Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Post July 4th thoughts

The nation's birthday has come and gone, Major League Baseball's All Star game has happened, the immigration bill died in congress, and two former Presidents are briefly in the news. Regarding the July 4th holiday, we had a subdued celebration this year. I had planned on marching with the local Democratic party organization in the local parade, but was unable to make it. The teen moralist vegetarian has started working, the pre teen animal whisperer is trying to find a veterinarians office that will let someone her age volunteer, and the saint is looking for work in her field (computer networking).

I'm officially "off" for the "summer" (basically the latter half of June and the first half of July) but have been going in to school anyway to make sure that records, schedules, and reports are caught up before school starts up again in early August. Have had time to read a few good books though, among them Departing Glory: Theodore Roosevelt as ex-President, by Joseph L. Gardner (a 1973 book that still holds up very well), and 1912: Wilson, Roosevelt, Taft and Debs -The Election that Changed the Country, by James Chace, whose previous books include a biography of Truman's Secretary of State Dean Acheson. I enjoyed both books, interesting to see how progressive Theodore Roosevelt became after he left the White House, among other things. Next up is a more recent (2005) biography of TR's post Presidential life and activities, When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt After the White House, by Patricia O'Toole to see how it compares with the other two books.

As I mentioned earlier, two brief news notes of past Presidencies, "Lady Bird" Johnson, President Lyndon Johnson's wife passed away. She was a proponent of conservation causes, and was a dignified First Lady and had lived to the age of 94. My prayers go out to her family.

In another news item I noticed that the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and birthplace is now under Federal control and the new director, Timothy Naftali is promising that the Library will attempt to portray a more objective view of the Nixon Presidency and Watergate than the Library had when it was privately run.

In closing, I wish I could say that I was disappointed that the Immigration Reform Bill didn't pass, but any finished product was going to be so far right wing and bigoted that the country is better off. Interesting how some folks claim "amnesty" includes fines, back taxes, and other legal penalties when applied to hard working people who came to this country for a better life, but then blithely support a convicted individual like "Scooter" Libby not having to serve any time. Guess there's "amnesty" and then amnesty.

God Bless, till next post.