As we spend another holiday weekend in our fair city, there are several random thoughts we thought we might share.
Go over to the Broward Blog.
As the debate rages in Broward County between the Status Quo Brigade of Judges and a few good ol boy lawyers (Motto: "It’s our Court System and we’ll run it however we damn please.") and the upstart Brigade of Brave Broward lawyers, there is a nice reprint of Thomas Payne’s Common Sense pamphlet on the Broward Blog.
Printed anonymously in February 1776, Common Sense serves now to remind us why reasoned anonymous critique is a backbone of American Democracy.
The Broward Judiciary’s “Diversity Committee” immediately responded to the Blog's defense of anonymous critique with a press release stating “anything written about Common Sense has absolutely nothing to do with the Broward Judiciary.”
Rumpole says that what these lawyers have done is nothing short of remarkable. We who labour here in Miami well know the feeling of being “a stranger in a strange land”. Ask any Judge who was a practicing trial lawyer before ascending to the bench, and they will tell you that “going to Broward” is one of the things they miss the least. These Broward Blogging Lawyers have drawn intense media coverage of their Courthouse. (Of course, lets give credit where credit is due. They were ably assisted by a bevy of Judges whose propensity for making outlandish statements from the bench, or getting arrested, was remarkable.)
The Broward Bloggers succeeded in bringing down the Chief Judge, and have opened for discussion with the current judicial leadership topics like why the rate of defendants sentenced to State prison in Broward is the highest in the State by far.
In a very real sense, Blogging is the 21st century American’s answer to the anonymous pamphleteering during the Revolutionary War. It is no surprise that of all the countries on earth, it was the United States that brought forth blogging to the forefront of political action.
Questioning authority by reasoned critiques of those who govern, is in our blood. It makes us proud to be a small part of this legacy of democracy.
Switching topics, if you head over to the on-line edition of various newspapers you might randomly view headlines like these:
“Engulfed by Climate Change, Town Seeks Lifeline”
The earth beneath much of Alaska is not what it used to be. The permanently frozen subsoil, known as permafrost, upon which Newtok and so many other Native Alaskan villages rest, is melting, yielding to warming air temperatures and a warming ocean. Sea ice that would normally protect coastal villages is forming later in the year, allowing fall storms to pound away at the shoreline.
Erosion has made Newtok an island...
White House rejected warnings on Iraq War
WARNED ON IRAQ
U.S. intelligence agencies warned the Bush administration before the invasion of Iraq that ousting Saddam Hussein would create a ''significant risk'' of sectarian strife, encourage al Qaeda attacks and open the way for Iranian interference. ..
Nevertheless, President Bush, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other top aides decided not to deploy the major occupation that force military planners had recommended, planned to reduce U.S. troops rapidly after the invasion and believed that ousting Saddam would ignite a democratic revolution across the Middle East.
What these two stories have in common is a man from Texas with his head buried in the sand.
Experts told the current administration that global warming was a fact and needed to be addressed. The administration responded with a campaign to terrorize those experts by threatening their jobs if they released their reports.
Experts told the current administration that we did not have enough troops to win the peace in Iraq. They were ridiculed by men (namely the President, Vice President, and their respective staffs) whose youth was marked by a successful determination to avoid military service in the Vietnam war.
Welcome to Vietnam redux.
Created by men whose main qualification to lead a country into war was the ability to look into the camera and tell the American public that because they pray, they can be trusted and know what their doing-- its fourty years later and a new generation of old men are sending young men and women to die half way around the world for a war no one wants.
Hopefully, as an electorate, we will never make that mistake again.
So there you have it.
Good old American common sense and the legacy of Common Sense drives modern day Bloggers North of the Border to take back our courthouse from the oligarchy of Ross and his crowd.
Meanwhile a town in Alaska melts- but don't tell the President it's because of global warming, because his henchmen may well just fire you. No, maybe those Inuit are just praying to the wrong deity.
And more troops die in a war the President was told we could not win -but- as an idiot from Texas once tried to say "fool me once shame on you....fool me twice, shame on me."
There is a lot to think about on any Memorial Day, but this is what is on our Mind this Memorial Day Weekend.
Be safe, and see you in Court Tuesday, and maybe for drinks and Hors De Oeuvres afterwards.