Friday, March 31, 2006

Feingold Hearings

So, the Senate judiciary committee is holding hearings, and the first witness up is John Dean (Yes, that John Dean of Watergate fame) who is going to say that this is worse than what Nixon did.
I want to know how Dean knows more about the program than anyone else who is not working it. Could it be that he is making it up?
I thought so.
But here is the $64,000 question. Should the censure hearings go forth, and yield nothing, could Feingold be censured by his fellow senators for bringing a frivilous motion against the President during war?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Why I have been away

So, I was over at Chico Hot Springs in Pray Montana for our annual Criminal Defense Continuing Legal Education. There is nothing more fun than all that drinkin, smokin, cussin and braggin that goes on with criminal defense attorneys.
I was standing outside and telling one of my best war stories. It involved a sexual intercourse without consent charge. The prosecution during voir dire was explaining that the defendant was alleged to have forced a woman to perform oral sex on him.
About that time, the first juror in the box, a single female, 60 years old raises her hand and says "Miss, Miss, can I ask a question."
The prosecutor, sensing an opportunity to establish rapport with a potential juror said "Sure, what is your question?"
The juror then asked what the punishment was for this crime. Now in Montana, juries only decide guilty or not guilty, except in capital cases, so it would have been inappropriate for the prosecutor to say what it was.
However, wanting to take the sting away from telling the juror to shut up, it was none of her business, she turned to the judge and asked if he would answer the question. Hoping the judge would tell the juror that she was not supposed to be concerned with punishment.
Instead, the judge, a former prosecutor turned to me and asked if I had any objections?
No objection your Honor, I replied. Whereupon the judge started intoning "The maximum punishment for this crime is life in prison, with not less than two years, nor more than 100."
At this the juror blurted out "That's an awful long time for a blow job isn't it?
Just as I finished telling this story, I heard someone laughing, and looked over to see Karla Grey, the Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court laughing along with us.
Only in Montana.

An Iraqi view 3 years on

Mohammed at Iraq th Model has a very cogent examination of the results of the last 3 years. I especially liked the line: Are we free or are we lost?
The problem with freedom is that you have choices. I know that doesn' seem to be a bad thing, but we are used to haveing choices. Imagine someone who had their choice dictated to them for years on which clothes to wear, and then were suddenly thrust into a mall and told they could wear anyting that they wanted.
The overwhelming variety can result in overstimulation and (at least temporarily) a withdrawl to the simpleness of no choice.
Iraqis now have a choice. As I have said many times before, war is a catalyst, it is not an end to itself. It simply creates the condition for change. Think of razing a slum to make way for new and better apartments. The razing is a destructive act. But you couldn't improve the apartments without removing the slums.
Read the whole article. If you can get to the end without a bittersweet tear in your eye you have no soul.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Gary Hart, Military Genius?

The right to freedom of speech means that even if you don't know what you are talking about, you can sound just as self assured as someone who actually understands the problem. Hart here, shows himself to be a dilletante of the highest order. Unfortunately, as his future obit will say, the former senator from Colorado and Presidential candidate, carries a certain amount of weight, especially among those who hold like opinions, and who will use his stature to verify their posisitons.
Perhaps he is just like so many of our fellow citizens who believe that right now, Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. Of course, a higher percentage of Americans believe in UFOs, but no one except for the nuts around Area 51 have actual proof of them existing. Poll numbers do not reflect facts, they reflect manipulation. Hart must be influenced by these poll numbers to write this tripe.
This seems to go hand in hand with Murtha saying that we have lost the war. Hmm, did I miss the news where our forces have surrendered to the Iraqis? Which divisions have been destroyed? What brigades or battalions are no longer operational? What company was massacred? Which platoon pulverized? Saying that we have lost the war does not make it so. Unfortunately, no one is interested in the facts, just confirmation of their opinion.
I am coming to believe that politics in all forms should be labeled as fiction.
If you want to know what is going on in Iraq, and lack the ability, or the heart to go yourself, check out Will to Exist on the right. I believe him far more than I would anyone who isn't there.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The CIA is at it again

So, now the CIA is saying that it wants to prevent the Libby defense team from access to material that they say is needed for their defense. On the face of it, it looks as though Libby's team is overreaching.
But maybe, the real story is that the CIA wants the case to be dismissed by the judge so that no one will be really able to dig deeply into the story and find out the CIA is mucking about in politics.
Hmmm. Makes you wonder.

Idiotic Idiots has a picture of Barbara Streisand and the following underneath it:
Barbra Streisand accused President Bush of having 'the arrogance of a 'C' student'

Misspellings from her most recent web posting:
• Irag
• curruption
• dictatoriship
• crediblity
• Adminstration
• warrented
• desperatly
• preceedings
• ouside
• subpoening
• responsibilty

Is there anything worse than an idiot who thinks that they are a genius?
Me, I know that I am dumb.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Crash the Movie

James Taranto of Best of the Web (you have to scroll to the bottom) feels that Crash may have been a good movie but that it was "manipulative and unrealistic as the day is long."
My wife (the good Democrat) and I watched the movie on Sunday just before the Oscars, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Now, I may be putting too much into this, but it seems to me that what the movie was saying is that racisim is essentially laziness; a sort of shorthand way to react to the frustrations of life over which we have so little control.
It does add in two examples of racisim that show the absolute worst form which is racisim by the authorities. Watching the charachter played by Matt Dillon grope the female passenger in front of her husband after a stop about made me quit the movie right there. Then later, when the LA County District Attorney and his assistants allowed a white detective to be blamed for the death of an off duty black officer, it showed that while our personal racisim is bad, at the institutional level it can destroy our entire civilization.
It is a good movie and shows the corrupting effects of racisim. Go see it if you get the chance.

Deblogging ideas

Dave and Matt are busy deblogging each other. I would just like to say:
Both of you, just put down your keyboards, and slowly back away, and no one will get hurt.

This is not the only instance of "purifying" by all sides of any ideas that are uncomfortable. Pretty soon, everybody will be pointing out to commenters to just stay on their own side of the Internet.
I list on my blogroll all that I am interested in. It has always been my experience that I need to fully hear someone else's argument and weigh it against my own. If I am right, I have a better argument. If I am wrong, I learn and become better. If I ignore the other side, I become even more ignorant.
Both sites will remain blogrolled here, even if I am kicked off theirs.

Update Dave corrects me that he is not changing Matt's link from his page. Sorry for the mix up.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Sorry to be so slovenly

I spent a week in a golf school at Las Vegas. Golf is reaaly like remarriage - a triumph of hope over experience. But the good news is that I have learned that when I do something wrong, I now know why. Doesn't stop me from doing it, but at least now I know why.
I read this piece by Ralph Peters, and it reminds me once again: Never trust the news you haven't seen with your own eyes, and never think that you can ever really understand the Middle East.
When I was in Saudi Arabia, I learned that the phrase, "I will see what I can do" is really code for , "Sorry bud, your are on your own." When the Golden Dome shrine was blown, I was afraid that the Sunnis in Iraq would become only a distant memory. Instead, the Shias have responded with a certain amount of measured restraint that has to be admirable. The fact that all out civil war has not taken place gives me a great deal of hope, and this article by Peters just adds to it.
Now, it is possible that I am being manipulated in the same way that I think that the MSM is doing, but my own experience has taught me that there is more of value to believe in Peter's reporting than that of the NYT.