This "Hands on Weapons" thought of Leo's reminds me of WHY Castle Towers ALWAYS spiral upward in a clock-wise direction - so the persons at the top have their right handed weapons readily available, meanwhile the attackers climbing can only draw left-sided weapons or use right-handed instruments at a huge disadvantage to the people above them.
About the courtroom protocol, I'm not sure, but EVERYTHING has pomp and circumstance in this land. Just watch the door opener of Marine One (The President's Helicopter) He (A Marine) sits on the opposite side of Marine One from the President's door, the guard exits just as the engine shuts down and the blade starts to wind down, the he walks to the front, making 3 consecutive 90 degree right turns around the helicopter, places his head against the door in a slight bowed position. When the blades fully stop rotating (to the second) he snaps open the door/stairs for the President to exit - again EVERYTHING in this land (and I assume most) have exact pomp and circumstance or protocol that is followed.
But NOW swearing in court in most states (and this is a state choice NOT a Federal choice) no longer use the words "... and the whole truth, so help you God" but NOW during Swear-In it is something more politically correct, such as "... and the whole truth, at risk at purgering yourself before this court."
I thought the 411 million dollar funeral of Ronald Reagan was a good example of tributory protocol at its finest. If indeed we must bury our leaders with grandious goodbyes, I'm glad it was done for a man I truly admired as a teenager. I think the world saw Reagan as a very powerful figure in world politics and Iran's releasal of the 444 hostages as Reagan swore into the office of President was a good example at how he was precieved EVEN BEFORE he lead the country.
Yes, Reagan had flaws and probably Nancy did run the country for at least 1 and possibly 3 years as Reagan slipped away - but their love for each other was something that no other political figure has matched in my 47 years.
On the flip-side of that coin, I liked Clinton too - mainly because I believed (then and still do now) that Clinton truly loved to meet ordinary people, learn and grow from their stories and when George Bush (the father) ran for re-election, Bush showed his real smug and arrogant ways when heckled by the audience plants from the Clinton camp during fund raisers and rallies. Would love to have seen a Clinton vs. Reagan debate - WOW!!!
I'm often finding myself in the boundries of "random polls" these days, as odd and embarrassing as that seems to admit: but I had better hopes for George Bush "the son", and I have become more and more disappointed by his "stage presence" and smirky comebacks - I've worked with people who (when cornered) go WAY BEYOND sarcastic in reply and Bush talks down to people when defending his lame excuses for how he is fighting terrorism in Iraq, rather than spending the same trillions in defending our borders and infrastructure. I hate to even think that the ONLY weapon of mass destruction in Iraq in 2002-2005 is the United States Military. Not that I believe the goals of our fighting force is anything but constructive - but to the poor grunt who still lies in a fox-hole in the Iraq dessert, I think the goals of the mission are blurred from the original ideals of independent Iraqy Controlled government.
But about the money spent so far: Just imagine if we put THAT money in port inspection technology, dessert based refineries, education and investment into boasting small to large business and employment numbers. It isn't hard to see that the surplusses we had have been exhausted and the debt our country is in may take decades to rebuild. I do see improvements in various parts of the US Growth and Economic numbers, but we also need to give these constant increases in prime-rate interest a break.
The ONLY thing MOST Americans have in their favor now is MARKET INFLATED VALUES of their homes - a double edge sword which can easily get people in trouble if they borrow against their home value and then the market bubble breaks and home return to a more realistic value which (in my area) is probably 70% OVER-VALUED.
If inflation causes the housing bubble to break, people will have debt that greatly exeeds their net worth (which I know is how most of us live anyway) but the fact that we have homes that can be sold to get us out of debt is a crutch that most Americans depend on as a last ditch effort to bail out with.
Everything else in price/cost comparatives are relatively believable in the market-place and values fluctuate understandibly - even fuel (although we are yanked around in times of natural disasters) is a comparitively stable and rationalized value to the consumer. Home cost isn't held to the same standards as anything else the consumer buys, trades or sells. So, it is more of a crap-shoot than an investment, especially if you are on the buyers end today.
Anyway... At least I kept on topic for a change, instead of rambling as I often do
Hope that helps - lol.