6 October; thoughts
- The Harriet Miers nomination. Frankly, I am enjoying watching the conservatives fight over this. What is clear is that she was nominated mostly because she is close to Bush! Don't get me wrong; I thought that this nominee *should* be a "she" and she has had a successful legal career by most standards, but I can point to nothing that says "this person belongs on the Supreme Court of the United States". Then again, Bush's dad made a similar kind of appointment when he nominated the mediocre Clarence Thomas. So, I think that the conservatives that are opposing her on "merit" grounds have a point.
But, this really leaves Democrats in a lurch as well. Do we oppose her on the same grounds, only to have Bush nominate a well known rabid, foaming at the mouth conservative? Or do those who voted against the much more credentialed Roberts vote for her? After all, I didn't see any Democrat opposing Roberts mostly because he isn't female.
The bottom line is that this appointment (and Thomas's) shows how the SCOTUS is really a political body after all, as if the 2000 election decision didn't hammer that home.
- Athletics: I am training for the Ultracentric 24 hour race (the walking division) and hoping to become a U. S. Centurion by walking 100 miles or more in 24 hours. I've done that once before, back in May 2004 at the Cornbelt 24 hour race. But, because there were no walking judges at that race, I didn't get "credit" for doing it as a walker.
What is different about my training this time is that in the past, I've done mostly "distance, distance, distance". This time, I am doing lots of 1 to 3 mile repeats at marathon race pace; much more walking at 10:50-11:50 mpm.
- Teaching: this semester, I am teaching numerical methods (using the computer to solve math problems). This is very time consuming; my own research has stalled. But the material has been fun for me to learn; I am filling in big gaps in my own mathematical education. And in this class (and in my differential equations class; in fact even in my remedial calculus section) I am enjoying working with the students. This batch seems to have a good attitude (most of them anyway; read the last post).