Pictures from AP and the little spacecraft that makes us all proud around the world.
A portion of the Martian landscape
If only we could have witnessed the landing of Phoenix on Mars like we watch the blast-off of a Shuttle rocket from Florida. It must have been quite a sight to see as the spacecraft set down on the far northern portion of Mars for a three month scientific mission. Watch the animated version of the landing here.
This was a front page story in The New York Times today. It is a remarkable read. And worth some serious thought.
Michael Gableman, as was proved in the recent court campaign in Wisconsin, does not have the intellectual heft that the Supreme Court requires. Not even close. Special interests (WMC) simply bought his seat on the court. How do other nations get brighter minds to serve?
While reading this think of Michael Gableman……….picture him going through the French process of becoming a judge. Seriously. Really….no snickering…..
Last month, Wisconsin voters did something that is routine in the United States but virtually unknown in the rest of the world: They elected a judge.
The vote came after a bitter $5 million campaign in which a small-town trial judge with thin credentials ran a television advertisement falsely suggesting that the only black justice on the state Supreme Court had helped free a black rapist. The challenger unseated the justice with 51 percent of the vote, and will join the court in August.
The election was unusually hard-fought, with caustic advertisements on both sides, many from independent groups.
Contrast that distinctively American method of selecting judges with the path to the bench of Jean-Marc Baissus, a judge on the Tribunal de Grand Instance, a district court, in Toulouse, France. He still recalls the four-day written test he had to pass in 1984 to enter the 27-month training program at the École Nationale de la Magistrature, the elite academy in Bordeaux that trains judges in France.
“It gives you nightmares for years afterwards,” Judge Baissus said of the test, which is open to people who already havea law degree, and the oral examinations that followed it. In some years, as few as 5 percent of the applicants survive. “You come out of this completely shattered,” Judge Baissus said.
The much more rigorous French model, in which aspiring judges are subjected to a battery of tests and years at a special school, has its benefits, said Mitchel Lasser, a law professor at Cornell and the author of “Judicial Deliberations: A Comparative Analysis of Judicial Transparency and Legitimacy.”
“You have people who actually know what the hell they’re doing,” Professor Lasser said. “They’ve spent years in school taking practical and theoretical courses on how to be a judge. These are professionals.”
I found this series of events by reporters the day Hillary Clinton stepped way over-board with her dreadful ‘RFK’ comment most interesting. This great Wall Street Journal story tells us a great deal about the new journalistic frontiers that are working in our national campaigns.
The fact that it did become big news is illustrative of journalistic competition in the Internet age. The entire pack of reporters sent to watch Clinton’s every move had somehow gotten beat, and forced into following a New York Post reporter who was nowhere near the campaign, but who, apparently, had a much-better Internet connection.