Attorney in the Del.

Reporting on life in Wilmington, Delaware, a small city in a small state. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2006, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

No Citgo

Doesn't look like I'll be buying gas from Citgo any time soon.

Consider how his government takes advantage of Venezuela's oil wealth. When an American driver fills up at the local Citgo station, those gas dollars go from American wallets into [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez's governing pockets -- after all, his government controls Citgo. From Venezuelan coffers, the money goes to fund leftist narco-insurgencies in Colombia, Ecuador, and other Latin American countries -- insurgencies the U.S. soldiers and U.S. taxpayers have expended great resources to tamp down.

And their gas is usually cheapest. Perfect.

I guess the alternative is generally Saudi oil or petrol from some other seedy country. Glad I walk to work.

It's Basketblog Season

The Basketblog is starting to heat up with team previews as we head into the college hoops season. Click here to see my Maryland Terrapins (2-1) preview. More to come. Go Terps!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Moving On...

With Maryland football and the Redskins fumbling and bumbling their ways to the finish line, it's probably a good time to turn my attention to college basketball.

Maryland fell apart late again over the weekend against Boston College. A beautiful fall day was ruining by a fourth quarter collapse. The Terps get one more shot at qualifying for a bowl at NC State this coming weekend. Even if the Terps hit the 6 win minimum for bowl eligibility, would it really be something to be excited about? Maryland could count wins against the following programs: Navy, Temple, Wake Forest, Virginia, North Carolina, and NC State...not exactly football's power programs. By contrast, Maryland lost to these teams: Clemson, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State, and Boston College. Terps beat the doormats, but could not upset their betters, even at home. (Incredibly, between basketball and football, Maryland went 0-3 against Clemson.)

Like I said, as far as I'm concerned, it's basketball season. Hopefully tonight's game wasn't an indication of the season ahead...

Redskins Q&A

I was asked this question today:

Is it me or does Cooley fumble at least once a game?


Is it me or does Mark Brunell fumble four times a game?

Is it me or is Plan A on every third down to roll right and throw the ball out of bounds?

Is it me or could the Redskins rush 11 guys plus everyone on the sidelines and still not get to the QB? And is that Gregg Williams' game plan on third and long with the game on the line: rush everyone knowing there is no chance to get to the QB, and leave the opponent's receivers open for long yardage plays?

Is it me or does Joe Gibbs look more and more like Yoda the older he gets?

Is it me or is the Redskins O-line rountinely overwhelmed by a three man rush?

Is it me or is it now officially college basketball season?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Are Your Elected Representatives "Representing" You?

James Lileks makes some points I whole-heartedly agree with:

...the Senate, which appears to be a collection of the most obsequious, boozebags, kluxers and well-oiled weather vanes that we've ever seen leading this country. You can even throw in a plastic turkey, because that's pretty much what they've shown themselves to be. What is astonishing about this is that the people who are responsible, and who have their hands on the lever of power, have chosen this moment in history to reveal themselves as being incapable of understanding A) what happened, B) what is happening now, and C) what will happen if they continue on their course of action. In other words, they misunderstand the past, the present, and the future. It's astonishing.

Love Your Enemies

Iraqi terrorist Al-Zarqawi made the following statement in a letter today to Jordanians:

"People of Islam in Jordan, we want to assure you that we are extremely careful over your lives ... you are more beloved to us than ourselves," he said.

"For those Muslims who were killed, we ask God to show them mercy, for they were not targets. We did not and will not think for one moment to target them even if they were people of immorality and debauchery."

Now, a headline from today's news:

Bombers Kill at Least 70 Inside Two Shiite Mosques in Iraq

Perhaps its better not to be "beloved" by this homicidal psychopath.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

When Can We Try Him For Treason?

Disgraced former President Bill Clinton, once again, had better steer clear of North Carolina, home of the United States Marines. According to this story, he received a standing ovation after telling a bunch of Arabs that going to Iraq was a "big mistake."

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Former President Clinton told Arab students Wednesday the United States made a "big mistake" when it invaded Iraq, stoking the partisan debate back home over the war.

Clinton cited the lack of planning for what would happen after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks during the memorial ceremony marking the tenth anniversary of the assassination of the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at the Mount Hertzl military cemetery in Jerusalem Monday Nov. 14, 2005.

"Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done," Clinton told students at a forum at the American University of Dubai.

"It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors ... one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country."

Clinton's remarks came when he was taking questions about the U.S. invasion, which began in 2003. His response drew cheers and a standing ovation at the end of the hour-long session.

Why is Clinton going to the Middle East and telling ARABS this while we still have tens of thousands of soldiers on the ground in Iraq? This absolutely boggles my mind. This man was a disgrace as a president, and is now one as a former president.

If he wants to be friends with the Arabs at the expense of our own military men and women, why doesn't he just do like Michael Jackson and move to Bahrain. That seems to be the hip place for disgraced sexual predators these days. And good riddance it would be at that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Flip Side

Some perspective on the philosophy of Judge Sam Alito:

So let's see -- according to [Ralph] Neas [president of People for the American Way], the "pet causes" of the "radical right" are race-free, merit-based selection decisions; limited government; federalism; free enterprise; the supremacy of the elected branches of government; strong defense and law enforcement; and protection of traditional values. As an opponent of the right, Neas' pet causes appear to be race-based preferences, unlimited government, unfree enterprise, the supremacy of unelective branches of government, less than strong defense and law enforcement, and indifference (if not hostility) towards traditional values.

Sounds about right to me.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Jesus Saves (the Purdue Boilermakers)...Part II

When we left off in my last post, the Boilermaker's entered the locker room at halftime down a TD after a stunning, momentum shifting fumble recovery for a TD put Michigan State on top. Pursue was playing its best Big Ten game of the season, and the shocking conclusion of the first half threatened to derail the Boilermaker Express. What Purdue's players needed at the half was good speach from their coach, Joe Tiller, to get their heads back on straight, and to relight the fire that had kept the Boilermakers, 0-6 in the Big Ten to that point, in the game thus far.

But would the coach be in the locker room. All game long, a man who appeared to be Coach Tiller was sitting behind us in the stands! Here is a photo of "Coach T" I took surreptitiously from my seat:

Coach Tiller intently watches the football game from a different vantage point

Like that grainy old film footage of Big Foot, I couldn't quite get a clear picture of Coach Tiller hanging out with fans (doubtless trying to gauge the pulse of the disappointed Boiler Nation). Suspiciously, at halftime, however, "Coach T" was nowhere to be found. Coincidence? I'll let you decide.

While we are on the subject of halftime, I need to give the reader a little taste of the local color at a typical Purdue home game: those colors being gold and silver. You see, Purdue has phenomenon called the Golden Girl and the Silver Twins. These three ladies participate in halftime shows and generally strut the sidelines guessed and silver outfits, respectively. For more information than you'll ever need regarding the Golden Girl, click here. For the Silver Twins, click here.

Essentially, these girls are baton twirlers, but, like I said a second ago, also a phenomenon. For example, my wife had never mentioned this tradition to me. After church one Sunday, I ran into an attorney I used to work for who attended Notre Dame during the early 80's. When I told him that my wife had gone to Purdue, he immediately said, "Ah, Purdue. Do they still have the Golden Girl and the Silver Twins?" Apparently, he and some of his Notre Dame buddies had met a few nights before and the subject of Purdue had come up. One of the few things they remembered about Purdue were the Golden Girls and the Silver Twins. And yes, Purdue still does have them.

One of the Silver Twins shows a little leg to a band member before the halftime show...the most fun he's had since band camp

Ahem, back to the game...

Coach Tiller returned to his seat in section 122, and the team returned to field to see whether the coach's halftime speech would have any effect, or whether Purdue would fall to a humiliating 0-7 in the Big Ten, rather than rise to a humiliating 1-6.

Purdue received the ball to start the second half. Like Michigan State in the first half, the Boilermakers struck quickly (though not quite as fast), scoring on a Jerrod Void 2-yard scamper to cap a 5 minute, 31 second drive covering 76 yards over 14 plays. 21-21.

As the extra point sailed through the uprights, we received a sign that maybe good things were to come to the Boilermakers today: the cheerleaders ran out the flags in the proper order! As you might remember, the flag running abilities of the Purdue cheerleading squad put it nicely...painful the October night Notre Dame trounced Purdue a month earlier. Not today.

P-U-R-D-U-E...things starting to look G-O-O-D!

If the flag bearers were getting it right, why couldn't we believe that the football players would take a cue and similarly take care of business in the proper manner?

Now Michigan State ball, the Spartans tried again to one-up the Boilermakers, putting together a sustained drive of its own. The normally pathetic Boilermaker defense, however, decided to make a stand. Michigan State drove deep into Boiler territory, and, as it set up for a crucial third and 8 play at Purdue's 29 yard line, Mickey Mouse tried in vain to start The Wave in the Boilermaker student section.

"Excuse me? Mickey Mouse?" you ask. Let me explain. Purdue's students apparently engage in a pre-game tradition called "Breakfast Club" wherein a group of students gathers before the game wearing costumes and, as college students do, party before the game. (Click here for some engaging commentary on the subject.) We saw Mickey and Minnie, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and various other costumed drunks.

Try as he might, Mickey couldn't get The Wave started. Fans were too interested in the game. On third and eight, the Spartans' QB ran for four yards to the Purdue 25. On 4th and 4, Michigan State decided to go for it. Mickey, now on someone's shoulders, continued in vain to get the crowd to start The Wave. With all eyes on the field for the 4th down play, and Mickey duly ignored, the fans got noisy...and the 4th down pass fell short. Purdue ball.

Then, a miracle occurred.

Purdue got the ball back just before the start of the 4th quarter, score tied at 21. Mickey Mouse finally sat back down, having failed to capture the attention of the students (maybe they've just outgrown him). All of a sudden, a couple plays into the drive, just as in biblical times, Jesus, fresh from Breakfast Club, appeared in the student section, shepherd staff in hand. Aloft upon the shoulders of a student, and like Moses parting the Red Sea, Jesus took his staff, swept it from right to left, and with the approving roar of the crowd, started The Wave! Upon the power of The Divine Wave, if I might be so bold, Purdue pushed effortlessly down the field, and crushed their opponents. 12 plays and 75 yards later, Purdue scored what would prove to be the game winning TD on a 6-yard run by Jerod Void. Two things were proven by this miracle: 1) regardless of how much money the franchise makes, Jesus is still more popular than Disney, and 2) Jesus really does take sides in football games, so pray on, people!

Michigan State never really threatened again. Purdue CB Bernard Pollard sealed the game at the end of the 4th quarter by intercepting Michigan State's QB on its final drive. Game in hand, Purdue was free to celebrate its first Big Ten victory of the season.

It had been a long time, but the Boilermakers players finally earned the opportunity to sing the alma mater to the students, while gathered around the World's Largest Drum (I'll have to explain this one next season).

That's it for this game's dispatch. Finally, Purdue looked a little bit like that team that was supposed to challenge for the Big Ten title. This offseason, there will be plenty of time to review tape to determine what could make a defense one of the nation's best one year, and one of its worst the next. You'll be the first to know when I post about my first Purdue football game of 2006. Until next time...

The sun sets over one last 2005 Purdue tailgate...see you next year!

A Saturday Drive

As I mentioned in a previous post, my wife and I took a drive Saturday out of necessity. With leaf collection coming through our neighborhood and, by mandate of the city, no place to park in our entire neighborhood, we made like exiles and aimlessly travelled the countryside.

After breakfast at a nice, '50's style diner in Pennsylvania, we decided to hit the road and find a winery that maps showed was near the DE border in PA. We knew where there was a sign off the main road that pointed toward the winery's direction, but we had never taken the turn to try to find it. This time, with of time to kill, we set off to locate it.

We drove for an hour. Like mice in a cage, we drove circles around the area, taking every combination of turns we could think of. The single sign off the main road was not enough to point us fully in the right direction. We finally gave up after exhausting all directional possibilities.

The mission wasn't a complete failure, however. We did find that there are quite a few exceedingly nice communities in the DE/PA border region. And there are more mansions and country estates out here than it seems an area this small could possibly support. Believe me, when I say "mansions," I'm not just talking big houses. I'm talking enormous edifices that rival anything I have seen with my own two eyes. As we drove past one after another, we continually questioned aloud who could be living in these incredible houses and how there could be so many! I'll have to start asking questions at work.

As noon approached, the time we could return to our neighborhood, we finally came across a winery by chance: Chaddsford Winery. Chaddsford had a wide variety of wines, from the typical, to the seasonal. We purchased a couple bottles before heading out. I'll have to report on their quality in a later post.

As we paid for our wine and were about to leave, I asked the woman behind the counter how we could find the first winery that we had wasted an hour looking for.

"Smithbridge?" she said. "Oh, they went out of business." Of course.

Fall at Chaddsford Winery. Chadds Ford, PA. November 12, 2005.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


My wife and I went on a forced drive around the DE and PA countryside this morning. In another mind-boggler from the city of Wilmington, flyers went up yesterday evening prohibiting parking on our street between 8am and 12pm this morning. For what reason? They didn't say. Furthermore, it wasn't just our particular street. Parking was not allowed in our entire neighborhood!

I asked a neighbor what the story was. She told me that city leaf collection was coming through today. That's understandable considering the amount of leaves on the ground. But to prohibit parking in the whole neighborhood? The neighbor told me that on this day, she typically takes a drive, goes shopping, or heads to work. That's basically what we did. For four hours, then, our whole neighborhood became a forced ghost town. Glad we have a security system.

While out on our drive (which, by the way, was surprisingly nice), we pulled up to a red light behind the car below.

Click on the picture for a bigger view, or take a look at the blown up part of the photo below.

"Fire back, Fire Bush". Cute. But notice the bulls eye. This is the height of irresponsibility. Yeah, the slogan is catchy, but to "fire" the president by "firing back" accompanied by a bulls eye looks to me like this woman is advocating the assassination of the president. That's just sickening. But not surprising, since the people most upset with the president seem to have no better ideas, just lame, crass, and disgusting slogans to sling at the man.

Let's hope nobody acts on this ghoul's suggestion.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Breaking Stuff

I agree with this concept. A long time ago on a hike with my brother, we were talking about how, as kids, we used to walk through the woods with sticks and just whack stuff. A purely primitive impulse to break things took over. It was tons of fun, but in retrospect, totally destructive and irresponsible. But doesn't every human have that base impulse deep down inside? Doesn't everyone love to just let loose on occasion and break something or watch someone else do it?

The French riots are what I have always observed about riots: just an excuse for bad people to break stuff. Face it, breaking stuff is fun! Most of us don't cave to the impulse because: a) something will get broken, and b) in general, it would be something of our own that we need or it's someone else's stuff, which just wouldn't be right. Riots don't usually accomplish too much besides gaining some disaffected group a little bit of media attention (15 minutes worth typically), a free period to indulge in destructive behavior, and most often, demolition of the rioters' own property. Therefore, riots are generally counterproductive. All that just for the ecstacy of a few nights of breaking things.

The conversation with my brother got me to thinking about an episode of the Simpsons where Homer and Bart are sitting on the couch watching a show called something like "World's Greatest Building Demolitions." Homer and Bart hoot it up as the buildings come crashing down. At the end of the segment, Homer wipes away a tear of joy and says, "Whew! I didn't think that last one was going to come down!"

I have told my wife several times that the recipe for a successful TV station for guys would be one that shows nothing but missles blowing stuff up, massive demolitions, and various other scenes of big things getting destroyed. Like Homer and Bart, I'd certainly tune in.

Pre-Season Poll

CBS Sportsline doesn't think too highly of the ACC according to its top 25. Only three teams are included, only #1 Duke ranked in the top 20. That's a little suspect. Throw in Mike Davis' Indiana Hoosiers as a top 25 team, and I don't think this poll deserves much attention.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Scary News

The much anticipated and dreaded avian bird has finally reached America's shores. Click on the link for the victim's gruesome photo.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Jesus Saves (the Purdue Boilermakers)...Part I

Once again, I made the trip to W. Lafayette, IN over the weekend to attend a Purdue Boilermakers football game at Ross-Ade Stadium. The Boilermakers, a preseason favorite to win the Big Ten, came into the game with a sorry 0-6 in-conference record. Consequently, this game wasn't about titles, it was about pride...and for the tailgaters, probably more about beer and hamburgers.

Go Boilers!

In my last dispatch from the Hoosier State, I sang the praises of the Purdue University tailgate. Since you know what a wonderful experience that is already, I'll concentrate more on the game this time, particularly since the Boilermakers' opponent wasn't spotted 28 points in Saturday's match. But I can't entirely ignore the tailgate.

Our Tailgate Coordinator (TC) sent out a mass email weeks prior to the game, assigning each squad of tailgaters a specific mission. We commend our TC for ensuring that we had everything we needed to live up to the proper Purdue University tailgating standard. It is indisputable we should receive a demerit or two for our miniscule grill (I could have sworn it had an "Easy Bake" label on it), but otherwise, we attained a level of tailgating effectiveness worthy of the Purdue University stamp of approval.

Perhaps the most interesting moment of our tailgate involved the divulgence of two classified pregnancies. We had a couple of covert Moms-to-Be (M2B) attempting to inconspicuously drink bottles of water in lieu of alcohol, hoping that their secret would remain safe. Best part: neither knew the other was pregnant. But the beans were spilled when the following conversation was initiated by one of the Fathers-to-Be (F2B):

F2B: "M2B1, do you need anything to drink."
M2B1: "Ummmm. I'm drinking water."
F2B: "All day?"
M2B1: "Uh...yep."
F2B: "You're drinking water all day, too?"
M2B1: "All day, too?!" Turns to M2B2: "You're drinking water all day, too?!"
M2b2: "Yep!"
M2B1/M2B2, in unison: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Congratulations!"
F2B to Tailgate: "Hey, everyone. We have an announcement to make. We have a couple of water drinkers over here!"
Tailgate: ...murmurs...confusion...
Tailgater1: "Hey. I think he mean's they're pregnant!"
Tailgate: "Oh! Congratulations!"

After all the pomp and circumstance died down, and the tailgaters had their fill of beer (or water as it were), the tailgate quickly wrapped up and the party-goers joined the throng headed to Ross-Ade for the start of the game.

This week's opponent: the Michigan State Spartans. Michigan State started the season hot, climbing the polls towards the top 10 after beating Notre Dame in OT early in the season. The Big Ten schedule got the better of them in recent games, however, as the Spartans fell to Michigan, Ohio State, and red-hot Northwestern to drop three of its previous four games. The Spartans needed a win to keep their hopes of becoming bowl eligible alive.

The Michigan State Spartan prowls the sidelines

Purdue, on the other hand, was just looking for something to do on a Saturday afternoon. Riding a six-game losing streak (pathetically, all in-conference) into the game, the Boilermakers were just hoping to put up a good fight before taking on Illinois and Indiana the next two weekends in a battle for last place in the Big Ten.

Purdue won the toss and elected to defer. Michigan State chose the ball and promptly showed Purdue what to do with it, as they hastily shoved it down Purdue's hapless throats. One minute and 37 seconds later, it was 7-0 Spartans. Could this be a repeat of the Notre Dame game?

Hardly. Purdue fought right back. After running some time off the clock, Jerod Void took the ball on handoff from freshman QB Curtis Painter to the house, 64 yards later. 7-7.

Not to be outdone, Michigan State scored again on a one-yard carry less than three minutes later, making quick work of college football's third worst defense. 14-7, Spartans.

One good TD deserves another. Purdue equalized the score 15 minutes later on a 39 yard TD pass from Painter to WR Dorien Bryant. 14-14. We have a ballgame.

Shortly after Michigan State gave the ball back to Purdue came the stunner. Purdue methodically drove down the field as time slid off the clock toward halftime. Looking strong, the Boilermakers picked apart the Spartan D and, as they approached the red zone, appeared poised to head into the locker room with an advantage of at least 3 points. Then disaster struck. Purdue's Painter dropped back to pass and was quickly met by a crushing sack that jarred the pigskin loose. Rather than fall on the ball, a Spartan LB picked up the ball and started running towards the Purdue endzone. At midfield, a trio of Purdue pursuers converged on the LB like a pack of Jurrasic Park raptors and caused another fumble. The ball somehow rolled backwards and to the left about ten yards...and bounced into the waiting hands of another Michigan State defender who rumbled down the field the rest of the way to the Purdue side of the field, and dove into the end zone.

Touchdown Spartans. The crowd was stunned. An extra point later, and Michigan State took the advantage to halftime, 21-14. An incredible turn of events in the blink of eye.

Stunned Purdue football fans endure insult added to injury as the Michigan State Spartans band plays a halftime set

Would Purdue recover from this unexpected blow before the half, or would it be too deflating and pave the way to an 0-7 conference record?

(To be continued!)

UPDATE: Embarassingly, I referred to the "Fathers-to-Be" as "Husbands-to-Be" in my original post. Make no mistake, the fathers are MARRIED to their wives (the Mothers-to-Be). After all, this is a family blog. I cannot stress this enough: all potential children referred to above are "legitimate." (Hopefully this heads off any potential lawsuits for defamation...did I say that out loud?)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Quote of the Day

Regarding a certain Philadelphia athlete current facing some trouble:

"This, of course, can in some way hurt his career as a professional ballplayer, and all will depend on the way in which he is brought before justice," defense lawyer Jose Luis Tamayo said.

No, it's not TO. Our quote of the day is probably the understatement of the year, as well. Here is the context of the statement:

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Ugueth Urbina was arrested and held Tuesday pending a formal charge of attempted murder.

Last month, Urbina and a group of men allegedly attacked five workers with machetes and poured gasoline on them in an attempt to set them on fire. All five were injured, some of them with cuts and one with burns on the back and right arm, police said.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Today's View from Delaware

I spent this past weekend in Indiana, luckily avoiding the tornadoes. We were well north of the devastation, but did get the same line of storms. With the exception of some extremely strong winds and a nasty T-storm, the worst we suffered was a chair cushion blown about 100 yards from the house into a cornfield across the street.

The storms forced a delay of our connecting flight last night of four hours, as they continued east and passed through Philadelphia. We ultimately arrived in Philly at 1:15am. I'll be certain to drink some extra coffee today.

The focus of the weekend was the Purdue vs. Michigan State football game. I'll have more on that later this week.

Fall. Wilmington, DE. November 4, 2005.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Diversity Argument

I'm never sure what to make about articles like this one by Ruth Marcus in today's Washington Post, but usually they make me laugh. Since the article is in favor of "diversity" in whatever form the author advocates, the writer, as in this case, usually starts off by highlighting a group of people he/she believes is overrepresented.

Well, that certainly mixes things up. The first Supreme Court vacancy went to a white Catholic judge who went to Harvard College and Harvard Law School. The second, chances are, will be filled by a white Catholic judge who went to college at Princeton and law school at Yale.

At this rate, a WASP male from Stanford is going to look like a diversity pick.

Next step, in the interest of attempted credibility, the author disclaims any bad feelings he/she may hold for that group that is causing "diversity" to be destroyed. Why? Because a person in favor of "diversity" MUST be OK with every viewpoint, race, color, creed, etc. If one is left out, "diversity" is impure.

Now, I have nothing against white guys, Catholics, judges or Ivy Leaguers -- or Stanford WASPs for that matter. And I thought the president made a mistake in nominating Harriet Miers to take the place of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The Miers pick represented the elevation of gender over quality; instead of adding to the sense that it is normal and appropriate to have women on the high court, the choice made it look as if presidents have to make sacrifices to scrounge up female nominees. Like almost every woman I know, of every ideological stripe, I was relieved when she withdrew.

A thin veneer of credibility thus established, the author then feels free to spend the remainder of his/her piece bashing the group, viewpoint, etc. he/she originally disclaimed any animosity toward...but in a veiled fashion so as not to come right out and say that the bashee is bashw-worthy (thus destroying the carefully constructed "credibility").

To test this notion, just imagine an all-male, all-white Supreme Court. No president looking at a high court vacancy would consider that acceptable in this day and age, nor should he -- or she. A court with a lone female justice -- or, for that matter, a lone African American justice, or no Hispanic justice at all -- isn't all that much better.

Simple question: what if the best minds and most qualified were all white, male Catholics? Should they be excluded because of their skin color/religion? To use a similar mind experiment to Ms. Marcus's, just imagine a Supreme Court that, instead of choosing the best and brightest legal minds of the age, instead had specific slots for the "black" justice, or "the gay Hispanic" justice, or the "female 'Native-American'" justice, or the "moderate male Sino-Indian-American" justice. That's just ridiculous.

I understand what Ms. Marcus is getting at. There are pros brought to the table by having more than one viewpoint. But where do we draw the line? Gender is an obvious trait, and women make up half the population. Democrats and Republicans are similarly split. Should there always be a 5-4 split based on party ID? Should there be a number of justices equal in proportion to the general population that are left-handed? Why aren't there more Hispanic justices? Where is the Asian guy/gal behind the bench? There seem to be quite a few of them out there, but no real outcry for their seat.

What exactly is diversity other than interest group politics? Do these people want a Supreme Court that puts out a great product, one that makes our legal system an example to the world? Or do they want a nice looking class photo that makes them feel cozy and warm inside?

Ms. Marcus spends most of the tail end of her piece lamenting the replacement of Sandra Day O'Connor with another [boring] white male jurist. Like Chicken Little, Ms. Marcus claims the sky is falling and feels that is some great step backward in the movement toward equal rights for women (and I'm guessing this is meant as another indictment of the evil Republican bigots and their Hitlerian leader, President Chimpy McLamebrain).

I submit that Ms. Marcus hasn't spent much time in the business world. Certainly, women are not running the show on equal footing with men. We wouldn't expect this, since women tend have kids at some point during their careers, retarding their progress. But they are making great strides. I have seen this myself. In the eight years I have worked in the private sector since graduating from college (mainly in the financial industry), I have worked directly for a male during only half of those years. Furthermore, during each of those four years, though my direct superior was a man, the head of the overall group was a woman. That's basically eight for eight...and we're talking about five major employers during those eight years.

Just because this time around, we have another white male nominee doesn't mean the rights of any particular interest group have been sent back to the stone age. There is nothing to indicate that Judge Sam Alito won't be anything but a stellar justice. There is equally nothing to indicate that Judge Alito intends to crush the hopes of any minority group or even will do so unintentionally. Anything you read to the contrary is hype.

Representation on the Supreme Court by one, two, three more women (I'm talking concurrently) is just around the corner. Just look at our law schools that are graduating women at a higher rate than men. It's inevitable, but now just might not be the time. Same goes for minority groups. Our first black/hispanic/asian president will likely be in office within the next five elections. (I'm hoping this fine man is the first.)

Be patient. The sky isn't falling, and the court is still in good hands.