The President has announced his nominee for the Supreme Court seat of the retiring John Paul Stevens. What a shock, he has picked another woman and thus according to him this will make the court look more like the country than ever before. But would Solictor General Elena Kagan actually do that? Perhaps we should take a closer look.
Now, upfront we should note that these descriptions are not meant as criticisms of the nominee, but as observations in light of what the President said. Ms Kagan is Jewish which will mean the Court would have 6 Catholics and 3 Jews. She is single and in fact has never been married. Unlike Justice Sotomayor whose humble upbringing was repaetedly stressed, Ms Kagan is the polar opposite. She is, as the New York Times puts it, “a creature of Manhattan’s liberal, intellectual Upper West Side; hardly a typical upbringing. She served on the faculty of the Chicago University Law School with guess who? Yep, Barack H Obama. How about that for irony or wonder if this is fulflling a long range goal since Kagan was on the nominee short list last time around.
So, maybe the Court will not really look more like America but just seem to . What is interesting is somethinmg that Rush brings up. Not sure if I agree wholeheatedly but it sounds very plausible. He maintains that Obama is in fact nominating himself. It has been noted that they served on the law school faculty together and it seems that her record or lack of same mirrors that of the President before he was elected. She has as her judicial hero the late Thurgood Marshall and adheres very strongly to his philosophy that the Court should exist almost solely for the benefit of the “despised and disadvantaged,” whomever the Court perceives those to be. She is reputed to be post partisan, a consensus builder, as was the president. Perhaps more telling is how she views the Constitution. And how is that? Kinda hard to say, given the paucity of the written record. But, hazarding a guess, I would use the words living and changing in there somewhere along with oh, maybe the framers didn’t really do all that great a job but we have surely improved it.
But, in all lilklihood, she will be confirmed even if all Republicans vote no, which they will not. But what will be interesting is if the topic of same-sex marriage comes up. Ms Kagan is actually on the record here. And her view is not that of the typical liberal. That just might liven up the proceedings a bit.
Not the city in the Saudi Arabia, but the one located in the state of Washington; actually should be considered a suburb of Seattle, I guess. It is a small city of 3,100 with an extraordinarily high average income of several times the national average. It also has a relatively unique sign welcoming those who enter the city limits. ” You are Entering a 24 hour Video Surveillance Area.” Bet that gets the attention of first time visitors.
The stated goal is a worthy one, of crime prevention and solving crimes if they indeed happen. Opinions vary on that count. Police chief Jeffrey Chen is a fan, maintaining that the cameras(installed at intersections to monitor all incoming traffic) give him an advantage over criminals. Since the system takes a picture of the license plate of all vehicles and then runs it through a database( don’t know what kind) information can be transmitted directly to police if a vehicle has been involved in a crime. Voila, a leg up on the evildoers.
Now, the city seems to have a low crime rate, 11 burglaries last year for example. But,according to Chen, one burglary is too many. One other intriguing fact is that the info is kept for 60 days, just in case something turns up later. If it does,gotcha!
Here comes an unusual thing, at least for me. I am somewhat in agreement with the ACLU on this one. Doug Honig is a spokesman for the Washington ACLU. He has this to say.”Government shouldn’t be keeping records of people’s comings and goings when they haven’t done anything wrong. By actions like this, we’re moving closer and closer to asurveillance society.”‘ Strongly agree with that. But, a council member in Medina begs to differ. Lucius Biglow says that preventing crime outweighs concerns over privacy. Hope he watches his speed through town.
Another member of the council had this to say. “We’re not elitist at all….What we’re doing here is protecting our citizenry.” So said Robert Rudolph.
Just to add to the above story, there is similar activity, albeit on a somewhat larger scale, going on in New York City.Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said that an existing network of surveillance equipment already place in Lower Manhattan will soon expand uptown. This is due to a Homeland Security grant received to assist in those efforts.
This comment was made by the myor in response to a criticism of the efforts.To me, it says volumes and I am afraid is a bit chilling. “We live in a world where we have to have a balance. We can’t just say that everybody can go everyplace and do anything they want.” What he did not add was that if you do, we will very likely be abe to see you do it.
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