Annapolis Conference is all about Bush legacy

President Bush walks with the Prime Minister of Israel, and the President of the Palestinian Authority to Bancroft Hall-Memorial Hall at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert are meeting with President George Bush today in Annapolis, Maryland, in another attempt to reach some sort of peace agreement. I can’t imagine that any of the attendees really believes our decidedly undiplomatic, foot-in-mouth president can broker a deal for the incendiary Middle East.

It was, in fact, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who organized the conference and lobbied extensively just to get the participants to attend. Does anyone doubt this slapdash, last-minute peace conference is an attempt by Mr. Bush to salvage something positive for his presidential legacy? He hasn’t even deigned to talk to the principals for the last seven years!

Until the Palestinians stop attacking the Israelis and the Israelis have totally vacated Gaza and the West Bank to make way for a Palestinian state, there will be no peace between them. George Bush long ago frittered away the world respect and credibility he needs to influence the process.

Okay, it’s time to free Ramos and Compean

It was reported today that Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, the Mexican drug smuggler shot by two U.S. Border Patrol agents in 2005, was finally arrested Thursday in El Paso, TX. The arrest was per a sealed indictment for drug smuggling crimes committed several months after the shooting incident.

The agents, Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, were convicted last year of shooting Davila and lying about it. They were sentenced to more than 10 years each, while Davila was given immunity for testifying against them in the case.

It was a twisted miscarriage of justice for the agents to be imprisoned while the drug runner was freed. Arresting Davila was long overdue, as is the release of Ramos and Compean.

PBS scores with ‘Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial’

This evening PBS aired “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.” I sat riveted for the entire two hours. Fascinating looks at the people and testimony in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case in Pennsylvania a few years ago, where the judge had to decide whether an effort to inject Intelligent Design (ID) into the school’s science curriculum was a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Key to the decision was whether ID is simply another name for Creationism, and hence a religious view, not science. has a big section devoted to the program, and also a rapidly growing forum. It’s sad to see how much of the forum immediately fell into the eternal debate of which side is right and what idiots or heathens the other guys are.

Actually I felt the network did an outstanding job presenting the testimony of both sides, taken directly from court records, media accounts, and other sources of the time. It made a compelling story for those of us who’d picked up only bits and pieces before.

In my mind, it was a balanced presentation, but that may be because I’m a secularist and the Darwinists won, quite handily I thought. I understood what the ID supporters were getting at and appreciated it. But the fact remains that they changed their terminology from “creationism” to “Intelligent Design” in an effort to conceal its religious roots and get it into the public schools when they knew religion would not be allowed in the school. What intrigued me about the whole thing was that the judge in the case was a Bush appointee and a believer in ID. Still he adhered to the Constitution rather than his personal beliefs. That’s a tribute to the strength of the Darwinist case and to the courage of a judge who believed in upholding the law.

Nice job, PBS.