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A Day Without Baseball

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- I decided not to go to Tucson today to see the Cubs play the White Sox for the last time this spring; it's two hours each way and since it's 4:00 or so when the game ends, you hit rush hour traffic in the Phoenix area coming back and that kills the whole day and I've got the next two weeks filled with games and as it turns out, I didn't miss much, as the Cubs lost to the Sox 9-3, although Sergio Mitre solidified a possible claim on a bullpen slot by throwing four shutout innings. This was in front of 11,624, the largest crowd of the spring season for the Sox.

It was the rest of the staff who stunk today, including a concerning four-hit, three-run bombing of LaTroy Hawkins in the 8th, and by then most of the Sox regulars had gotten the day off. Jamey Wright probably wrote his ticket back to Iowa with a three-run pasting, including Juan Uribe's third homer of the spring.

Most of the Cub regulars spent the day back here in the Phoenix area; only Derrek Lee, Michael Barrett and Moises Alou made the trip. Aramis Ramirez apparently has a minor injury that kept him from playing today, but he ought to be back tomorrow -- the Cubs have a split-squad day, both on the road, against the A's in Phoenix and the Brewers at Maryvale (which is in the city of Phoenix), and where I'll be tomorrow afternoon.

So instead of baseball today, it was a bit of poolside, a bit of hanging out at the mall (yeah, I know, how exciting, but I did need some new shorts), and then over to the Phoenix Mountain preserve where I did a bit of hiking around Squaw Peak.

Yes, I know (and I wrote about it here a year ago) that it's officially been renamed after Lori Piestewa, a native American and resident of the Phoenix area who was killed in the war in Iraq. With no disrespect meant to Ms. Piestewa, I think politically correct renaming of well-known landmarks is self-defeating. Surely, some other honor to her could have been made.

What's saddest is that on the maps on the trail, the name "Squaw Peak" has been clumsily covered over with paper, and not replaced with Ms. Piestewa's name. So if you are not totally sure where you are going, the map now is no help.

Finally, some more thoughts on something we've been talking about here this week, the ridiculous HR 3920 Judicial Activism bill in the House, which even this conservative online forum I found thinks is a stupid idea.

My dad e-mailed me again with the following, mostly in response to this article on slate.com:

The author is exactly right. Once you have a written Constitution there has to be a way to make sure that the legislative branch (or the executive branch) doesn't violate the Constitution. It was John Marshall's genius to set this up in Marbury v. Madison -- especially in view of the Founding Fathers' correct establishment of the idea of checks and balances.

Contrast this with the British system -- where Parliament is supreme. There's no written constitution, and what the British "constitution" is is a rather vague combination of centuries of common law, tradition and something which is rather unique to Britain -- the idea that certain things are just not done. It's interesting that Blair is now trying (so far unsuccessfully) to push the idea of a written constitution. He is also trying to abolish the almost thousand-year-old position of the Lord Chancellor, who appoints the judges -- a system which produces judges who are in general infinitely superior to our largely elected state judges.

The Lewis idea is just not going to get anywhere. Compare, for example, FDR's attempt to pack the Supreme Court in the 30's.

The fact that the Supreme Court has made some major mistakes (the Dred Scott decision in the 1850's, and the separate but equal school decision in Plessy v. Ferguson in ca. 1896) does not furnish any support for the idiots who want to leave fundamental decisions to the zanies (and worse) in Congress. Eventually gross errors of that kind are corrected -- by the SC itself.