Friday, October 14, 2005

 

REPLY TO SADIE LOU

Harriet Miers

"Of all the words written about Harriet Miers, none are more disturbing than the ones she wrote herself. In the early 90's, while she was president of the Texas bar association, Miers wrote a column called "President's Opinion" for The Texas Bar Journal. It is the largest body of public writing we have from her, and sad to say, the quality of thought and writing doesn't even rise to the level of pedestrian.
Conservative columnist David Brooks in NYT


THE FOLLOWING IS MY REPLY TO YESTERDAYS COMMENT BY THE LOVELY SADIE LOU, WHO SAID:

Papa Bear asked:What does her faith have to do with being a judge?
Well, to people like me, who trust that God is REALLY the one appointing leaders, it makes a lot of sense. Of course to agnostics, atheists or whatever--it doesn't make any sense. Bush is obviously surrounding himself with people who are "like minded" (enter the cruel jokes from the left)

"Bush is surrounding himself with people who are like minded"

I would feel remiss If I didn't point out that in order to appoint like minded people, you would have to have a mind. (you invited cruel left wing jokes!)

More seriously, the problem is this. The Founding Fathers deliberately separated religion from government for several very rational reasons.

They witnessed, and were victimized by, the undue influence of the predominant churches in in Europe. The Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Lutheran church all had long histories of state sanctioned persecution, imprisonment, torture, and general deprivation of the basic freedoms of any who did not follow their narrow theology. The first wave of European immigrants to this continent were people fleeing just that persecution. My family, for example, were French Huguenots fleeing persecution and torture at the hands of the Catholic Church.

The Founding Fathers understood that in a nation where there were so many varied religions and philosophies at play, the nation could only survive, live peacefully, and meet it's ideals of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, if it guaranteed the freedoms of all, and took no sides in spiritual issues. Remember, the Constitution (specifically the Bill Of Rights) not only guarantees ALL citizens equal rights, but specifically protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority. This assures that I can't force my religious beliefs and practices on you, nor you on me!

This country was founded as a secular, pluralistic society for ALL of our benefit. That Bush has so blatantly injected Miers' religion as a qualification for the Supreme Court, even as most prominent conservatives are essentially calling her grossly unqualified and a second rate legal mind, is an insult to the Founding Fathers, to the ideals this country was founded on, and indeed, American's themselves.

It deeply saddens me that the leader of this country has absolutely no clue as to the principles and history of the country he is supposed to be leading!
*********************************************************************************

OTHER MUSINGS:

Can there be a more clueless owner in professional sports than the THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS' Bill Wirtz? First, he hires the radio and tv color man (Wirtz is one of the few owners so cheap as to not have separate radio and tv crews), Dale Tallon, as the teams General Manager. Tallon's qualifications: career mediocre player with the Blackhawks, a true "homer" as a broadcaster (the 'hawks never committed a penalty,or got a break from an official), and was Harry Carey's heir apparent as mayor of Rush Street. Worse yet, knowing that with salary cap in place, Tallon couldn't spend more than $39 million of his money, Wirtz handed him the check book.

Tallon wasted no time in screwing things up. Within a couple of hours of being on the job, he fired the Blackhawks excellent head coach, Brian Suter, and replaced him with a former mediocre Hawk's player with no coaching experience, Trent Yawney. He then paid about twice the market value to sign his first free agent, Martin LaPointe, because he needed a "character" player.* He then got in a bidding war with the Red Wings, Flyers, and Penguins over goalie Nikolai Khabibullin. The Wings and Flyers backed off (knowing a fool and his money are soon parted). The Blackhawks got a goalie, and Khabibullen gets $35 million (the league maximum) over the next 5 years.

So how's it all working our for Billionare Bill? The Blackhawks are in last place in their division, and their $35 mil goalie is next to last in the league in save percentage. As a Wings fan, I can only say "attaboy, Bill"!

*note: this is not a knock on LaPointe, who is a former Red Wing and indeed brings a lot of intangibles to the table, It's just sad that the only way Tallon could get him was to pay twice what anyone else would!

Comments:
Also, I have to point out that surrounding yourself with like-minded people is a dangerous thing for anyone, but most of all for the President of the United States (or any powerful country). It cuts you off from any dissenting voices, any different world views, different solutions. Our system of democracy is based on the coming together of different opinions and belief systems and compromising to find a common ground for particular solutions to problems. This is not a theocracy where the boy that has the biggest congregation wins.

Bush putting on blinders and sheltering himself and his administration from the diversity of opinions and solutions, he is putting us all at risk.

If, for example, we had an athiest president, I would NEVER want him to appoint only athiests to important posts, or to not listen to someone just because they were religious. But this is exactly what George is doing to non-christians in this country.
 
"...even as most prominent conservatives are essentially calling her grossly unqualified and a second rate legal mind"
I inspired a post? Sweet. I'd like to point out that I answered a question posed by Isabella on the previous post, as well. In case anyone is interested.

The quote I pulled in your post, intrigues me. I sincerely believe that saying she is a second rate legal mind is insulting to her success. She was the first woman to ever make partner at the law firm she worked at. I don't take that lightly. I'm sure the men folk in Dallas didn't like that none too much.
I picture a Gene Hackman type raving about how only a man can know the ins and outs of a courtroom.
She was also the pres. of the Dallas Bar Assc. that's a fair title too.
I'm actually surprised that more focus isn't centered on the fact that Bush has a lot of women in top ranking positions. I guess that would be a positive though.
 
Getting away from the political side of your most recent post (I haven't been following your yankee politics very closely since dear old dubya came into office), I'd like to point out that the Oilers are in first place in the Northwest division of the western conference and Calgary...oh my! Are in last place! Not that I follow hockey much either but I am a Canucklehead so I figured I should say something about it.
 
I give Bush credit for appointing women. As a general rule, they have been the bright spot of this dismal administration. Although a couple of them have resigned in protest of his policies (form NJ Governer and EPA head Christy Todd Whitman comes immediately to mind). And Condi Rice has been as excellent Secretary of State (a huge surprise, given what a horrible National Security Advisor she was)!

This in no way, however, changes the fact that Miers is a horible, unqualified appointee, and an affront to those of us who believe in the constitution, and the principles this country was founded on. Her fundamentalist/evangelical credentials do not make her qualified to be a justice.

My sister is an evangelical, a ministers wife, a good cook, and a very wonderful person. I wouldn't support her nomination to the Supreme Court either.
 
Yeah, the Flames are in last place, and Mikka Kiprisoff has been almost as terrible as Khabibullin! And NASHVILLE has been the best team in the league so far. Talk about bizzarro world!

Incidentally, the Oilers are my third favorite team, after the Wings and Lightning, whom I recently addopted because I love their coach and their style of play!
 
GWB--
did your sister go to law school and act as a lawyer in Texas for some years?
;)
Look, I'm not saying she was the most qualified individual, I'm not even saying she IS qualified. I'm not the biggest intellectual when it comes to politics. I know a little.
All I'm offering is an opposing opinion that maybe you guys haven't thought of yet.
I'm also not of the mind that Bush is a saint. So don't misjudge my submission and lack of complaining for total and complete trust and support.
I would be just as submissive if Kerry were president and I say that with conviction.
Laura--
I would challenge you to find a handful of liberals that are not "like minded" on the BIG issues.
 
GWB - I could care less if someone is an Evangelical Christian or someone who worships Unga Bunga Man. I really could care less.

Miers has been called underqualified from everyone and their grandma from the Far Left to the Far Right.

California has a CA Supreme Court Justice who has been on the CA Supreme Court since '96. She's very qualified and I love her defense of private property and people harassed by cops with too much time on their hands. She's eloquent and smart, and has a strong understanding of the Constitution.

The fact that she's a woman I could care less. I'm really against choosing someone on basis of sex, race, etc. Very against it. If a body was all male, all female, all white, all black, or whatever, I could care less. I want the most qualified, regardless of anything, other than they being American citizens.

I'm really upset with Bush that he passed up Brown (the lady I mentioned) in favor of Miers, especially since he did such a fine job with nominating Roberts.
 
Sadie, I understand what you are saying. But there are some things that are simply too important to be submissive about. This is one of them.

ZS- I agree almost completely with you.
 
Zombie--
if you had to individuals that were equally qualified and one was a man and one was a woman, who would you pick?

GWB--
At least you can see my point. I can see yours and Isabella's points as well. I like that people call the leaders to the mat on protecting our rights and freedoms. I hope that never changes.
 
Great quote by Adams at the top of your page. As for your explanation about separation of church and state, I think too many people are either ignorant about the religious persecution that drove people to these shores, or they choose to ignore it.

They like to say this country was founded on Christian principles, well, yes and no, did the Christians corner the market on representative government, equality and human dignity? Last I heard Christian ideals were also combined with Native American ideals and ancient, Greek, Roman, and even French ideas on everything from politics, government and laws, to the godliness and dignity in every human being. These philosophies and principles, along with more from other cultures and countries went into forming the thought processes of our founding fathers and the remarkable documents they produced. As you said, they made it a point to separate church and state, they had good reasons and plenty of experience for doing so.

For those out there who think it would be great to live in a religious state, try it out in a country where religion reigns supreme and your religion is in the minority, if it's even allowed. Then report back to us how great it was, if you live through it.
 
Sadie: You can't deny that Bush is surrounding himself with "yes men". The few people in his administration that ever pointed out a dissenting view have either resigned or been fired. I'm not talking about him appointing liberals, but there are conservatives out there who have a different opinion on issues ranging from taxes, to environment, to poverty, to Iraq. Bush simply puts his fingers in his ears, closes his eyes and ignores them, or worse: questions their patriotism.
 
I don't deny it. I'm simply asking if a candidate of your choice wouldn't be doing the same thing. Politicians normally surround themselves with people who support them, yes?
 
Supporting their overall worldview (conservative/liberal, whatever) yes... surrounding themselves with people who never, ever argue or disagree with them on specific issues? No. There is a big difference there. You can't solve complex problems when you only see one possible solution and everyone in the room nodding "yessir"...
 
G.W.Bear, I like the new James Luther Adams header quote!
 
First we were told John Roberts religion was irrelavent to his qualifications as a SCJ. Now we're being told Harriet Miers nomination is all about her religion. Am I the only one here thinking WTF?
As for Bush surrounding himself with 'like minded people', one things for sure, he and Harri are probably the ONLY two people on the PLANET who think he's 'the smartest person they know'. That statement alone should disqualify her.
But hey, I'm just hoping she turns out to be another Souter. Maybe years from now we'll discover she's a closeted gay who happens to think she has the right to privacy in order to stay that way. Now wouldn't THAT be a hoot?
 
Actually, Bill Maher had a great theory about Harriet Miers and the REAL reason the Christian Right hates her. THey know she's religious, they know she's "their" brand of religious, they know she's Bush's buddy. So what's the problem? Well, she's never married and has no children. Our society, especially conservatives, tend to have a problem with women who don't "fulfill" their "roles" as women. So is she a virgin, a fornicating slut or a lesbian? Those are the only three choices...
 
I actually think that Roberts is more likely to turn out to be anothier Sutter. Cerebral, pragmatic, sense of history.

I definately think Maher is on to something! It's the same reason CC's grumble about Condi. Single woman, non-traditonal role. Bad influence on young women, makes em think they can have a life that doesn't revolve around husband and children.
 
Sadie - if you had to individuals that were equally qualified and one was a man and one was a woman, who would you pick?

Coin toss.
 
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