Friday, March 10, 2006

Dictatorship and chicken salad

I could spend my time today blogging about recently retired Sandra Day O'Connor warning that the journey to dictatorship starts with steps very much like what has been going on in this country but my thoughts on chicken salad are more important. Oh. ok. At a speech at Georgetown University, the Reagan appointee and first woman to serve on the High Court all but named names in thinly veiled attacks on former House majority leader Tom DeLay and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, and ended with a stunning warning.

O'Connor told her Georgetown audience that judges can make presidents, Congress and governors "really really mad," but she said judicial effectiveness is "premised on the notion that we won't be subject to retaliation for our judicial acts." While hailing the American system of rights and privileges, she noted the founding fathers knew statutes and constitutions don’t protect judicial independence, "people do."

Then, she took aim at former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. She didn’t name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year, when DeLay took out after the courts for its rulings on abortion, prayer, and the Terry Schiavo case. This, said O’Connor, was after the federal courts had applied Congress' one-time-only statute about Schiavo as it was written, not, said O'Connor, as the Congressman might have wished it were written. The response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint, said O'Conner, her voice dripping with sarcasm, was that the congressman blasted the courts.

It gets worse, she said, noting that death threats against judges are increasing. It doesn’t help, she said, when a high-profile senator suggests there may be a connection between violence against judges and decisions that the senator disagrees with. She didn’t name him, but it was Texas Sen. John Cornyn who made that statement after a Georgia judge was murdered in court and the family of a federal judge in Illinois murdered in the judge's home.

O’Connor observed that there have been a lot of suggestions lately for so-called judicial reforms -- recommendations for the massive impeachment of judges stripping the courts of jurisdictions and cutting judicial budgets to punish offending judges. Any of these might be debatable, she said, as long as they are not retaliation for decision that political leaders disagree with

I, said O’ Connor, am against judicial reforms driven by nakedly partisan reasoning. Pointing to the experiences of developing countries and formerly Communist countries, where interference with an independent judiciary has allowed dictatorship to flourish, O’Connor said we must be ever vigilant against those who would strong-arm the judiciary into adopting their preferred policies. It takes a lot of degeneration before a country falls into dictatorship she said, but we should avoid these ends by avoiding these beginnings.

And that's not from some blogger like Capt. Fogg who rants about the coming dictatorship as passionately as the passionate rant about the coming Rapture. That's Sandra Day O'Connor. Can't wait for the Swift Boat Veterans for Fascism 527 ads about her.

But I digress. I am making a bold statement today. After much research I have come to the conclusion that while most everything in Whole Foods Market grocery stores are great their prepared deli section blows. Everything looks great and calls to you to buy, bring home and eat. But just like a siren song that draws you into a rocky shoreline, the first bite out of the microwave instantly tells you you've been had. The original chicken salad is good but everything else isn't.

So there it is. I dislike Whole Foods' deli as well as dictatorship. I know I'll have less of the former. I'm not as optimistic on the latter.


Blogger Reign of Reason said...

Great post... I wouldn't have found this otherwise.

It just amazes me hour the right uses righteous indignation to condemn anything they don't agree with -- and people buy into it -- even when that indignation is aimed at the very foundation of our republic.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

So I'm ranting hey? You think that was a rant? I'll show you a @%$% rant that will rapture your $#%@#% ears off, you @#$%%$%!!!!!!!

12:11 PM  
Blogger Crankyboy said...

Ouch. My ears.

2:29 PM  

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