Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Message and Scalia's Enduring Impact

It’s Valentine’s Day. If you’re anything like me you're elated, but curious, as to why you have not heard radio advertisements from Rocky Moselle pitching the International Star Registry as the perfect way to express your love by naming a star for eternity after a beloved. 

A quick Google check revealed the following amusing news item from satiric “International Star Registry runs out of stars, launches International Grain of Sand Registry.” 

Here’s the full text of the pie-in-the-sky, tongue-in-cheek item:

NEW YORK - Rocky Moselle, Spokesman for the international Star Registry, reported this week star names for all of the stars in the universe were sold out during this busy Christmas shopping season. Because experts believed the star inventory in the universe was infinite, the company was shocked by this sudden inventory depletion. In response to this crisis, the International Star Registry has announced plans to launch a new venture entitled, "International Grain of Sand Registry" which will allow the same gullible customer base to purchase and copyright a name for a grain of sand somewhere on earth. Also being market tested is the “International Blade of Grass Registry.”

For many years I was able to convince my family it was sacrilegious to celebrate Valentine’s Day and, for that matter, Halloween as Jews aren’t expected to honor saints, so St. Valentine’s Day was a no-no and Halloween, also known as All Saints Day, was definitely beyond the pale—no trick or treating for you, Dan and Ellie. 

Several years ago, after the kids had flown the coop, Gilda informed me we were henceforth celebrating Valentine’s Day with greeting cards, though gifts were not required. I acquiesced. This year I again dutifully bought Gilda a card, only to be newly informed we no longer had to exchange cards. Go figure.

Seven Inches: Months ago we ordered a floor mat for the wood floor in front of our kitchen sink. We asked for a 93-inch custom length to exactly fit between cabinets on either side of the sink. 

When the mat arrived it curled up slightly at one end. I measured. It was 94 inches. I called the company. A representative apologized and asked if I’d like a replacement. But he cautioned that custom work permits a manufacturer to deviate from the desired specifications by as much as seven inches. My next mat could be as small as 86 inches or as long as 100 inches, or anywhere in between. 

Who knew ordering a custom mat could be such a gamble?

I opted to keep the original.

And Now for Some Serious Thoughts: Even in death, influential, conservative, Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia will have a lasting, profound effect on the future of the United States.

The debate on the propriety, though not the legality, of President Obama nominating a successor during his last year in office will reverberate throughout the primary and election seasons. That’s a given, as is the Republican-dominated Senate’s refusal to approve any Obama nomination before the election.

More lasting will be the impact on voter turnout next November as each party will no longer be talking about the abstraction of the next president having the power to shape the court. Scalia’s death removed any doubt that voters themselves will have a direct say in the bent the court may take for the foreseeable future.

It will be a get-out-the-vote contest in every borderline state, not just for president but for Senate seats, as well. 

1 comment:

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