Saturday, June 25, 2005

Al Is In Wonderland

Our man Al is no one person per say. He is just one of us, "us" being the operative word for a citizen with rights. A man's home is his castle, at least that is what Al always believed. Now, Al's belief was not the chauvinistic product of "a man's home is his castle" over a subservient wife. No, Al like all of us, believed his home was more than just a house. To Al it was a haven, not just to provide shelter, but to signify his success. He could say he had arrived. He could proudly say, "This is mine, all mine."
~ Unfortunately, Al has only recently discovered that might not be quite true. Al should put a little more consideration into whom he decides to vote during a Presidential election. The man who occupies the position of "the most powerful man on earth" is responsible for far more than the welfare of the nation. Al now realizes, as we all should realize, that the legacy of the President reaches, nay permeates the very fabric of the lives of he common citizens. Moreover, that legacy lives long after the Commander-in-chief.
~ Two powers given the President, two powers that should be taken away, are the power to pardon and the power to nominate Justices to the Supreme Court. It is in this wonderland that Al finds himself, wondering about the long range effects of such powers. While his nominees must be approved by other elected officials, most of them are eventually approved.
~ Mark Twain wrote: "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." Now we can say that about the U.S. Supreme Court also. Exhibit A was handed down Thursday, June 23, buy a 5-4 decision. Sandra Day O'Connor, a glowing example of an ill-advised Presidential nomination, gave a hard-hitting statement on that decision. "Nothing is to prevent the state from from replacing a Motel 5 with a Ritz-Carlton, and any home with a shopping mall."
~ Does that thought scare you? It should. It scares me. And it scares Al. It behooves that the President choose wisely at an inevitable decision on his first Supreme Court nominee. If you have had any questions on decisions he has made so far in his tenure, pay close attention to the first Bush Judge. That judge will be making, influencing decisions that will impact your life long after George W. is put out to pasture.
~ Just ask a group of homeowners in New London, Conn., where their homes are about to be seized to make way for a private development to include a hotel, offices and a marina, all fir the end result of increasing the city's tax base. You might ask the same of the former residents of Boston's West End. Where those residents once saw a vital community, developers saw a "blight," which has long since been replaced by high rises.
~ The courts have recognized government's need for promoting the greater good by seizing property in blighted areas. Defining blighted can be likened to defining pornography. It is in the eyes of the beholder.
~ Al is in wonderland and what he beholds keeps getting curiouser and curiouser. There is no white rabbit that perplexes you, me and Al. No it is the White House, and that smile doesn't belong to the Cheshire Cat. Through the looking glass everything looks greener on the other side of the fence, but only as long as you are on the right side of the fence to begin.

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