Wednesday Non-Election Open Thread

No blogging for me today. 5:00 am wake-up calls just don't agree with me and before court this morning, I had a 6:00 am conference call that lasted over an hour.

This thread is for those who want a break from all the primary and election coverage. What else is going on out there?

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    Is this truly what the Left wants? (1.00 / 0) (#1)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Jan 16, 2008 at 12:28:19 PM EST
    We are in a difficult war against an unprecedented enemy. Its members deliberately disguise themselves as civilians and carry out surprise attacks on innocent civilian targets. They do not have a territory, city or population. They are trained to claim abuse when captured and to appeal to the legal system to tie up dWemocracies in knots.

    It is a difficult job for our government and armed forces to adapt the rules for war to such an unconventional, non-state opponent.

    But Padilla and his Yale Law School attorneys think that these decisions are better second-guessed by plaintiffs' lawyers and judges rather than our elected leaders. They challenged Padilla's detention and lost in the federal Court of Appeals in South Carolina, before the government sent him to Miami for prosecution.

    Think about what it would mean if Padilla were to win. Government officials and military personnel have to devise better ways to protect the country from more deadly surprise attacks. Padilla and his lawyers want them, from the president down to lowest private, to worry about being sued when they make their decisions. Officials will worry about all of the attorneys' fees they will rack up to defend themselves from groundless lawsuits.


    You bet..... (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 16, 2008 at 12:59:16 PM EST
    Can't speak for the left, but this American wants all Americans to have access to the courts for a redress of their grievances with their govt., regardless if they are accused or convicted of a crime.  If a govt. official breaks the law and wrongs a citizen, they can and should be held personally liable.

    Does the right not agree?  I'm not getting this wanna-be tyrant's point....in the name of security we should deny American citizens access to the courts?  A lawsuit, in his biased administration member opinion, is frivolous and/or "lawfare", so we should just scrap all that equality under the law stuff?  

    I'm sure glad he's a former member of my govt., and hopes he never works for the govt. again.  He sounds dangerously extreme.


    Yeah (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by tnthorpe on Wed Jan 16, 2008 at 01:06:30 PM EST
    I'd like to see John Yoo disbarred for authorizing torture. His legal theories concerning executive authority in wartime are disgraceful.

    As for his pathetic attempt to portray himself the victim of "lawfare"--what a ridiculous concept and a hypocritical one from a former Bush operative at the OLC--, I guess the word 'accountability' is just too hard for him to spell.

    The war paradigm is phony through and through and needs to be dropped in favor of the concerted policing and international cooperation that actually stops terrorism. But hey, nothing makes my day brighter than a right-winger crying victim and bemoaning everyone else's lack of patriotism because, unlike Yoo, they believe in the rule of law.


    Kdog consider this (1.00 / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:26:20 PM EST
    They are wrong. Both the president and Congress have agreed that the United States is at war, and Congress passed an authorization for using force against any groups, nations or people responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Capturing prisoners has been a permanent feature of war throughout human history; hundreds of thousands were detained during World War II alone. Sometimes, unfortunately, the enemy has included U.S. citizens - in the Civil War, every Confederate soldier was a citizen, and in World War II some Americans fought in the Axis armed forces. They never had a right to sue the soldiers who caught them.

    Duly considered..... (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:46:08 PM EST
    and I would still err on the side of allowing the US citizen captured access to the courts.  If the soldier or govt. agent who captured the citizen acted within the law he/she will be exonerated.

    heh (1.00 / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 07:31:50 PM EST
    No one is saying that he should not have access to the courts. In fact he had oodles of legal representation.

    The issue is that if every person is attacked through the courts, then the result will likely be a chilling effect on those who are trying to attack us.

    I know you have trouble with thus, but not all government figures are evil.


    Not all.... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 02:52:51 PM EST
    but they are human and capable of evil and criminal deeds.  I know you have trouble with this, but thay aren't all Captain America's either:)

    Best not to give them immunity for anything and everything they do under the color of their authority...especially when talking about citizens endowed by the Bill of Rights with certain protections against govt. tyranny.


    heh (1.00 / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:37:08 PM EST
    The war paradigm is phony through and through and needs to be dropped in favor of the concerted policing and international cooperation that actually stops terrorism.

    Yes, it worked so well before 9/11, eh??



    Yeah, guess (none / 0) (#27)
    by tnthorpe on Fri Jan 18, 2008 at 02:34:15 PM EST
    W was sleeping on the job, or like Condi, didn't take OBL too seriously.

    The war paradigm is phony, nothing but a front for profiteering and expansion of presidential power, while the W maladministration continues to prop up corrupt regimes across the Islamic world.

    Oh yeah, you and your buddies in the WH are on the wrong wrong wrong side of history.


    I have a question (none / 0) (#4)
    by Judith on Wed Jan 16, 2008 at 02:29:05 PM EST
    what is the definition of "civility" in the context of a debate on a blog?  I do not hang out here many hours (when I joined I had a few days off so I could) so perhaps this has already been defined...but I am sincerely asking.

    I think:

    1. People can disagree without it being rude or it being considered rude -
    2. People should say they disagree if they do -
    3. Strong language referring to the other    person's pov should be acceptable - not personal attack - but on the viewpoint. I saw "cultist" was considered an attack.  If it is a comment on the other persons comments it is very acceptable in my view. A closed mind to reason is what it refers to.

    4.  Blogger's on other sites are often cited as sources here - if one thinks said bloggers are not a viable cource, why is that discourteous in some way?  Are bloggers less likely to be wrong than a member of the MSM?

    I am just trying to get the ground rules -

    Shooting the messenger (1.00 / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:28:09 PM EST
    Are bloggers less likely to be wrong than a member of the MSM?

    is done regularly and routinely.


    I just realized (none / 0) (#6)
    by Judith on Wed Jan 16, 2008 at 04:01:25 PM EST
    I am addressing somebody who already said they are not here today. Goofy of me. :-)

    Perhaps you can answer these questions yourself (none / 0) (#7)
    by Aaron on Wed Jan 16, 2008 at 11:26:40 PM EST
    I believe that no one is better equipped to answer your questions then you yourself.  There are no set rules for free speech, each person in the bound by their own internal morality, that's why they call it free, as opposed to controlled speech.  Civility within free speech is little more than the framework you used to deliver your arguments.  Oftentimes people step out of the bounds of civility in addressing me here, and I make no response because I see no need to respond to incivility.  Cases in point these remarks directed at me recently:

    "But I don't expect that to make any difference to you." (RalphB).

    "Tool" (DA in LA).  

    Are these remarks uncivil, perhaps rising to the level of personal attacks?  Maybe so, but I don't have a problem with them, though under Jeralyn and Armando's stated policy, personal attacks are not allowed on this site.  But considering how they exercise the enforcement of these rules, one is forced to wonder whether they are more stringently applied to those who disagree with their viewpoints. If the rules are not enforced across the board, then it seems that these rules are little more than a way to exercise censorship, while giving the appearance of enforcing civility.  

    Armando keeps telling me to go away, not because I'm uncivil, not because my arguments are unsupported, he tells me to go away apparently because I disturb his view of the world, my free speech disturbs his calm, and that's why he continually deletes my comments and makes baseless accusations against me in support of his tactics.

    "Do what Jeralyn has told you to do - stop charging people with racism" (Armando).  

     Is it uncivil to make accusations which you can't support, perhaps not but it's certainly unethical in my view.  Apparently civility here is a matter of perspective, and how it is defined may depend largely on your political positions, whether they are in agreement with the blog owners, who are in positions of power on this blog.

    So I suppose the reality is that there's no such thing as free speech, because someone is always paying a price for that speech, whether it is those who fight to protect the right, or the price you pay for exercising that freedom. Free speech always has a cost, it's just a matter of who picks up the check.

    Each individual must make their own determination of what the costs will be, it is always a balancing act, how far is too far, and when is it necessary to overstepped the boundaries of etiquette and good taste.  Sometimes you've got to push the boundaries if you want to make your point and have its stick in the mind of your readers or listeners.  And each individual will have a different response to your words, some will see only the method you use, others will only concern themselves with the factual content, and yet others will primarily focus on the emotional impact and underlying intent of your words. So in the end, by definition, it must be you who determines the boundaries of your own speech.  


    there are rules for commenting on this blog (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 07:47:44 PM EST
    Please read them. You definitely may not make up your own.

    Aaron, free speech is not an issue here. TalkLeft is not the Government. I make the rules.


    American Idol started up last night. (none / 0) (#5)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Jan 16, 2008 at 02:55:40 PM EST
    I mostly can't watch the sad-sack prelims like last night, but once they settle on the dozen or so finalists, man, there are some gems.

    What's wrong with this picture..... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 09:53:56 AM EST
    I'm no master economist, but I don't think this is the way free markets are supposed to work.

    Citibank announces a 9.8 billion dollar loss for the 4th quarter, the ceo Prince basically resigns in shame.  Upon resigning he gets a package including 42 billion in stock and 12 million in cash.  WTF?  

    Free market my arse....the market is so freakin'
    rigged you can see the strings.

    Not to mention... (none / 0) (#9)
    by desertswine on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 10:09:30 AM EST
    Stan O'Neal; rewarded for failure at Merrill Lynch.

    Gregg Easterbrook teaches us.... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 10:42:22 AM EST
    If we truly had a free market, that would mean that the board at Citibank could not find an equally qualified candidate willing to work for a 41.9 billion in stock and a 11.9 million bonus.  Does anyone believe for a second that such a candidate does not exist?  Come to think of it, any one of us is quite capable of losing an equal amount of money, and would work for 1% of Prince's bounty.

    If you own Citibank stock, you are one of those suckers they say is born every minute.  You are being defrauded.


    fwiw, (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 12:21:08 PM EST
    million, not billion. A chunk of change nonetheless.

    And another thing (none / 0) (#12)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 12:50:11 PM EST
    Much of that dough is an agreement that prevents Prince from going to work for a competitor.

    Let's say Kobe fails, again, to take the Lakers to the championship this year. After the season he wants to get traded. If Lakers mgt had the moxie, and Kobe agreed to it, they'd strike a deal where the Lakers pay him a bunch of dough to take a powder for a couple years and not play for any other team.

    As rare as Kobe's are in the NBA, Prince's are even more rare in big biz.


    I sure hope.... (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:28:42 PM EST
    ceo's who lose billions are rare, or corporate America is in big trouble:)

    Regardless if Kobe and the Lakers win another title or not, the Lakers turn a profit, and are therefore successful in the business sense.  The same can't be said for Citibank.  Not crazy about that analogy.

    Back to free market principles....Citibank couldn't convince Prince to be unemployed and keep their trade secrets for 11.9 million?

    And I disagree that top-flight ceos are more rare than NBA scoring leaders.  There are maybe a dozen other guys in the entire world that can play basketball at a level comparable to Kobe, if not less.  I would say there are at least 300 businessmen of equal ability to Prince, if not 3000 or 30,000.  Assuming billions in losses is not a reflection of his ability....otherwise like I said above, any of us could do that:)


    Sorry that you don't dig my analogy, (none / 0) (#21)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:56:27 PM EST
    but I think it's pretty good for internet bloviating. :)

    However, if you are a co like Citibank, the number of people in the entire world you would even consider for CEO is really, really tiny.

    Tiny enough that when Citibank is finally able to recruit that one person they think is THE best in the world to be their CEO, they make sure - at the time of the hire - to the best of their ability, that that person, who they've decided is the best in the world, can't up and leave them and go to work for a competitor.

    And the new CEO, at the time of his hire, makes sure that if they really want him they'll make it worth his while.

    40Mill is 1/0.0040th of the 9.8Bill Citibank lost and 1/0.0002th of their revenues. They call that budget dust.


    I see your point.... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 02:09:36 PM EST
    on the scale of the monumental amounts of money we are talking about.  Perhaps if Citibank paid attention to all the "budget dust" flying around they wouldn't be down so much dough this year.

    No sweat of my back, I'm not a customer or a shareholder.  Worried about my sister's husband though, his company was bought out by Citibank this year.  Mid to High level guys like him are usually the first to face the ax when your parent company posts a loss like that.  While Price floats away on a parachute....

    Funny though, he'd say the same stuff you're saying even if he did get canned.  That somehow this type of compensation is justified....obviously I don't agree.  At least it's not justified in the free market sense.


    Hey, I agree with you (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 02:19:51 PM EST
    in principle that he shouldn't be rewarded for screwing up, but I'm sure by getting fired he lost much more than he would have earned had he stayed on.

    Regarding free markets, I think the idea of a free market is that both sides are free to negotiate the best deal they can, and if one or both sides don't dig the deal, they walk.

    Heck, I'd have done the job for merely 1/0.0001th of their revenues, but then again I might have lost the share-holding public 50Bill instead of just 9.8...


    Yes that Prince is obviously (none / 0) (#24)
    by jondee on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 03:59:16 PM EST
    a rare bird. A prodigy. Grifters..I mean virtuosos of business like that, come along maybe once a generation.

    That's what I thought..... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:03:59 PM EST
    but this link says the stock was in billions and the bonus in millions.

    I certainly hope it's a typo:)

    Having been so turned on by libertarian principles lately, and wanting to believe in a true free market as the best way to run a society...I'm left scratching my head at all this.  How does it happen?  

    Maybe the free market is a myth...and like it's opposite communism, it can look real good on paper and yet fail so miserably in practice.  I would certainly call the case of Mr. Prince a monumental failure of the free market.  


    It's a typo. (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 01:09:01 PM EST
    Speaking of frauds... (none / 0) (#13)
    by desertswine on Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 12:51:13 PM EST
    here's a big one involving Franks of Baghdad.