Propono (Latin): to put or set forth, to set or lay out, to offer, to place before, expose to view, display, point out, declare, represent, report, say, relate, set forth, publish, etc.

Thoughts and posts on a wide variety of topics: current events, family, politics, religion, culture, academics, science, technology.

Propono, ergo sum?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The week in review?

The iPhone arrived. The Supreme Court ended its most recent session with some clear jurisprudential changes. Lewis Libby's jail term was commuted by President Bush. And the earliest presidential campaign of all time continues on in full force.

My take?

The iPhone, remarkably, seems to be living up to the hype. I haven't gotten my hands on one yet (we went camping this weekend -- in the woods, not at the Apple store), but all signs point to its being a remarkable device, especially for v1. Not perfect, but for any technology product with that much (free) pre-launch hype, it would be difficult to meet expectations. Mr. Jobs and company appear to have done so, however, shaking up the mobile market, perhaps, in much the same way they've continued to shake up the consumer PC industry.

The Roberts Court, far from approaching the unanimity he strongly advocated in his confirmation hearings, has ended its first full session with some interesting changes in jurisprudential precedent. The decisions handed down, and the cases that get considered, leave both sides wondering which way the winds are blowing, though President Bush's nominees will certainly have a long-lasting impact, for better or for worse.

Everyone suspected Mr. Libby had a pardon in the offing. He still may, though the President, yesterday, commuted his prison sentence ("excessive," in his words) while maintaining the fine and the probation. Some argue that doing so runs counter to the philosophy surrounding sentencing guidelines that the administration and the Justice Department have espoused historically, but I think most watchers expected something along these lines for Mr. Libby. Stay tuned to see whether or not an end-of-term pardon is extended or not. I would predict it will be.

And, the presidential campaign continues. The Repbulicans are uncertain: they like Thompson because he's not Giuliani or McCain, but Romney continues to raise a lot of money and poll very well in key early states. The Democrats are also torn: Clinton has the experience and the substance, but Obama's got the excitement and the charisma.

Independence Day is tomorrow. The Declaration, of course, is well worth a read, especially if you haven't read it in a while (opening and closing paragraphs follow):

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


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