Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The term bromance has been floating out there like Balloon Boy for the last year or two and we've adapted it into our language much like other new words as sexting, googling, and tramp stamp. Its funny actually to hear your parents use some of these words because frankly; I thought our generation owned them. When my dad said tramp stamp I literally LOL'd (a hah, another addition to our ever growing dictionary). However, bromance is a portmanteau, a combination of the words "brother" and "romance", with innocent and comical ramifications,which lends to its charm. Why? It's something nearly all guys are guilty of, investing time and ridiculous acts of stupidness with your friends. I'm not going into the psychology of being a man-boy in modern-day America, but my goal for this entry is to give an outlook on familiar gestures, that me and my boyz grant each other. Does it get gay? Borderline... Does it get stupid? Absolutely. Will it gross a girl out? I would be worried if it didn't.
1. The Ass-Slap: Used in times of heightened competition. Flattened hand, quick slap means an easy, yet important victory. The more of a cuppage of the hand, the more stunning and hard-fought a victory. Be weary of over use, and never, never hug during this.
2. The High Five or Fistbump: Again a competitive use, or the acquiring of a great feat! Depending on its use, you could've made out with a hot chick, shot a deer, won an award, had a kid, or defended your title in the Tether ball championship. High fives are familiar territory and something best used with people who are old as fucking Don Knotts. Fistbumps are for baby-boomers.
3. The Punch in the Arm: This is for your bros who you make fun of. This is the one that crosses friendship barriers between those who reside in different social settings. Its like a skater being friends with a hick, or a metro sexual being friends with a meat head. The punch i the arm reminds you that yeah sometimes you wanna just hit your other friend for being different, but hell... you'd have their back in a bar fight any day.
4. Wrestling or Brawling: Birthed from boredom and an over abundance of testosterone in the room. Keep your bravado in check and beware of the dude pitching a tent, this can get real gay, real quick. If its two friends who need to iron out some anger, just let it happen and officiate in an unbiased way. If we learned anything from "The Quiet Man" its that sometimes fighting is necessary because if you let angst boil, its gonna spill out to a hellacious result eventually.
5. The Ass-tronaut: Sheer gayness. More of a prank than anything. When your fellow Bro Montana hovers with a bare ass over your head then wakes you up and farts in your face. This generally warrants an ass punch or a kung-fu chop to the groin, and then get Pelé on his ass with some soccer kicks.
6. The Ball Tap: This is for those who warrant swift retribution. This is something you do when a brother leaves you hanging or blatantly defies a plea for help. Use sparingly.
7. The Trout: Something most are unfamiliar with. Its when you take a flat palm and slap the inner thighs of your friend in a rapid motion to assimilate a trout tail slapping your femoral region. Its funny, and yet it leaves most people in either shock or a squirming unfamiliar feeling. Reactions are hysterical for first timers. Beware of overusing on seasoned trout victims. If done for long periods of time, they develop a-thousand yard stare and talk about their legs as weathered stumps.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Editor Dave Carnie coined the term in the skateboard magazine Big Brother in the 1990s to refer specifically to the sort of relationships that develop between skaters who spent a great deal of time together.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I'm getting slower with my writing because frankly I'm either working, reading, or hunting. Nothing personal fans, but when it come to either discussing all things of relevance or pouncing on some weighty venison, I'll take my thirst for deer blood any day. A liberal friend of mine and professional Facebook Rebel-rouser passed along a report from Citi-Group in 2006 discussing the despairingly large gap between the rich and poor and essentially a smaller number of middle class individuals. Asked to place a thought I figured why not. So I pose the question to you, the reader... how would you solve this 'crisis'? Being the supply-side thinker my thoughts afterward turned immediately to our tax code, something that has been in need of reform wince the 16th amendment. Damn the 16th amendment. For those of you who are unfamiliar with our tax code it is nearly 67,000 pages long. In 1913, the Fed income tax was designed to apply to the wealthiest 1% of earners, that grew to 5% in 1939, and the after World War 2 75% of the U.S. With that those dumbasses in Washington on both sides of the aisle, we let them create an all encompassing bargaining chip that has been intrusively growing into our lives more and more. Now that 67,000 page document didn't start out at that length, its grown over the years. It was only 14 pages long at its inception. What has happened you ask? Well theres 2 real distinct objectives within a tax code. One, favors can be done for special interest groups and hidden in the complex framework; and two, the tax code can crush an enemy without leaving broken bones and reward political allies without leaving a paper trail. If you control the tax code, you control your friends and enemies.
This enables some slight of hand work, those tricksters. This is a reason with a degree of success that political hostility has been aimed at those evil oil companies and insurance companies. More taxes are added thus creating higher costs. Look at the Laffer Curve if you jamokes want a better understanding of macro economics. So what does all this mean Duke when we biol this shit down? To quote the preeminent thespian of our time Samuel L. Jackson, "hold on to your butts!"
If you haven't found this out yet our government dosen't care that much about you... all they have on their mind is power. How to stay in power. How to get more power. How to centralize power. How to destroy competitive power. Read a book if you have any doubts about such ordeals, or attend a middle school for more details on this. With it on their mind, they choose to minimize the power brokers, thus making the tax code complex to strangle out free market competition. This kills the middle class and gives the corporations even greater strength. Should the rich get richer? Why not, thats the spirit of meritocracy, become better and stronger. However when you hinder those young entrepreneurs who are out there using elbow grease to make a name and a living, you hinder the spirit of the free market. Capitalism isn't failing, the government is failing to enable TRUE capitalism. Our complex tax code makes it easy for politicians on both sides to screw the pooch. Only when we take back our government and make politicians responsible for this, can we hope to have change in this area, until then the gap will grow.
How do we solve it? A bracketed flat tax system. Russia has since adopted one and its helped them pay down there debt. Enough with these buoyant taxes that crush businesses and households. Our nation is over 11 trillion dollars in the hole because of excessive spending in bailouts to the automotive industry, an embarrassing failure of a stimulus package aimed at further government growth, and an out of control congress that throws money at fish tank experimentation projects in the Sudan. When we raise the taxes on people, the rich move and the middle class stay. Why? Because they are traditionally planted in such places. Another cause. We have to stop taxing to death and creating unnecessary programs. The top 1% of earners in the U.S. paid 39% of the federal income tax, the top 5% paid 61%, and the top 40% paid 99.4%. Holy COW! 47% OF FAMILIES DON'T PAY FEDERAL INCOME TAXES! Are you getting this... our government is a bunch of thieves.
I'm going to leave you with the words of a man who dealt with more hate mail than Jon Gosselin and George Bush combined... Abe Lincoln. He says..."Property is the fruit of labor...property is desirable...is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is house less pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, "Reply to New York Workingmen's Democratic Republican Association" (March 21, 1864), pp. 259-260.
Monday, October 19, 2009
My goal with this blog has always been to influenza people... get it? Before you roll your eyes I ask that you heed my request and finish this entry. Believe it or not influenza means influence in Italian and since were entering the season I thought itd be good to bring everyone up to speed on this nasty little disease. Last Saturday afternoon I got my nasally-injected vaccine and made the joke "H1N1 is the loneliest number". It didn't have the sardonic impact I hoped it would, but it got my mind wrapped around the flu and its overall affect in the past century. To be honest I immediately formed in my mind a compilation CD with flu-like symptoms including Cat Scratch Fever, the ballad from "Grease", "I got chill's, they're multiplying..." and Mariah Carey's "Weakness of the Body". I stopped after that. This past April, the world became familiar with the aforementioned strand commonly referred to as the "swine flu" coming from pigs, humans and birds. In June the WHO declared this new amogamation a global pandemic level 6. This was because of H1N1's ability to spread to far reaches of the globe, not on its severity. The worst pandemics in history, were rated considerably less and have produced some lofty results in the realm of global mortality. Going back to the Russian flu of 1889-1890 we see nearly a million deaths worldwide. Holy Cow! Quite the amount, but it only gets worse. The Spanish flu from 1918-1920 which is regarded as the worst in history left anywhere from 50 to 100-million people dead, 17 million alone in India and over a half-million in the U.S. CW Potter a professor at the University of Sheffield Medical School declared this to be "the greatest medical holocaust in history" and may have killed more people than the Black Death. People like FDR and Walt Disney made it through this, but not Donald Trump's grandfather Frederick or famed economist Max Weber (guy I admire). Drink a beer for these poor bastards if you get the chance. But other pandemics have ensued over the years to include the Asian flu in 1957-58 where over a million died and the Hong Kong flu in '68 and '69 with a little less than a million. However, these others were of different strands... the swine flu (H1N1) is the same strand as the Spanish flu! I know! I need this like I need diarrhea on the Appalachian Trail! Education and faith are the best ways of dealing with such things. Ultimately the decisions you make will affect you and those you care about, so tread lightly. Personal responsibility is the greatest freedom were afforded, because it reminds us we have some control over our lives. However, use your freedoms wisely and know that it requires great humility... they're intrinsic, not mutually exclusive. Also remember this...
Fear: a balancing act between normality and idiocy. It paralyzes the majority, but gives clarity to some.
Friday, October 16, 2009
If you're going to try and out-nerd me, I already concede, I'm a luke-warm trekkie and even subtler fanboy, but I hold this... I was born into a world that made fun of people who merely uttered an affection for these films, and I was a victim. Sure I had Jurassic Park sheets, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle garbage can and numerous other memorabilia. I still have a Lord of the Rings sword on my wall, and hell yes I still have a Darth Maul cup from Taco Bell! However, somewhere deep inside my being, my most prized nerd trophy is a Klingon dictionary. Make lifetime virgin jokes until your gut hurts, but this little book has provided hours of self-entertainment. I bought it at a ride in Las Vegas and immediately began to use it just to get a laugh. I knew by having that in my possession that 1 of 2 things would happen. 1. A difficult and reclusive social life spending my Friday nights hanging with my parents and watching Battlestar Galactica (the old one) would overtake me or 2. a self-acknowledgement of being nerdy and facing the ridicule of friends would allow me to actually have a life. I chose 2. But my early childhood (Im talking like 7 or 8) had me emulate Captain Kirk (even after his bullshit demotion in ST4, OK Ill stop) not because I was wrapped up in sci-fi, but he represented what was cool about America. He kicked ass and shot down ships. He was like the great English sea mariners of old who lived by a code, and that code was... get out of my way. Now Star Trek always had an allegorical context to it, the Klingons representing the Russians, now the Vulcans representing the Israelis so it keeps a sense of importance that shows how valuable fantasy and science fiction has become. The 6th film, represents the end of the Cold War, quite possibly the greatest representation of a peaceful conclusion we'll ever see and this is why Star Trek is valuable, and even more-so Captain Kirk. For years this genre has represented our greatest fears and anxieties, but what happens when it shows our great triumphs. Captain Kirk died a shitty, stupid death on-screen. I mean a fucking rock fell on him? The man who impregnated alien nations, saved whales, worlds, and all mankind was given the screen death equivalent to Piggy from "Lord of the Flies" Its cinematic injustice! But Kirk always aimed for the mission to succeed even at great peril, and personal cost. The biggest lesson is that sometimes making the unpopular decision is the right decision, and getting your hands dirty is required, something that I think a lot of people in the world aren't willing to do. My suggestion to those in power, those who are over-seeing 2 wars... get the torpedos!
Prick us do we not bleed, tickle us do we not laugh, wrong us, shall we not revenge!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
This might fit along the lines of a journal entry but Im not going to turn it into a fluff piece on how I take picture of flowers and find the vibrant beauty of a radish, but I would like to tell my faithful readers how I've changed for the better in the last few months. I'll start with the biggest plunge I've taken... I'm attending Catholic mass. While I was baptized Catholic I had little ties to it since my parents pro-created me. And you all thought I was stork brought, HA! Asswipes! But in going to mass I find something I've had little of the last few years, a tradition thats stood the test of time. A bond that links the liturgy of old with the spirituality of new. I will always get my kicks out of the new evangelism movement, but I afford myself an anchor, a constant system. Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus, but then... what is denominations purpose? I find it to be the strict parent or boarding school teacher. They aren't terribly fun, but you respect them because they've seen where the cyclical season of life take individuals. It's earthly mentor ship in the ministry. The Catholics know there faults, they know there strengths, but they always tend to be bedrocks of faith. For me, of late, they fit. Another thing Ive been trying my hand at is yoga. Trust me, plenty of gay jokes have already surfaced, I expect nothing less of my Pennsylvanian friends, because I'd honestly be doing the same thing. I recently left a facebook status regarding my second attempt as "Zach Strewn had his Yoga instructor baffled upon revealing to her that it was only his 2nd class... Some call me the Yoga prodigy, others call me the Miracle on the Mat. In tight-knit circles I go by the Sultan of asanas, or the Titan of tantra. Know this though... I was born... to Yoga". Now I realize my ability to come off ostentatious and narcissistic plays up to audience (all of the dedicated 3... oh, shoot, I have 4 followers now), but I really was complimented and I did better than a few of the huskier people. Maybe it was because I was trying, but its enjoyable. Its helping me to become more conscience of something I would otherwise dismiss as fruity or stuff Fabio would do. To keep it pithy, the change I'll address is doing laundry, and ironing my clothing... or taking my appearance more important I should say rather. Ironing clothes sucks. I oft think of hell being a laundry mat, and Satan being the cranky minority lady who runs the joint like its the E-ring at the Pentagon. The thing I've learned from it though, is that you ACTUALLY have go through with the WHOLE process, no half-assing. There's a reason God didn't make sheep have self-flattening hair. We were meant to deal with all the idiosyncratic bullshit that society imposes on us IF want to be taken seriously... why? Because it reminds you of responsibility... responsibility to your self, others, and even to God.
Enjoy the changes God's working in you! Oh and feel free to comment on both my good looks and my blog entries!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
If I were the inventor of dynamite, such as Mr. Alfred Nobel was, I would've created a Nobel Prize in mathematics. In 1895 he decided to create the awards as a testament to the achievements of mankind in five areas; including physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace. Finally in 1901 they were awarded annually. Eventually they began to award the medal for economics under a slightly longer, not-as-to-the-point name. Why no mathematics? And why was economics not part of the original awards? Let me first divulge that previous winners of the Peace Medal have included the likes of Yasser Arafat, Lê Ðức Thọ, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, and now Barack Obama. Of course the Dhali Llama was a recipient in 1989, but recently our President chose to not meet with him because they want to improve relations with China. Huh? Who doesn't meet with the Dhali Llama? But I digress... mathematics, playing with numbers. Benjamin Peirce called mathematics "the science that draws necessary conclusions". Mathematics do not lie, its natures quanitative indicator. I believe that mathematics is intrinsic to common sense logic, and systematic reasoning. Is it any wonder why Pythagoras of Samos (creator of the Pythagorean theorem)was a revered and well-known philosopher? Mathematics solves problems with regard to logic. So why did Alfred Nobel choose to ignore mathematics up front? I have little proof on an exaggerated conspiracy, but you have to wonder if his original intentions or beliefs can be seen in today's prizes? Does someone deserve a preemptive award? Do they deserve the award if they have committed former acts of terror or aid in the escalation of a world war? I mean, hell... Ghandi, Reagan, Mother Theresa, many who deserved the award never got it. My point? Pro/ Con lists... what stacks up and wins. Some folks in Oslo agreed that it was better to give President Obama the award now then later, ok... fair enough. But then its not an award, its a recognition. Its an indicator of what the world wants him to be. Awards take work, and he has not done anything to warrant this. Regardless of past recipient's ideology, it lends the argument, no... the fact that the Nobel Peace Prize is a novelty, a club medal, a trophy for good sportsmanship with the world-leader establishment... it holds no weight, nor any integrity. Mathematics, had they been acknowledged by the committee as an award, would've lent to honest discussion of the number of nations Obama's changed, the ADDITION of dollars he's spent to "STIMULATE" the economy, the MULTIPLICATION of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the SUBTRACTION of jobs, the INCREASE of czars he's hired, the DIVISIONS of Americans he so promised to help heal, the TOTAL of taxes his administration has been introducing to congress, and other NUMBERS that can explain his true intentions. Numbers and economics are not on our President's side, nor is science, and his 2 biographies certainly wouldn't warrant such an award in literature (I read his first). I however hope for our nations sake, that he would one day warrant this in peace (I do)... too bad the man who could have one day earned this, is the man who fundamentally made it a joke. I digress to the words of a man I admire... "The laws of common sense do not change according to scale." Maybe a President who can acknowledge common sense could make decisions that benefit the peace we all want, even if he/she never gets a medal.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
1. The Fanny Pack is your friend. I’m a backpack guy, no doubt, but sometimes youre just needing a third cargo pocket so that pesky janitor size key set doesn’t puncture your oysters. I was hesitant to pick up the 90’s symbol for soccer mom-esque packwear. An ass purse for men… next, we last few on the high end of bravado would be touting shower caddys. But I embraced the fannie pack and it has become an unlikely ally in big city living. Snacks, metro cards, money, a multi-tool, blackberry…. All can be safely left in the hands of my good friend Fannie.
2. Don’t hit on chicks with Adam’s apples. Not that I’ve learned this from experience, but friends tend to pass on universal truths and this one ranks up there.
3. Develop street cred with the local gang of 10 year olds. These little tyrants know all, and having both their allegiance and respect wields an incredible power. Kids know who gives the best candy at trick-r-treat, they know the meanest dog in the neighborhood, and they know which restaurant is best to dumpster dive behind. They can also be used to get information on newly single neighbors, and the schedule of the ice cream truck.
4. Monitor pigeon flight patterns. These birds will shit on you! Vigilance is the best defense regarding the dove’s evil twin. I’ve developed my own walking pattern to counter act a ravenous onslaught of these terrors. I simply make zigzag patterns to confuse their primitive minds. I never use the same zigzag pattern. Never let your enemy get comfortable with your movements, remain unpredictable to the pigeon, and the pigeon will lose. Do not tire, do not falter. Stay strong even in the midst of uncertain victory… because bird shit, just doesn’t stain your clothes, it stains your soul.
5. Always talk about how Irish you are. Even if the only Irish you’ve ever been exposed to is Leprechaun 3, tout the hell out of it! Because by God, you worship the land Mr. Guinness walked on! In a city enviroment you need people to believe you attended the “Zach Strawn School for BAMFs”. The most diplomatic way of saying don’t screw with me however is to advertise your lineage to some of the craziest bastards the good Lord has ever made… those from the Emerald Isle. We Irish have a crazy charm to us that lets us get away with cursing, drinking, getting rowdy, and looking like an ignorant ass. For some reason, people love it… and respect it. After Braveheart came out, people didn’t want to piss of the Scots, but it was that crazy fuck from Ireland that had people recognize who to not mess with. And lets face it, in a city with tough minority types, why not have the toughest in your corner.
6. Abandon chivalry on the Subway. When it comes to grabbing the train, hold no mercy in your heart. I’ve had little old ladies push me out the door on a packed sub car. I’ve been bamboozled out of seats by sweet innocent girl scouts. Even accepting an Angela Lansbury gesture of goodwill could be the death blow you’ve always feared. I take no prisoners when it comes to getting on trains. I make no friends. I talk to no one. If a pregnant woman on the subway asks for a seat you look at her as if she just walked out of a Hollywood prop trailer because that belly bump is an excuse to get your seat.
7. Make the Chinese Buffett your Mecca. Fewer things bring as much delight as unlimited cafeteria style food made by the world’s greatest ethnic improvisers. Chances are youll be broke as a joke and looking for a coke. Sure the fries always suck at a Chinese buffett, but you get to eat truly obscure shit like yams, or General Tso’s chicken, or unlimited egg roles. And lets be honest… sometimes, unlimited egg roles is the best medicine after a hard day of Facebook stalking.
Monday, October 5, 2009
ACORN!!! Being an intern at a "certain news corporation", I've gotten to see these soup sandwiches up-close. For the full story watch "Fox News Reporting: The Truth About ACORN" on You-Tube because it will give you the genesis of the organization. Let me just say, it amazes me how powerful a grass roots organization can become, and how entangled their operation is. I'll also state that Wade Rathke (ACORN founder) is a genius. Diabolical? Certainly. His interviews go from calm, cool, and somewhat charming to out-right annoyed. Meghan Kelly definitely sticks it to him in the post-sex sting video revelations. But ACORN also represents the worst of cronyism and radicalism. Stanley Kurtz says it correctly... ACORN is a de facto socialist organization, only instead of toppling a regime, it permeates it from the ground up. When an organization can bully and manipulate with mass numbers (i.e. the poor) you can build a private army. Are they responsible for the housing crisis, the sub-prime lender crisis, banks not lending, immense numbers of voter fraud counts and the fraudulent Al Franken victory? Is the sky blue? Did OJ do it? Will Jon and Kate Plus 8 survive without Jon? In a contest of America's nicest lesbians would Ellen DeGeneres win? YES! Watch it!
I find myself laughing every time I see another actor, director, or studio exec stand up for an "important issue" or for one of their colleagues. Everything from Will Ferrell portraying insurance companies as evil, to Leo's passion project on global warming have demonstrated a complete isolation of thought that resembles an elitism mingled with complete narcicism. It almost feels that the sympathy, social justice advocates, and green conscious Hollywood crowd believes they are America's beating heart. Even the latest Michael Moore yarn is about the "evils of capitalism". Now granted, Hollywood has been the easiest target for middle America the last few years but, why does it seem that they get louder and louder? Why do God-fearing, gun-toting, 4x4 driving Americans put up with a new morality being imposed, at the cost of being lampooned? We sacrifice our moral fiber for the price of entertainment. Quite simply, some days we want to laugh, or cry, or get an adrenaline rush from our lazy-boy recliner. We've given power to an unchecked body... the media. Media distrust is probably the oldest form of skepticism in American culture, right up there with our government (thanks to Roswell). But its not the deeper conspiracy that overcooks my grits... its the flagrant disregard of sanity. David Duchovny (Mulder)talked about his 8 yr-old kid masturbating on a talk show. David Letterman making jokes about rape, and then admitting to having sex with some of his staffers. I mean really. Don't get me wrong, I like low-brow humor, BUT WHEN DO WE DRAW THE LINE? Now we have Roman Polanski, a very talented director whose capture for a crime committed years previous has led to an onslaught of Tinseltown's most loved to voice their opinion in favor of the proven rapist. Their argument... "well, it was so long ago." I say BOLDERDASH! It amazes me that people are willing to flip shit over Michael Vick coming back to the NFL, but Polanski gets a sympathetic following of devout fans. This even after Vick's institutionalized reformation, steps he took both forcefully and willingly. People like Martin Scorcese go from my book of respect to my book of smashed ass holes. Hollywood has hijacked the credibility of credible science, they've tampered with our constitutional understanding and our national defense. They use talent, humor, music, and blend it with fringe opinions and left-leaning agendas. If it continues down this route, Im sure the federal government will bail Hollywood out too... much like it has the automotive industry, The New York Times, the banks, and other bankrupt institutions...
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Cold sores. They suck, plain and simple. Regardless of whether people look at you like you just made out with a toilet seat, a cold sore already thrusts you into the same league of extraordinary gentlemen as Tommy Lee, Mick Jagger, and all those other hapless heathens of rock and roll. Recent links of cold sores to alzheimers doesn't exactly scream a peachy-keen outlook either on the condition. So what is a brother to do beside amp up on beta caradine, healing cream, and crossword puzzles? Well... theres not much. One time on a date I used an excuse that I had eaten a hot pizza bagel, whom most of you could testify can be blazing hot (if made correctly). Obviously the girl saw past my web of deceit, and looked for reasonable ways to make an exodus. I think her official reason was that she "moonlit as a superhero". So while some girls look at you for that brief 10 day period as a leper, here are a few tips to avoid the boat to Molokai. Grow a beard. Smoke and mirrors folks. A little rugged scruff can cover the face like a jungle canopy. The sore won't be able to hide like Charlie did in NAM, but its a start. Constantly reverse pucker. A constant bitter beer face will show people youre not afraid to guzzle brews long after the expiration date, and it will completely cover the sporadic nuisance on yo face. Lastly, just let it go. Sometimes the best bet is to say, eh to hell with it.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Quite the opposite of an entry on God. Just today I finished "The Nine: Inside the Secrets of the Supreme Court". While not the greatest page-turner, it helped me realize even more who and what really pulls the strings on our marionette nation. The Supreme Court tends to be the branch, most politically saavy individuals turn a blind eye to. Its a body of nine who interpret the constitution of our beloved republic. In reading this book I was able to mold my own constitutional understanding. I find myself drawn to originalist belief which takes the document as it stands. While some believe some aspects are anachronistic (i.e. the second amendment), I retreat to the opinion that if we disregard one, we'll end up disregarding all. People blatantly forget that a lot of our fore fathers hated each other, but they came together to blend philosophy, religion, society, science, economics, and thousands of years of political thought. Our constitution is our law. If we break that law and nothing is done, it gives no credibility to the law. Lawlessness begets lawlessness. While this book tends left I have to say it is a phenomenal read. It highlights the last 11 years of the Rehnquist court and the early Roberts reign. The decisions, the stories, the passion, and the personalities make our high court the most interesting body to study. To hear of Scalia calling Breyer a commie, and Breyer insinuating his colleague a militant nationalist, all the while doing it through note passing during a case makes me laugh. Not to mention Rehnquist's scolding of them as the patriarch of the justices. Vignettes like these give birth to thought that interpreters of our constitution can be ideological counterparts, yet still enjoy each others presence. It gives praise to political stability and our constitution to hear of unlikely friendships. Im a conservative, and I believe its the only way I can approach my life, and it works. That does not mean I think liberalism isn't needed. It is... but within the confines of our constitution (this is why I'm vehemently against universal health care, yet indifferent to gay marriage). Ive seen liberalism work and it does not fit my philosophy to best live my life. If liberals... and conservatives can live within the guard rails of constitutional law, then our society can live peacefully. John Adams once said that, "We are a nation of laws." I am inspired by our new court and even Justice Sotomayor's views. Sure she is left of center, but within the mainstream, but there could be a shake-up. Is she a stealth candidate for the pro-life cause (being the 5th catholic on the bench)? Time will only tell. The court in the 90's represented a rightward shift in regards to religion, responding to the Clinton administration. The early 2000's titlted left in response to the Bush years, before the resigning of O'Conner. So will the stronger right tilt influence Sotomayor... we'll see. But my interest also lies that if the ideologically drawn court will sustain the commradery I read about? Can conservatives, liberals and the moderate Kennedy all co-exist? Ask Mary Matlin and James Carville?
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