It's Friday, it's Friday!
Steanso went out last night to have a beer with old high school chums, Dr. Kevin "The Pope" Palka, Mike "The Toaster" Voith, Brian Krueger, and Reed "Weedo" Shaw. We went to the Drafthorse and drank a bunch of beers and stayed out too late. I got updates on a bunch of other high school classmates who, despite living in the same town with me, I never see or hear from.
I like seeing these guys and reminiscing a bit about the good ol' days, but it feels like another lifetime since we were in school. Between college, law school, and a couple of intervening jobs, it feels like I have gone through generations of new friends, acquaintances, and experiences since I parted ways with these guys for college. Still, it's always great to see them. Mike's still got a staccato, razor sharp wit, and Palka is still smoking like a chimney and grumbling about the absurdity of his surroundings (although these days he refers to the hospital that he works at rather than high school teachers).
Anyway, it was good to see them. Erin, if you read this, Palka says hi.
My Dad is in China right now, roaming the countryside looking for peasants to exploit and checking market updates on his Blackberry. In all seriousness, Pop says that the people in China have been extremely pleasant to deal with, and they seem to be cautiously curious about Americans. With their emerging capitalist markets, Dad says that China is an interesting place to be at the moment because it's in such an obvious transition period. Communism is giving way to manufacturing and a somewhat controlled free market economy, and so I guess my Dad's company is thinking of doing some manufacturing over there.
And how about this?
Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council, and James Dobson, of Focus on the Family, have both decided that it's in the best interest of Jesus loving people everywhere to try to do away with entire courts that have made rulings which are contrary to their point of view. Since these dudes are friends and supporters of such ethically high minded individuals as Tom Delay, unfortunately, their voices are being heard by people in power.
OK, peeps. I'm getting a little tired of this Republican power grab. Even when the Democrats had it good (although, admittedly, I don't remember them ever having it as good as the Republicans have it right now), they didn't try to undermine our entire system of government so that no one else could ever be heard.
I truly fear living in a country with a one party political system, whether it's conservative or progressive. Countries with one party political systems are countries where it becomes dangerous to speak your mind.
Furthermore, the judiciary has traditionally been something which must remain independent and objective if it is to do its job effectively. Putting political pressure on the judiciary risks destroying our good ol' system of checks and balances. We're supposed to be living in a country of majority rule, but with protection for the rights of the minority. These judges (along with lawyers and our tattered constitution) are supposed to be the common sense guardians of our rights against those who would try to impose their will on others in violation of their constitutional rights. The judiciary are the branch who tell our legislators when they've gone too far- when they've overstepped their legislative authority by violating the constitution.
It's all too crazy. I can't deal with it on a sunny Friday.