Sunday, February 16, 2003

Recess Appointments

Radley Balko posted this little nugget at his site, and it had me laughing so hard at the Democratic Party that I had to nick it. He is discussing the filibuster of Miguel Estrada's nomination.

Laura Ingraham, whom I normally find a little annoying, had a delicious suggestion on Imus this morning. Given the Democrats' obstruction of the Estrada nomination, she said that Bush too should make a recess apointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals — but that he should appoint....are you ready?....Robert Bork! — the judge whom the Democrats blackballed back in the Reagan administration to start this fifteen-year game of good-for-the-goose in the first place.

I almost wet my pants I was laughing so hard. Such an idea is so incredibly, offensively "in your face" that I don't think it will happen. However, if Bush appoints a bunch of far-right judges during the recess (even with the proviso that they won't get a regular nomination), it might end the Democratic Party's hypocritical blocks on well-qualified nominees. The Democrats need to stop applying litmus tests on judges, a practice that undeniably started with Robert Bork during the Reagan Administration.

posted at 04:43 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

A random thought

After doing a little surfing today, I came across more letters to the editor in various newspapers (no links, they were all fairly generic) that insist that the American people (and the government) have no right to risk the lives of American servicemembers in a war with Iraq.

I would suggest that these people need to discover that the 1960's have ended. Unlike the Vietnam conflict, in which conscripted troops provided the bulk of the forces in combat, today's military is 100% voluntary, and is strongly in favor of dealing with Saddam once and for all. I won't be so arrogant to speak for all military men and women, but the group of people with whom I work want this over as soon as possible, so that we can resume a normal life.

For me personally, Saddam's little contretemps in the past have impacted me directly; I was in the first major unit deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1990, and since then I have had to deal with short-notice changes to deployment schedules because of bellicose actions on his part. I hope we take him out, and soon.

Normally, I don't get this personal, nor do I snivel about my job and its ups and downs. However, when people use me to justify their views on war, views that are not congruent with mine, I will step up to the challenge. I am quite capable of speaking for myself; I don't need someone else to tell the government what I think about the war.

posted at 03:31 PM | permalink | Comments (1)

With all due respect, I believe it was just the other way around. There were more enlistees serving in Vietnam then were conscripts. You might want to re-check your information as to who made up the bulk of the US forces fighting there. From what information I have seen over the years, it was WWII which had the bulk of the fighting men made up of draftees (conscripts).

posted by Vic on February 22, 2003 11:36 PM

Iraq says no to peacekeepers

CNN Europe reports that Iraq will not allow UN peacekeepers in the country. More importantly, it informs us that Iraq will not allow UN arms inspectors to destroy missiles that violate the terms of the 1991 cease-fire.

Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said in an interview with CNN on Saturday that it would be "unacceptable" for U.N. weapons inspectors to destroy Iraqi missiles found to violate U.N. limits and dismissed the idea of sending U.N. peacekeepers to Iraq.

Do France and Germany and Belgium need it spelled out for them? Iraq is only cooperating as long as they get what they want. If they have to make concessions, they are not going to cooperate.

U.N. weapons inspectors have also been pressing Iraq to allow scientists involved in weapons-related work to be interviewed privately. Aziz said Iraq has promised to encourage them to do so, but he also defended the practice of scientists bringing tape recorders into those interviews.
"What's wrong in taking a tape recorder?" Aziz said. "If I want to talk to you about anything, I will put a tape recorder that will help me be reminded of what I said."
He said the suggestion that scientists might not feel free to talk candidly if their conversations were taped was a "political accusation."

No, it's bloody common sense. After seeing what happened to their colleague who tried to talk to the inspectors, any Iraqi scientist would be nuts to say anything that contradict's the government's stance.

The article has no comment from the "Axis of Weasels" on how they feel about Iraq's "cooperation". I wonder how France, Germany, and Russia feel about Iraq smashing their cherished dream of enhancing the inspection teams with soldiers under UN control. Maybe we'll see some real action now, since Iraq's action should be a slap in the face to the UN's appeasement section.

posted at 02:13 PM | permalink | Comments (2)

I tried to comment on your Random Thoughts post...the comments are messed up? Anyway, thanks for the great post and thank you for your service to our great country.

posted by Brent on February 19, 2003 06:43 PM

Hmmmm. I've been having problems with the site recently, although it has been quiet as of late. This is the first time anyone has had problems with comments, although someone linked to the same post with a note that the permalink didn't work. I can't see anything unusual about that post, so I can only chalk it up to MT weirdness.

And you are quite welcome. (smile)Thanks for the encouragement.

posted by Timekeeper on February 20, 2003 12:28 PM

Not in our paper

The Saturday edition of Stars and Stripes had this amusing article, about the "Not In Our Name" group getting their knickers in a bunch over a refusal to print their ad. Apparently, S & S decided to accept a full-page ad, and then later changed their mind, after seeing the ad copy. Now, the group is threatening to sue the publisher, along with the usual allegations of "censorship".

“Stars and Stripes is under no obligation to accept ads,” (Not In Our Name leader Clark) Kissinger said, “but once they do so, they shouldn’t be deciding based on content — that’s censorship.”

No, it's not. It's exercising editorial control of the paper's contents, a valid business decision. NION does not have a right to have their ad published if the paper refuses.

Most liberal groups have trouble with the concept that censorship can only come from the government, not from any private group. (Stars and Stripes is authorized by the DoD, but it is a private concern, with an independent editorial policy.) Perhaps they conflate the two concepts because they fervently advocate wholesale government control of private businesses; they cannot conceive of anything outside the purview of the government. Censorship is when the government steps in and prevents someone from publishing something, not when a media group refuses to publish what you have to say.

The ad has also been rejected by the publishers of the Army Times and its sister publications for the other services, according to the group’s de facto leader, Clark Kissinger.

Kissinger said he was not sure whether his group would sue the publisher of the Times, the Gannett newspaper company. He said no other newspaper had refused the ad.

This attitude undercuts their claim that they are threatening Stars and Stripes only because they changed their minds about accepting the advertisement. Gannett's military papers refused before they saw the ad copy.

Kelsch offered the group a spot on the opinion pages, or the opportunity to put its position in a letter to the editor, which the group rejected.

It may not be as flashy as a full-page ad, but it certainly is a forum in the paper, further belying their claims of "censorship". It is also likely that it would be free, as I am not aware of papers charging to run guest opinions or letters.

It instead had a law firm send a letter to Stripes demanding the ad be run, stating a “failure to do so, will lead to litigation.”

Why does this not surprise me in the least? I am sure that a lawsuit would be dismissed, and I hope Stars and Stripes refuses to back down from its position.

posted at 01:49 PM | permalink | Comments (0)

Democracy in Iraq

Over on my sidebar, I have added a new graphic—"Support Democracy in Iraq". The image leads to The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based think tank that "conducts research and education on international terrorism – the most serious security threat to the United States and other free, democratic nations. "

This is a truly non-partisan effort—its board of advisors includes liberals such as Donna Brazile, conservatives such as Newt Gingrich, and sitting congressmen from both parties, such as Mork Foley (R-FL; my mother's representative), and Eliot Engel (D-NY).

The online Campaign for Democracy and Human Rights in Iraq has been organized by Dean Esmay; his site can be found here and the post about this project is here.

I will keep the link active until Iraq is a free and democratic nation.

posted at 11:59 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

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