YES, I AM STILL HERE looking out my window on Main Street, and I gotta tell you that I am a little bit astonished at a news release we got last week from our state’s Attorney General.
In it, she warns the President and Congress not to “pack” the Supreme Court.
Now, I’m not sure that the President and Congress members will take her advice to heart, but, still?
Her news release says “This is a desperate attempt to continue the assault on our liberties.”
Maybe she exaggerates. The way I understand it, when there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court, the President nominates someone, then the Senate interviews the nominee and then either confirms or denies. The very process is a validation of our democracy.
Of course, there’s a lot of political grandstanding by both sides during these proceedings. The news media laps it up.
I don’t think our AG is so much worried about packing the Supreme Court as she is of her own image with conservative Arky voters: “Look, here I am once again leading the parade.”
That’s pretty smart. And, by the way, she’s running for governor.
She’s already spent considerable amount of her AG terms involving herself in national politics and other states’ affairs with loads of political fanfare. We get a proud news release every time.
We used to run her column on this opinion page nearly every week until she announced her candidacy. No one can say we haven’t treated her fairly.
She seems pretty capable when she deals with Arkansas problems. But I don’t know about her influence with who gets nominated to the Supreme Court.
I have no idea if President Biden and Congress take her warning to heart. There is no vacancy, but it makes a good imaginary target.
=—-= — =
LET’S FLY AWAY. As a former Navy helicopter aircrewman I have had extra interest in ‘Ingenuity,’ the mini-helicopter which was taken to Mars aboard a spaceship.
The helo made its third short flight, Sunday, and it is preparing to do more.
On the flights, it makes videos of the Martian landscape and sends the videos back for scientific study.
It just sounds too hard to believe.
The helo responds to commands from Earth. The most recent flight went for about 64 feet. The 4-lb. aircraft mostly hovers so that it can take the pictures.
NASA said it has worked flawlessly.
The helo’s rotors are four feet long, and it can fly faster than 6.5 feet per second in the thin atmosphere. That’s not bad, folks.
It is just unbelievable that we were able to send a spacecraft to Mars in the first place; much less detach a helicopter and fly it over the surface of the red planet, 182.34 million — MILLION — miles away.
Maybe Ingenuity is more of a drone than helicopter. But, saying it is a helicopter is more exciting, apparently.
My own first helicopter flight was a night exercise south of San Diego at a small Navy air station at Imperial Beach, within a stone’s throw of the Mexican border.
I was scared to death. The ‘first seat’ aircrewman was a salty airdale sailor who seemed to know everything.
We flew out over the Pacific and practiced ‘dipping’ our SONAR gear to listen for submarines. Then, as a part of the flight, the pilots practiced making an emergency landing.
Only for some reason I never heard them say “practice.” I thought the emergency was real.
The pilots declared an emergency over the radio and got permission to land at San Diego International Airport.
I was praying as hard as I could, and I was amazed that the salty aircrewman was so calm.
The pilots managed to coax the helo to the airport and I sighed in relief. But then they made a running landing. Instead of stopping and us getting the heck out of the bird, they took off again.
“Why in the XXXX are they taking off again?” I asked the salt.
“Practice,” he said. Then I understood and felt really stupid.
I never got over my fear of night flights, and my tummy always had a case of the ‘willies’ when my helicopter lifted off the ground.
=—-= — =
ANIMAL CRACKERS. When I reached the turnaround point of my pre-dawn walk, one day last weekend, I heard a bloodcurdling caucus of coyotes at the creek just down the hill.
This was at the part of my walk that is farthest from the safety of my house. I’m usually at this point when the rainstorm hits.
But this time it was coyotes. I don’t think they’re known for attacking pudgy seniors, but I stepped up the pace of my walk anyway.
It would be just my luck that I’m the first known case of a pack of hungry coyotes attacking a pudgy senior.
=—-= — =
HE SAID: “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” George Washington, 1st President of the United States of America and General of the Continental Army
=—-= — =
SHE SAID: “You come into the world alone and you go out of the world alone yet it seems to me you are more alone while living than even going and coming.” Canadian artist and writer Emily Carr
=—-= — =
SWEET DREAMS, Baby