Monday, 13 July 2009

A History Moment

The president says that he wants the lessons of slavery taught in American schools.

It’s an interesting philosophy.....the more you read....the more you understand. At some point, some kid is going to ask if all these guys were captured by various other black tribes in Africa and sold by them....to English, French or Spanish merchants....and then the instructor is going to realize that the kids are asking a very pointed question that you really don’t want to answer.

Almost all of these sales business....was a barter system where cattle or products were swapped to a tribe who had conducted a war and captured enemy members. They didn’t want to mess around with the enemy members and they ended up with something of a more preferred value. At this point, you start to get into a discussion that is probably more preferred to avoid. Black tribes swapped black captured members? Black tribes profited off of this? Black tribes conducted these swaps for not just years or decades but for well over 150 years? The US connection to this mess? From 1776 to 1860...less than 90 years.

At some point, the discussion then drifts to the market circumstances of the US in 1776 and how it differs from today....and things came to be in the 1850s. This is a huge area of history that most professors readily avoid today because it doesn’t equal what people were told in high school or basic college history classes. How did the failure of the French import of peasants in the Louisiana region in the early 1600s spell the start of this entire business?

This leads to an entire discussion on the method of farming that the Germans and British brought....versus the Scottish type farming method in the Carolinas....versus the French method in the Louisiana region....versus Spanish non-effort farming.

In this case, the more you know....the less that established political agendas start to fill evenly and people start to drift off into directions you weren’t expecting.

Adding to this mess...is the fact that Latinos will be “the minority” within the next five years. There will be at least two states where they run internal politics by 2015. So whatever effort folks want to expend here.....might not be a profitable investment in the long run.

At the end of this discussion....some kid will finally ask why Africa hasn’t advanced in 1,000 years and why corruption is so rampant today....and the whole effort made here will have been wasted.

The Real Issue with Sotomayor

Here is my issue (one and really only).

You see....Judge Sotomayor has a heath issue....diabetes. The White House stepped around this issue and said that she was handling the problem via diet and control. I sat and was amused by the comment. They basically identified her level and her significant problem.

I worked with a diabetic and know precisely what diet and control means. A true diabetic is trying to live a very strict diet. They get up and know precisely what they can eat and how much. They know the schedule to check their sugar level. They know the lunch schedule and what they will eat. They know the snack possibilities. They know the sugar-burn walk in the afternoon. They know the beverages that they can consume and when. At the end of the day, if everything went precisely by their schedule and nothing greatly physical or demanding occurred....then it was a good idea.

There are a thousand things which can go wrong.

When my associate was in the office....I kept a bowl of simple chocolates on my desk. If he screwed up or was late on a insulin shot.....he came to my desk and I knew he was hitting a low and was in trouble.

I've walked into the office at 10AM and met my associate, and then realized he had this funny look on his face. Immediately, I would ask about his level.....and then he'd grasp his situation.

His control was never absolute. I always sat in fear that he'd have a collapse.

The mental judgment of a diabetic? It's always questionable. They might be 100 percent in concentration....they might be 50 percent. They might say something really stupid while in a bad sugar low.

So here is a Judge who wants to be on the Supreme Court and is a diabetic. Frankly, it won't last long.

The scenario? She makes it. Sometime between now and Christmas....she has an attack....and hopefully its not during a session.

Between Christmas and next summer....two more episodes. By the end of 2010....at least one more episode. It'll be around this episode that several of the major media organizations finally says something. They will question her ability to do the job and concentrate in a highly demanding job.

Sometime around the end of 2012....after eight episodes....she will signal that she's had enough and will step down. In the midst of the Presidential election.....her slot will come back up to be filled yet again and become a huge political episode.

This is my problem with the Judge. In the end....she's a temp. We know this from day one....and we are simply willing to look the other way.