Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Man Cannot Live By Hard News Alone

Despite the bombings in Bali this past Saturday, I must admit that I've been keeping a relatively blind eye to the fallout unfolding in Indonesia in favor of a few fluff items over the past few days; in addition to the Yankees making the playoffs -- an occurrence I doubted throughout much of this season -- I also discovered that the much-heralded Cream reunion held in May at the Royal Albert Hall in London was released today both as a concert DVD and a CD.

Normally, most HoB regulars would be ripping me a new one, suggesting my interest in passing fancies like the Yankees and Eric Clapton should be shelved in favor of more significant fare, such as but not only the Bali attacks, which were relatively significant, and the recently-announced nomination of Harriet Miers to succeed Sandra Day O'Connor as a Justice to the Supreme Court. However, while I have been researching and reviewing the events leading up to and surrounding the Bali attacks, and have already (like many) come to a distinct conclusion vis-a-vis Ms. Miers' nomination, I've also similarly realized that man -- and Boogie -- cannot live by hard news alone.

Certainly, the attacks in Bali are troubling: occurring almost a year after similar attacks took place, the most notable thing about the attacks -- aside from the fact that three separate but nearly simultaneous bombs were detonated, in organized, premeditated fashion -- was that they each targeted heavily-trafficked tourist areas. The goal, then, is not only to kill or injure or intimidate as many as possible -- despite the large majority of fatalities/injuries being Balinese -- but to isolate and to repel as many foreigners as possible. I'm not sure if this action was brought as a political or financial statement -- or both -- but it certainly speaks volumes about the people that are happily perpetrating these types of attacks that, for the most part, hurt Muslims. What it suggests, in either case, is that the world is becoming a larger battlefield, in the eyes of extremists, which must be divided between Islam and the rest of the Judeo-Christian world.

As for the aforementioned nomination of Harriet Miers, there are some troubling, if familiar, factors to consider. The first, and certainly most notable, is the issue of Cronyism, which seems to be George W. Bush's response to appointments and nominations. Ms. Miers is a talented, ambitious attorney -- she's known as a conciliator and an even-handed mediator -- but since she's never been a judge (and is most well-known, these days, for performing as White House Counsel, prior to being Mr. Bush's personal counsel when he was Governor of Texas) the nomination reeks of favoritism. There is no doubt she is legally and intellectually qualified -- but since she has rarely, if ever, taken a stand on any "hot-button" issues (abortion, gay rights, civil rights, etc.) her nomination must be taken at face value. That means that the majority of conservative Republicans will rubber-stamp her confirmation and that many Democrats will attempt to discern 30+ years of legal and intellectual capability in a three-day panel.

Between the devastation in New Orleans, the ongoing war in Iraq and the nomination of Ms. Miers, one doesn't have to consider long and hard the eventual legacy of George W. Bush.

Hence, confronted with Bali and Ms. Miers, I have focused on the Yankees and Cream. Tomorrow I plan on picking up a copy of each of the DVD and the CD of the Cream set, and I'm looking forward to the Yankees (hopefully) going 2-0 against the Angels.

Or as someone once wrote: man -- and Boogie -- cannot live by hard news alone.

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