the Guardian point out that the US is not only the primere power, but that other people are interested in what we and our government has to say. America is in a catch-22, there is no doubt, we’re damned in almost any decision we make, but that does give us the right to do as we see fit. If we want to be the leader of the world, shouldn’t we consider what the world is saying? No one likes a leader that doesn’t listen.
As we mentioned before, the Brits had our backs in the countdown to Iraq no matter what happened. Blair promised Bush that he’d be there with troops with or without a UN resolution. Nothing too shocking since common sense pretty much lead one to believe this, but the proof is in the facts, Jack.
Switching to soccer… a bizarre situation is going on with one of England’s star defenders, Sol Campbell or Arsenal. Campbell cannot be found at the moment, and it seems to be because of a private issue in his life.
Not sure what to say about this, but if Campbell does walk away from footie, as some suggest, it would be a huge blow to the English team who plan on challenging for the World Cup title this summer. Just something to keep an eye out for. And we wish Sol a healthy return and resolution to whatever it is going on.
And finally, get this: The Archbishop of Barcelona, of all people, has waded into the controversy surrounding Ronaldinho's dismissal against Real Zaragoza in the King's Cup. "The sending off was far too rigorous and it was one of the things that influenced Barca's elimination from the Cup," fumed Lluis Martinez-Sistach, while waving his crozier.
We’ll do the SUPER BOWL stuff tomorrow or Sunday, Get ya.