Ernest Cassara

Defining Negotiations

Were I to suggest that we enter into negotiations and you were to agree, I assume we would come to the table without preconditions.  Not so with the Bush administration.  It insists that Iran give up its enrichment of Uranium before it would be willing to sit down with Iran to negotiate the question of whether Iran should be allowed to enrich Uranium!

This should not come as a surprise from an administration that has twisted the meaning of every other matter it has dealt with.  The examples are endless, but one will suffice for you doubters in the crowd.  The Constitution states that the president is to “faithfully execute” the laws passed by Congress.  Yet, President Bush has attached over 700 “signing statements” stating how he will interpret each law.  The most notorious example was in regard to the law forbidding torture.

Got a Gun on You?

I read the other day that forty of our fifty states allow the carrying of a concealed gun.  The excuse usually given for this kind of law is that the police can’t be everywhere; therefore, a citizen should be able to protect himself.  Well, it would seem to me that it would be better were citizens to be allowed to carry guns in visible holsters.  After all, those who defend the carrying of guns - aside from their deliberate misreading of the Second Amendment - do so on the ground that a malefactor can never know whether you will react by pulling a gun.  If that is the case, wouldn’t be much more effective to carry your gat in a visible holster?

Cheney Still At It!

One finds it distasteful to call the Vice President of the United States a liar, but, despite the fact that it has been demonstrated that Saddam Hussein and Iraq had no connection to Al Qaeda - indeed they hated each other - Cheney is still insisting that they did.

Some pundits are surprised that Cheney said that, despite the fact that no WMDs were found, among other reasons given for invading Iraq, he would do it again.  My question to such pundits: “Have you ever heard a politician express regret for his course of action?”

In observing Cheney, one blogger was reminded of the old joke: “How can you tell when a lawyer is lying”

Answer: “When his lips are moving.”

Speaking of the Republicans . . .

They are now claiming, in the runup to the Congressional elections in November, that the Democrats are weak on defense and terrorism.  They repeat this time after time, but, unless my multi-year calendar is incorrect, Mr. Bush and his party were in control on 9/11/2001.  Indeed, they were given clear warning that Mr. Osama bin Laden was planning an attack on the U.S.A., and did nothing about it.  Indeed, Ms. Rice had the gall, before a congressional committee, to claim that that warning - although stated in the present tense - was considered by the administration to be “historical.”

I miss the good old days when Senator Dole, and other Republicans called the Democrats “the war party.”

The President is Reading!                          

It came as remarkable news recently that President George W. Bush is actually reading a book!  Camus!  Shakespeare!

Some of the more skeptical of us have wondered how Laura - a librarian - could link up with G.W.B. in the first place.  Cupid is truly a naughty one!

Is It the Same in Other States?  

Having resided in Vermont, Virginia, and Maine, in the past, I have been puzzled since our return to the Bay State that the Secretary of State William Galvin, several weeks before each primary election, gets pleasure out of predicting a low voter turnout!

Naive of me, I know, but, one would think that there are ways that Secretary Galvin might use to encourage turnout!

Governor Pataki is Running for President

One of the pleasures of watching C-Span is that one can observe politicians making asses of themselves.  The latest is Gov. Pataki of New York attacking “activist judges.”  Strange, is it not, that those who rant and rave over judges of whose decisions they disapprove, never cite the Supreme Court decision which appointed G. W. Bush president!

Speaking of Republican Presidential Candidates . . .

I’m looking forward to the campaign of former New York mayor Giuliani.  Republicans who are supporting his candidacy have had a mental lapse. These are the folks who are always telling others how to live their lives.  I’m looking forward to how they will explain Giuliani’s bitter dispute with his wife, Donna Hanover. 

Is my memory defective or did he attempt to kick his wife and children out of Gracy Mansion and install his mistress?  Donna went to court and won!

Suing the Federal Government

That is what Americans United for Separation of Church and State is doing.  It is complaining that the federal government is giving grant money to a marriage counseling center that, according to the AP, “urges wives to serve their husbands and make them happy as a way of honoring God.”

This reminds me to put my dues to Americans United in the mail.

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Harvard Square Commentary, September 18, 2006