Will Sotomayor Ever Shake the “Wise Latina Woman” Thing ??

15 07 2009

Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was quoted as saying:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” **

Another famous quote from Sonia in direct reference to the ethnic background and gender of a judge “may and will make a difference in our judging.”**

Sonia-Sotomayor

The controversy and the questions regarding her confirmation to replace Justice David Souter are all politics and a matter of formality at this point. Her record as a federal judge indicates no outward bias of any kind. She’s apparently a good judge with an excellent track record and her remarks in those instances were unfortunate.

Face the facts:

  • She’s a Democratic Party nominee.
  • The President picked her himself.
  • She grew up in the Bronx in a barely above poverty level environment, and her Papi died when she was a little girl – only 9 years old. (Being partially from da Bronix myself some of us actually embrace the small cultural differences that make us unique but still from the same family of New Yorkers. We  speak 132 languages every day here).
  • Her record as a judge is impeccable, and it’s been intensely scrutinized.
  • The nature of American politics demand that Republicans take shots at Democratic nominations to the Supreme Court and the Dems naturally must take shots at the Republican nominees when it’s their turn.
  • Nothing in her background has surfaced that would automatically derail her from confirmation.
  • She is 99% sure to be confirmed IMHO.

Were those statements racist? Well, probably a little bit, so the answer is “yes”.

Are they minor and more of a “foot in the mouth” experience that was never manifested in one of her court decisions in the past”. The answer is “yes”, they were minor and not reflective of any of her work.

Is she really a Latina racist who’s hell bent on reforming laws to favor women or Spanish or any other category people can be classified in? The answer is “No, probably not”. (Although it’s probable that she might fantasize about it a little bit. It’s doubtful she would ever actually allow bias to creep into a bench decision).

It is ABSURD to beat this issue again and again in front of the whole world? My vote is ABSURD NOT !! We need to investigate every crack in the dam thoroughly. It’s necessary to check everything we can and have confidence in our nation’s top judges.

In answer to the title of this post, I don’t think she’ll ever shake the “wise Latina woman” thing no matter where she goes for the rest of her life…. but it will die down to hardly a whisper someday, and it won’t prevent her confirmation.

** http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/15judge.html

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Is it ABSURD to have “In God We Trust” on US Coins?

22 01 2009

Since 1938, all US coins have had the term “In God We Trust” inscribed on them, and many bills have had it as well. It that absurd? In my humble and professional opinion, this is Not Absurd. In 1956 it became law that the phrase was the official motto os the United States.

coinage1

Some athiests probably object and also those that want to make sure there is a pure separation of church and state. But the God concept itself is not in itself a violation of the “Establishment Clause” of the First Amendment prohibiting the government support (endorsement) of any organized religion.

What do YOU think? Please feel free to comment.





Is it Absurd to Allow Smoking at Sports Events?

16 01 2009

China has a communist government that severely restricts freedom, but they can change laws very quickly. America has a Republic which fosters freedom, but we can’t change the law very quickly. Both government styles are very susceptible to manipulation by special interest groups who pay for votes and laws in their favor even when it has horrible effects to public health.
olympic-smoking1
That being said I question whether it was an ABSURD in China to ban smoking at the Olympic events. My opinion is that smoking ban was ABSURD NOT and I commend the communists for doing this to protect all our kids from images glorifying smoking. I know many wealthy members of the communist party profit personally from so called government owned cigarette factories.

Now should we ban smoking from US Sports events – I would hope so but I doubt if it would be easy. I am thinking of the President of a local junior football league who parades around during the games puffing away on a cigar in front of 400 kids. I was influenced by John Wayne in much the same way. I had respect for “The Duke” when I was a kid and I wanted to be just like him. This junior football president is putting an image in the minds of many of the kids that it’s OK to smoke to be just like the boss. Smokers get what they deserve, but they should not be allowed to expose their dirty addiction to children at sports events IMHO.





Is the Film Extraordinary Rendition Absurd ?

15 01 2009

I saw the 2007 film Extraordinary Rendition and Jake Gyllenhaal and Reese Witherspoon starred in the movie and they are still apparently (and coincidentally) active socially if such reports are to be believed. The movie was a fictional account, but it exposed the practice of legal kidnapping that the US CIA and State Department have been sometimes engaged in for decades. It is meant as a means of capturing and gleaning information from suspected terrorists, but since there is no due process, it’s a flawed system at best, and innocent people are sometimes victim to the practice as was the subject in this movie. The movie is loosely based on the alleged Maher Arar story and whether these are facts or fantasy, the premise is that suspects are sometimes apprehended illegally and flown to 3rd world countries where they can be tortured for information.

jakeandreese

Is the film Extraordinary Rendition absurd? In my humble and professional opinion, NO. The film is indeed based on a system that is real and is flawed, albeit somewhat necessary – at least in part. My opinion, do we need to apprehend suspected terrorists without due process in foreign countries without authority form that country? My answer, yes but only in rare instances.

Final word: there is an almost incredible Wiki on extraordinary rendition covering over 14,000 words.

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Is Colin Powell’s endorsement ABSURD?

20 10 2008
General Colin Powell, Chairman, Joint Chiefs o...

Image via Wikipedia

Absolutely absurd – NOT !!  This is a free country and everyone has a right and somewhat of a responsibility to say and do what he or she feels is the right thing. As long as it does not hurt others in terms of safety or slander. So Republicans are a little bent out of shape, and John McCain is disappointed, but I agree with Mr. Powell as far as him going “off the reservation” if he feels it is necessary and prudent.

Colin Powell achieved greatness partly because he was a Republican and George Bush (senior) liked him and made him the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the first Gulf War.

In the military we had a phrase, “It takes a thousand addaboys to erase a single Fubar”. In other words, you can do a thousand things right, but that one big mistake can instantly erase all the good credit you had built up. On the other side of that coin if you have a single huge mistake, it takes a thousand things done right to change your image.

In my lifetime the single worst thing the United States ever did (IMHO) was based on a decision from Colin Powell. He advised the President during the first Gulf War to stop 60 miles short of Baghdad and let the locals oust Saddam Hussein from office. We all know how well that decision played out. Hussein pulled almost 200,000 (that is two hundred thousand living human beings) from their homes and executed them in front of their families and neighbors. Then he terrorized the country until the next Gulf War.

So although Mr. Powell is Absurd NOT in going off the reservation again, looking at his decision to support Obama might be a warning note to some. Here is a guy that has made thousands of good decisions and a couple that were significant errors. Mr. Powell made that choice to support Obama for all the logical reasons… but in the end I think he might have done better in terms of security for our nation by voting for his friend and Vietnam Veteran buddy McCain.

When Mr. Obama embraces the President of Iran as he said he would for the purposes of opening a dialog, let’s ask Mr. Powell again if he made the right decision. Personally I like Colin Powell, I enjoy listening to him speak, but I use his logical decisions as a solid indication for me to take another look.

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Unreported Workplace Accidents

14 10 2008

We have all kinds of statistics at Federal, State, County, and Township levels in this country.That’s the good news. The bad news is that these various agencies rarely share data and in general it is difficult for average citizens to extract good stats. There are excellent examples of easy to use stats and of course examples that border on nightmarish.

I have always been especially interested in unreported statistics. Like unreported workplace accidents. As an attorney with 30 years experience in South Florida, Harvey Friedman tells clients to make sure they get an injury report in writing within 30 days of having an accident on the job. He has seen countless times where a company does not report an injury for a number of reasons…

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So the stats themselves are a little frightening but the unreported stats estimates are probably shocking. If it were not for relentless journalists, a lot of that information would never see the light of day.

The point is that the unreported stats might be more important than the reported stats. The House Committee on Education and Labor just released a report in 2008 trying to determine if OSHA is enforcing workplace safety adequately. So paying for studies on unreported workplace accidents is Absurd NOT. It’s actually vital to protect the workforce from bad company management.





US Green Energy Bailout – Is it ABSURD?

14 10 2008
//en.wikipedia.

Image via Wikipedia

Well, it does not actually even exist so it can’t be absurd yet. It’s a proposal. From me. Here’s how it goes.

Since the United Sates is writing huge checks to bailout financial organizations, why don’t we bailout the lifeless green energy sector? What if we made a new power source that could replace fossil fuel based energy and do it cheap and green? Wow !! ABSURD NOT!

  • Is this socialism? No way… it’s government backed research.
  • Will it destroy the oil companies? No way… they will land up licensing the new energy – probably for free as they will help co-develop it.
  • WIll the taxpayers get their investment back? You bet…  we will make the loan payoff in 10 years.
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