Notes on the news

Weir Thinking About It

In this column, I'd like to make 3 separate comments on the news of the day.

#1 — When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, the Democrats didn't want to talk about his refusal to serve in Vietnam, his burning of the American flag on foreign soil while protesting the war, or his anti—American diatribe while soldiers were fighting, and dying in that Southeast Asian country. They didn't want to compare his military avoidance record with the World War II heroic accomplishments of his opponent, President George H.W. Bush. In 1996, when President Clinton ran against another highly decorated WW II vet, Senator Robert Dole, the Democrats once again dodged the issue of military service and heroism.

Now, in 2004, with a nominee that has a highly questionable record of service in the war that the Democrats repudiated for decades, they apparently want Vietnam to be the centerpiece of his campaign. Suddenly, donning a uniform and fighting for our country has become an important credential for a Chief Executive. When Bill and Hillary Clinton took over in the White House, they made it clear that they didn't want to see a military uniform on the premises. Such was the contempt they had for anyone with the courage to stand up for America. Now, they are, at least ostensibly, supporting John Kerry for the highest office in the land. Either they have done a complete about face concerning the military, or they feel a strong kinship with Mr. Kerry because of his highly publicized verbal attacks on the soldiers during the early 70's when he was attempting to build his political career. Evidently, Kerry is not the only flip flopping politician on the national scene.
                                                              
#2 — New Jersey Governor, James McGreevey's decision to resign his office and 'apologize to my wife for my failure to respect the covenant of our marriage, and to the citizens of New Jersey for allowing my professional decisions to be distracted by my personal life,' would appear to be all about him being 'outed' as a homosexual. The fact is the governor is facing charges for putting his lover on the state payroll with a hefty salary, even though the man is thoroughly unqualified for the job. In addition, a lawyer for Golan Cipel, the former state employee who alleges that McGreevey sexually harassed him, said his client is still considering filing a lawsuit and has corroborating evidence proving the harassment occurred. Hence, the governor is more than a bit disingenuous when he pretends to be leaving office because of his gayness.

Furthermore, his statements about helping gay Americans who have yet to become open about their sexuality sounds more like the last gasps of a politician who got caught in a corruption probe and is now trying to identify with, and enlist support from, a group that he had refused to be associated with in the past. Governing a state, like being the CEO of a large company, has nothing to do with a person's sexual predilections. Unless, as is alleged in Mr. McGreevey's case, the position is used to hire sexual partners and harass those who refuse amorous advances from their employers.                                                                                                         

#3 — After 12 weeks of trial, prosecutors have unveiled an abundance of circumstantial evidence that would tend to prove that Scott Peterson murdered his pregnant wife, Lacy, also resulting in the death of the fetus. Yet there has been no bloody crime scene, no murder weapon, and no witnesses to the killing. But recently, the jurors have been privy to several hours of recorded telephone calls between Scott and his former mistress, Amber Frey. According to the tapes, Mr. Peterson continued to romance Ms. Frey while the authorities were searching for his missing wife. On the very day Laci Peterson had been expecting to give birth, her husband was sending birthday gifts to his lover, calling her 'sweetie' and trying to persuade her to see him.

Not exactly the behavior one would expect from a grieving husband. Although those events aren't evidence that he killed his wife, they certainly are capable of influencing a jury. Moreover, the fact that in the early part of the investigation, Mr. Peterson dyed his hair blond, took off with ten grand in his pocket, and was caught near the Mexican border with his brother's ID, adds more doubt about his innocence. In addition, he said he was fishing the night of his wife's disappearance, in  San Francisco Bay, about 2 miles from where his wife's body and unborn child were ultimately found. Even with a swashbuckling attorney like Mark Geragos running interference for him, it seems unlikely that a jury will be able to overlook the avalanche of circumstances that point the accusatory finger at Mr. Peterson's culpability.

Bob Weir is the Editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com

Weir Thinking About It

In this column, I'd like to make 3 separate comments on the news of the day.

#1 — When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, the Democrats didn't want to talk about his refusal to serve in Vietnam, his burning of the American flag on foreign soil while protesting the war, or his anti—American diatribe while soldiers were fighting, and dying in that Southeast Asian country. They didn't want to compare his military avoidance record with the World War II heroic accomplishments of his opponent, President George H.W. Bush. In 1996, when President Clinton ran against another highly decorated WW II vet, Senator Robert Dole, the Democrats once again dodged the issue of military service and heroism.

Now, in 2004, with a nominee that has a highly questionable record of service in the war that the Democrats repudiated for decades, they apparently want Vietnam to be the centerpiece of his campaign. Suddenly, donning a uniform and fighting for our country has become an important credential for a Chief Executive. When Bill and Hillary Clinton took over in the White House, they made it clear that they didn't want to see a military uniform on the premises. Such was the contempt they had for anyone with the courage to stand up for America. Now, they are, at least ostensibly, supporting John Kerry for the highest office in the land. Either they have done a complete about face concerning the military, or they feel a strong kinship with Mr. Kerry because of his highly publicized verbal attacks on the soldiers during the early 70's when he was attempting to build his political career. Evidently, Kerry is not the only flip flopping politician on the national scene.
                                                              
#2 — New Jersey Governor, James McGreevey's decision to resign his office and 'apologize to my wife for my failure to respect the covenant of our marriage, and to the citizens of New Jersey for allowing my professional decisions to be distracted by my personal life,' would appear to be all about him being 'outed' as a homosexual. The fact is the governor is facing charges for putting his lover on the state payroll with a hefty salary, even though the man is thoroughly unqualified for the job. In addition, a lawyer for Golan Cipel, the former state employee who alleges that McGreevey sexually harassed him, said his client is still considering filing a lawsuit and has corroborating evidence proving the harassment occurred. Hence, the governor is more than a bit disingenuous when he pretends to be leaving office because of his gayness.

Furthermore, his statements about helping gay Americans who have yet to become open about their sexuality sounds more like the last gasps of a politician who got caught in a corruption probe and is now trying to identify with, and enlist support from, a group that he had refused to be associated with in the past. Governing a state, like being the CEO of a large company, has nothing to do with a person's sexual predilections. Unless, as is alleged in Mr. McGreevey's case, the position is used to hire sexual partners and harass those who refuse amorous advances from their employers.                                                                                                         

#3 — After 12 weeks of trial, prosecutors have unveiled an abundance of circumstantial evidence that would tend to prove that Scott Peterson murdered his pregnant wife, Lacy, also resulting in the death of the fetus. Yet there has been no bloody crime scene, no murder weapon, and no witnesses to the killing. But recently, the jurors have been privy to several hours of recorded telephone calls between Scott and his former mistress, Amber Frey. According to the tapes, Mr. Peterson continued to romance Ms. Frey while the authorities were searching for his missing wife. On the very day Laci Peterson had been expecting to give birth, her husband was sending birthday gifts to his lover, calling her 'sweetie' and trying to persuade her to see him.

Not exactly the behavior one would expect from a grieving husband. Although those events aren't evidence that he killed his wife, they certainly are capable of influencing a jury. Moreover, the fact that in the early part of the investigation, Mr. Peterson dyed his hair blond, took off with ten grand in his pocket, and was caught near the Mexican border with his brother's ID, adds more doubt about his innocence. In addition, he said he was fishing the night of his wife's disappearance, in  San Francisco Bay, about 2 miles from where his wife's body and unborn child were ultimately found. Even with a swashbuckling attorney like Mark Geragos running interference for him, it seems unlikely that a jury will be able to overlook the avalanche of circumstances that point the accusatory finger at Mr. Peterson's culpability.

Bob Weir is the Editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com