Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Musings and Philsophy for July 5

"I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other." – Napoleon Bonaparte

Revealing the name of a CIA agent sentences that agent, as well as any secret contact they may have had, to death. Causing someone to be unjustly executed is also a capital offense. Being against capital punishment, I think it is fair to be merciful and to sentence Karl Rove to life in prison. Of course, everyone knows that a presidential pardon is probably already written and sitting in Bush's desk drawer, but at least someone responsible will answer for it. Maybe now Rove will back the idea of a journalist's right to keep his sources private.

"Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." – Benjamin Franklin

The USA Patriot Act is showing its true colors as a war on Americans. Richard Kreimer, a homeless man, has filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey suburb saying that they used the Patriot Act as an excuse to evict him from the train station where he was sleeping. Already an unconstitutional, anti-American piece of legislation that violates our most fundamental rights, the Patriot Act is now taking us another step closer to a totalitarian government, spying on its citizens and preying on the weak.

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." – Nelson Mandela

Commercials over the weekend coinciding with, and having the same goal as, the Live 8 concert series featured Nelson Mandela speaking to a crowd about debt relief and aid to Africa. "We know what to do, and how much it will cost," he said. Mandela is a great world leader, and a man who has dedicated his life to the betterment of those around him. We can only hope that the world leaders meeting this week in Scotland at the G8 Summit listen to him and pledge the aid needed. The richest owe a debt to the poorest. We can and must spend the money and send the aid. To borrow from the Declaration of Independence, whose anniversary we celebrated yesterday, nothing less than our sacred honor is at stake.

"Justice is rather the activity of truth, than a virtue in itself." – Horace Walpole

President Bush now has the opportunity to nominate a new Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Bust has repeatedly declared his admiration for Justices Scalia and Thomas, the most conservative members of the Court. Instead of following this line, Bush should look to Earl Warren as the ideal justice. A man of vision and daring, Warren presided over many of the greatest moral decisions the Supreme Court has ever made, including the landmark Brown v. Board decision in 1954. Oh, and by the way, Earl Warren was a conservative Republican from California appointed by President Eisenhower.

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them." – Galileo Galilei

On July 4, NASA successfully crashed a probe into a comet to learn more about the origins of our solar system. Another success for the oft-ridiculed agency deserves accolades and applause. Revealing our past can help us learn about the future. Where we come from can help point us to where we are going. Hopefully more successes will be forthcoming, and NASA can return to the prominence it had in the heyday of Apollo success.

America has come a long way in 229 years. Our nation was founded on the ideals of freedom and justice. There are people who work every day for these causes, and towards furthering freedom around the world. We stand in the shadows of great men and women who have gone before and worked to bring us to where we are today. I only hope that it does not all come undone before our eyes, and that we can, in the words of the Constitution, "secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."