Some thoughts over a second pot of coffee:
• According to the president of the Washington County Bar Association, the county’s common pleas court is hoping that its two newest jurists can “robe up” by Labor Day and not be forced to wait until after the November election. Given the backlog and strain on the local legal system, it cannot come too soon.
• Washington’s mayor, Brenda Davis, is looking more credible by the day in her dust up and recent decisions concerning the police department. It sure trumps the past “hands off” attitude of East Washington and “hands in the till” approach in Pittsburgh.
• The Washington County legal community is facing its own privacy debate over the efficacy of digital recording in the courtrooms. The issue is technology and cost savings versus protecting privileged communications. It’s not quite on a par with the national debate over security versus privacy, but important just the same.
• As an observer of recent political history, it seems that most state and international violence prior to the Berlin Wall coming down was based on ideology. Since 1989, most state violence and acts of ethnic cleansing have been tribal, sectarian or based on ancient kinship relationships.
• It is entertaining to watch the conservatives and The Wall Street Journal editorial page agree with the president’s policy of gathering metadata for national security reasons while attempting to attack him at the same time.
• It is even more entertaining to watch progressive Obama supporters disagree with the Patriot Act, IRS debacle and drone policy while trying to remain loyal to the president.
• When both ends of the political spectrum are unhappy, somewhere there is sound, moderate policy at work and the president is marching right down the middle of the road.
• One important takeaway on the economy: “Fed money printing, which is how its bonds are paid for, has restored wealth for those fortunate to own financial assets. For those still seeking work, the payoff is nowhere in sight,” according to the June 8 issue of the Barron’s weekly newspaper.
• Over the past several years it has become clear that we need a special rehabilitation program for politicians suffering from egotism, with special classes on how to control social media urges. First step to recovery: “We admitted we were powerless over our egos and social media and that our lives have become unmanageable.”
• There is a scientific theory, gaining acceptance in energy circles, that recurring deep earth chemical reactions and not fossil fuels are responsible for natural gas deposits. If this turns out to be true and Washington County is sitting on an inexhaustible supply of the stuff, our backyards will be as important as Texas, the North Slope and Saudi Arabia combined, for the next 100 years.
• The government will soon offer a “triple play special” on monitoring our communications. Those individuals who agree to the monitoring of their mail along with the already monitored phone and Internet services will receive a revised edition of the novel “1984” and a prominent bumper sticker that proudly announces: “My Life is an Open Book. What Have You Got to Hide?”
Gary Stout is a Washington attorney.