Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bits and pieces

Well, this post, folks, is going to be somewhat long, I fear. Not only that, but it will require some research. Oh, no! (Yeah, I'm afraid so.)

It will be in three or four sections, the first one or two of which will include interesting tidbits from the news of the day. The next section, which will have a bold header, will be the one that I will have tried to research. The last section will (hopefully) be an 'upper'. I personally dislike focusing on negative things, and so will try and remove whatever bad taste you might still have remaining in your mouth from reading and thinking about the boldly-headlined subject.

I'm not trying to discourage questions or comments on the negative issue. On the contrary, I welcome thoughtful debate.

That said, let's begin. First of all, I feel obliged to say that this blog site is not now, never has been, nor ever will be a gossip column! I have no intention whatsoever of publishing people's names or their possible activities out there in the public blogosphere that have only appeared in my dreams.

Florida is 'reaping' the benefit of being our country's largest producer of tomatoes. More than 1,000 people nationwide have been afflicted with some sort of ailment that seems to be related to the consumption of tomatoes. While the FDA cannot point its finger directly at Florida's produce as being the problem, it will not clear them, either! Ridiculous! Florida is caught out there in limboland while the controversy rages on.

Congress' latest 'approval' rating is at 14%, half of "W's" approval rating of 28%. I can think of nothing to add that would soften the harsh reality of these disgraceful statistics!

Phyllis Diller is 91 years old (!?!) today. Heavens!! Do you remember when she first appeared on TV? (Doesn't really seem like yesterday, but it doesn't seem that long ago, either!) One of her favorite lines was, "This isn't hair. Those are nerve endings." (or some such) Funny, funny woman!

Mexican nationals' rights ...

I began my research into this issue, and found that the media has for some time now relinquished headlines to other, 'more important', matters. I'm going to have to dig a little deeper. [Utter nonsense, Goldenrod! It's quite obvious that you didn't look at ALL!! It's plastered all over the front page of our local rag!!!]

Meanwhile, let's go to what I heard on talk radio (while traveling in the car to and from the store) this morning, OK? (Keep in mind that it was a live broadcast and the phone lines were 'jammed', according to the host, for over two hours, thus proving that this topic is FAR from exhausted in -- at least -- the local public's mind!)

[Of course the local public was all over it! Goldenrod, if you'd bothered to watch or listen to the news at ALL on Wednesday or even as late as this morning, you would have known what everyone was so "up in the air" about.

It seems that there are five convicted Mexican national murderers on death row here in Texas (51 Mexican nationals are imprisoned nationwide), one of whom -- Jose Ernesto Medellin, age 33 -- is scheduled to be executed on August 5th. Mr. Medellin was convicted for the 1993 kidnapping, rape, and strangulation of Houston teenagers Elizabeth Pena and Jennifer Ertman. He would have been 18 years old at the time.]

I heard things like, "Let's put them in a prison here in the States that is the equivalent of one of their prisons and then bill Mexico for the cost of their room and board." (The cost estimates vary for detaining, feeding, and housing a prisoner according to 'our' standards from $30,000 to $50,000 per year.)

Then there was this supposed "World Court Tribunal" trying to get into the middle of everything. What was THAT all about??

[Come on, Goldenrod! Get with the current program, will you? The Mexican government petitioned the United Nations a month ago to halt the scheduled executions to allow for a review of the convicted murderers' cases. Such review would hopefully determine whether or not denying them access to the Mexican Consulate after their arrests impaired their trial defenses.

The Geneva Convention stipulates that, upon request, an alien offender's national consulate MUST (stress is mine) be notified of his arrest.

On Wednesday, the United Nations' International Court of Justice called for a stay. Texas' Governor Perry subsequently stated that the executions would be carried out as previously scheduled.]

To me, the problem seems to come down to just one question: When you are in a foreign country, are you subject to its laws or not? Does it matter whether or not you have entered that country illegally?

[Obviously, if I'd been on top of the news, this paragraph would have been worded a little differently. It's a valid question, but not quite on point.]

That is only one of the issues on the public's mind today. Another is the question as to whether or not the 'guilty as charged defendant' should or should not receive the death penalty, as provided for under Texas' law.

I should tell you that I am of very mixed opinions on this. Some years ago, I read John Grisham's book, "The Chamber". A very well-written book (as many of his are), it caused me to re-think my opinion about the death penalty. It didn't make me change my opinion, but definitely made me think even more seriously about it.

I'm going to move on. I realize that we are nowhere near finished with our discussion on this topic, but I am ready to 'call it a day' with my reporting and opinions. As always, however, I invite your comments and any questions that might lead to a substantive dialogue.

[The original of this post was published many hours ago. Unless you read that first post, before its many edits, you will never know how insulting it sounded. (At least, I found it so!) I should NEVER have published what I had written while I was in such a foul mood. If you thought it insulting, as well, I apologize. My insensitive comments were directed at no one in particular, and were the result of my frustration at being personally unable to affect any positive change.]

Paul Harvey, as some of you might know, has had his share of health problems over the last few years.

He and George Putnam, per Wikipedia (WHO is George Putnam? Serious question here ... just showing my ignorance.), are among the very few remaining radio announcers who are "older than the medium itself", Wiki says. (Paul will be 90 in September.)

ANYhoo, today I had the pleasure of hearing Paul's son do a 10-15 minute taped show on the radio. TWICE it was announced that Paul would be doing his own radio show this Saturday. I'll have to look up the local programming for it.

Tonight? For me?? After I take my nap, I'm going to watch part three of "Pride and Prejudice" on PBS.

[PS. Nap taken. Show watched and thoroughly enjoyed. Research concluded. Post extensively re-written. Goodnight, all!]


Craig Peihopa said...

I love Phyllis Diller Goldenrod, and found the thoughts about the mexicans very interesting. There is a lot happening in the world. I love this medium that allows us windows into people and into the lives of others. Tomato related problems from Florida? I would understand that from the festival in Spain, but not Florida.

Love your thoughtful musings on the world around you.

Goldenrod said...

You've been "thoughtfully musing" yourself, Craig! I was really upset with myself yesterday. When you get the chance, read my follow-up, "A little of this, a little of that", published just a short time ago.

Hey! By any chance, do you remember the show Phyllis did (think it was on Johnny Carson's) where she was complaining about her dress? (Host) asked, "What's wrong with your dress?" Phyllis simply raised her arms in the air to reply-- didn't have to 'say' ANYthing!