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Thursday, May 25, 2006

Food for the body, then food for thought...

I had a very interesting meal tonight, nothing too fancy, but it was good. I mention this because this was also much better for me than my usual fare. It was spaghetti, but instead of ground beef, I used ground turkey, but what really made it great was, as usual, the sauce. I've long been a huge fan of Newman's Own and, more recently, Newman's Own Organics, products. Part of it is the knowledge that profits from the sale of their products go to charity, to the tune of over $200 million since 1982. However, the benevolent nature of a company alone is not nearly enough reason to keep coming back to a product. I and many others keep coming back because of the taste. Their Sockarooni sauce is my favorite, and is an excellent sauce for everything from spaghetti to lasagne to even stuffed bell peppers, and works well with both ground beef and ground turkey. It's the closest I've ever had to a perfect commercially-available tomato sauce. Also, the Newman's Own Family Recipe Italian Dressing is of equally high quality and flavor, and I've only seen its equal in restaurants. It costs a little bit more than other brands, but it's worth it, and besides, it helps someone out.

Now that I've pretty much eaten a disgusting amount of food and enjoyed every second of it, it's time for the food for thought as advertised in the blog's title. Ken Lay and Jeffery Skilling have been convicted of various charges in the Enron trial, bringing to a close one of the worst economic disasters in recent years. The actions of Mr. Lay, Mr. Skilling, and others cost thousands their jobs and life's savings, and the fallout of this scandal rocked corporate America, and the aftershocks cost even more jobs and led to a change in corporate law. In all likelihood, both men will spend the rest of their natural lives in prison, and considering the harm they caused, I find this both fair and just.

On a different note, I have a long history of giving credit where credit is due, even to those I detest. This is true of the current administration, and now, this is true of Nancy Pelosi, a person I find very poorly suited to her job as House Minority Leader. All that said, I think she is doing the right thing in asking Congressman William Jefferson to step down from the House Ways and Means Committee in light of the allegations against the Congressman from the Big Easy. These are very serious allegations, with some very serious evidence, apparently, to support them, and this is the right decision. Perhaps she is doing this because she feels it prudent to put forth at least the appearance of a commitment to ethics, if not a genuine commitment.
However, this unbridled skepticism is not limited to Ms. Pelosi, but rather, extends to Congress as a whole. I have heard yammering from Congress about how the raid on Congressman Jefferson's office was a violation of the separation of powers. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The task of Congress is to write the laws and perform other legislative duties. The task of the Judiciary branch is to make sure those laws, upon enaction by either a supermajority or the Executive Branch, does not violate the Constitution of the United States of America. The task of the Executive Branch is to enact or veto bills, and to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and enforce the various laws that have been passed. At present, Capitol Police is in violation of this most important principle, as was most recently exposed in the brouhaha over an obviously impaired Congressman Kennedy not being given a Breathalyzer test or field sobriety test after running into a barricade at an odd hour of the morning. Should some members of Congress get their way, Capitol Police, who answer directly to Congress, would be responsible for any searches in the Capitol. Many members of Congress are mistakenly referring to this as a violation of the separation of powers. I call this a violation of the law and common sense, and sets up a wide variety of potential conflicts of interest. If Congress were to get its way, the rooster would be left to guard the henhouse, and that is in no one's interest. Devolve the powers of the Capitol Police to DC Metro P.D., or place them under the chain of command of the Justice Department. I would probably prefer the former over the latter, though I would allow for FBI involvement upon the request of the DC Metro P.D. To do otherwise is madness and an invitation to corruption and other criminal activity.

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