If this week showed us anything other than horror, frustration and despair, it might be the hope that things can only get better. Violent acts spanned the globe as humans prove over and over just how dangerous we are to ourselves and others.
Incompetence has once again proven to be the motto of the Bush Administration as Attorney General Gonzales affirmed that he has followed the lead of the rest of the Bush gang and formulated a plan without knowing what he was doing.
I watched the hearings with shock that he actually thinks the fact that he had no information about the fired US Attorneys before he fired them is an exoneration. He explained that he had not examined their performance records as a means of proving he did not give them the axe wrongfully.
I can only imagine how that explanation would have been received had I given it to my superiors at the Department of Justice during my years there. More compelling is the image that popped into my mind of me telling then Sen. Robert Kennedy that my memo to him on requested research was wrong but my defense is that I just didnâ€™t look at any laws or cases.
Anyone who knew Kennedy would immediately have their own image of the rage that claim would be met with.
So now we have an Attorney General who proves his chops as the head of our justice system by showing how little he knows. Makes one wonder who is running the show at DOJ until you remember that the entire government is now run by Karl Rove and VP Cheney as a permanent act of partisan politics.
The appearance of partisanship in our justice system is the logical follow through to the pollution of each other branch of the Executive branch wherein nearly every aspect has been bent to the doctrines of the rabid right.
Following close on the heels of this disturbing spectacle was the first clear indication of how politicized the Supreme Court has now become. The approval of the nebulous â€œpartial birth abortionâ€ ban was made entirely on political grounds. The majority even conceded that science did not support the conclusions of Congress cited as the reasons for the law which banned a seldom used and controversial procedure without an exclusion for the health of the woman. The cost of the Supreme Court revolution of 2000 finally is apparent — under the false flag of â€œconservativismâ€ this Court has acted as just another partisan institution enforcing the bidding of the Administration.
Only Justice Ginsberg got the issue right â€“ it is a question of equality, not privacy. Do women have the same right to determine the medical procedures used on their bodies as men or not? Are women equal or will St. Paulâ€™s view of women as subservient to men prevail? The only woman left on the Court sees the threat to womenâ€™s equality where the ideologues of the right are blind. One could have expected â€œLong Johnâ€ Thomas to assault women in this fashion, but I had hoped Justice Kennedy would have resisted the partisanship of this decision.
The Incompetence Bowl called the War on Iraq showed just how flexible the English language can be as massacre after massacre was painted as â€œsmall steps of progressâ€ by President Bush. One wonders what a disaster might look like if this is success.
Finally, we were reminded once again just how unstable reality can be as 33 were murdered in Virginia. No matter how much gun control appears to be a viable response to this slaughter, the reality is we cannot ever get safe enough to avoid something as insane as this. We may be able to reduce the risk, prevent some of the mentally imbalanced out there, but every day our inhumanity shows itself to be all too human. Life is just plain risky, and all indications are that it is getting more so every day.
This week I was lucky enough to see the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra-Peter Sellars production of Richard Wagnerâ€™s opera Tristan and Isolde in full. In addition to being one of the most thrilling musical performance I have ever enjoyed, I came away with my thought for the times. Paraphrased, Tristan asks that he â€œbe granted forgetfulness that he may live.â€
There is so much to forget.