Ross Mackenzie

Samplings from a potpourri of topics currently in the news . . .

Ken Lay died before the appeal of his district court conviction could be heard, so a federal judge has thrown out the conviction on the grounds that Lay’s death before his appeals had run their course denied him the full exercise of his rights. This one just doesn’t go down well. It means Lay’s beneficiaries can continue to live the high life on the $43.5 million Lay evidently ripped off — stole might be a better word — from a multitude of innocents.

The Soviets’ last Ultimate Commissar, Mikhail Gorbachev, still doesn’t get it. Urging the U.S. to “find a different solution,” he likens the fence the U.S. is building along the border with Mexico to China’s Great Wall. “You remember President Reagan standing in Berlin and saying, ‘This wall should be torn down’? Now the United States seems to be building almost the Wall of China between itself and this other nation with which it has been associated for many decades.” The chutzpah, the audacity: Gorbachev still doesn’t get the principal point: His predecessors built, and he presided over, a wall in Berlin to keep people in — to prevent them from fleeing the vast Soviet concentration camp.

Comes now yet another report detailing the potential consequences of tongue studs. Among them: tetanus, receding gums, chipped teeth, heart infections, and brain abscesses. Why would anyone, even the dumbest adolescent, want to risk such problems from a piece of metal piercing the tongue, the mouth, or any orifice?

Question: Did those distressed by the pederasty apparently practiced by a certain Republican congressman

in re Senate pages, exhibit equal distress regarding the priapic predations of a certain Democratic president in re a White House intern?

That certain president recently provided — in Iowa — a snapshot of the future. Consider this, by The Washington Post’s Dan Balz: “Former President Bill Clinton entered the Hy-Vee Hall here [in Des Moines] on Saturday night like an aging rock star, striding up a red carpet, wearing a big smile, his arms outstretched to touch the hands of Democratic admirers lined up along his walkway to the stage.” Clinton was there to rally Democrats on behalf of his wife. Come 2008, hers will be the third Clinton presidential campaign — and the third in which her husband will be a principal campaigner and drawing-card.

Ross Mackenzie

Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

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