Thursday, April 17

FINALLY!!

PoliBlog now has a new home--it is under construction, but it finally habitable. Come see at: www.poliblogger.com.

MT Help Does anyone who uses Movable Type know how to get the default template to wrap the text to the screen?

Wednesday, April 16

Yes, I'm Still Alive Haven't had much free time the last day or so, and have spent what little I have had trying to get the move to MT going. Am having some minor difficulties, but hopefully will get it squared away tonight.

Tuesday, April 15

Status: Sorry about the dearth of posts the last several days--not only has life been especially busy, but I have been working on making the transition to my own domain and to Movable Type. Like James at OTB, I have tired of fooling with BlogSpot and other issues that the current blog requires me to fool with. Look for an announcement soon on the move. This blog will remain active, however, until the actual move.
Killing the Goose that Lays the Golden Paycheck? I have never fully understood this kind of behavior:
American Airlines Inc.'s flight attendants voted to turn down their financial concession agreements with the Fort Worth-based company, following the approval announced by pilots and transport workers earlier in the day, according a report by Dow Jones Newswires.

The rejection by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants could lead to a bankruptcy filing from the world's largest airline.

If your compnay goes bankrupt, you aren't going to get the deal you want anyway, and indeed, you are likely to lose your job.

Source: DallasNews.com

Money for Moose? While I have mixed feelings on this, I have to admit, there is a point to be made here:
"Even criminals have a right to publish books about their crimes," said Washington College of Law Professor Jamin Raskin, a member of Moose's legal team. "If hitmen for the mob and mass murderers have a First Amendment right to write and publish books about crime, why don't police chiefs?"

Source:Chief Moose appeals ruling on sniper spree book

On to Phase Two. Let the rebuilding begin:Pentagon Asserts the Main Fighting Is Finished in Iraq. " The Pentagon declared today that major combat operations in Iraq were over after United States forces took control of Tikrit, the last bastion of the old government."

Monday, April 14

High Crimes and Misdemeanors? Don't get me wrong, I see no cause to simply head over to Syria and start breaking heads. They may well deserve it, but such a course of action hardly seems prudent, to put it mildly. So what in the world is former Secretary of State Eagleburger ranting about here?
Mr Eagleburger, who accused Syria of having an outrageous record on terror, said an extension of the war was unthinkable.

"You saw the furore that went on before the President got sufficient support to do this," he said. "This is still a democracy and public opinion rules. If George Bush decided he was going to turn troops on Syria now and then Iran he'd be in office about 15 minutes.

"If President Bush were to try it now, even I would feel he should be impeached. You can't get away with that sort off thing in a democracy."

This strikes me as a very odd thing to say--I concur that the political will to do such a thing is not present, and it is pretty much unthinkable that the President would willy-nilly send troops hither and yon. However, impeachable? I think not.

I also recall Mr. Eagleburger was initially quite agains the war with Iraq, although he did eventually change his tune. At any rate, I think Syria can be dealt with via diplomacy at this point, although I wouldn't rule out speacial ops actions if they harbor Iraqi Baathists or are holding Iraqi WMDs.

Source: BUSH'S CALL TO SYRIANS

One Big Happy Family I suspect he knows things of use: Saddam's Half Brother Caught Near Mosul. And family gatherings had to be a hoot:
Hassan had fallen out of favor with Saddam in 1995 and was dismissed as Iraq's interior minister, head of the regime's secret police and other domestic security agencies.

Saddam viewed Hassan as a threat and kept a close watch on him, the official said. Saddam's son Odai is reported to have shot Hassan around the time of his dismissal as interior minister.

Weapons, What Weapons?: Iraqis Point to Possible Weapons Sites "U.S. forces have a list of 2,000 to 3,000 sites in Iraq that need to be checked, and weapons teams are checking up to 20 sites a day, said the war's commander, Gen. Tommy Franks. Iraqis ranging from common citizens to high-ranking officials have suggested other possible hiding places to be searched, Franks and other military officials said."
And the Alternative Would Be? Hundreds protest global lending:
Hundreds of activists peacefully demonstrated yesterday against alleged abuses by large American corporations and international lending agencies, saying their policies are harmful to poor people in Latin America and elsewhere.

[...]

''For the last 50 years we've been attacked by the International Monetary Fund'' because its lending policies funnel money away from social programs in Argentina, said Graciela Monteagudo, a member of the Argentina Autonomist Project.

While I am no giant booster of everything that the IMF and World Bank have done policy-wise during their existence, these kinds of protests beg some key questions, amongst them: if the WB and IMF didn't lend the monies in question, where would these economies be at this point in time? The protestors seems to think that the money would be there no matter what, which is hardly an accurate assessment.

Sunday, April 13

More Evidence: This piece bolsters part of the argument I make in my column: A War Waged With a Sword At His Throat:
Settling nervously into a car, he recounted his story as a soldier in Saddam's Fedayeen.

"I was sure I was going to die," he said.

Struggling against hopelessness and fear, he prepared for battle under the scrutiny of the militia's swordsmen, appointed to decapitate any deserters. Clad in black fatigues, he weathered bombing and boredom. Then he plotted his escape to the safety of relatives on the Iranian border.

"For what was I going to fight?" he asked.

[...]

"I was forced to go. If I refused, I would be considered a traitor and they would execute me," he said.

The article is also interesting as it contains detailed on the Fedayeen Saddam, its origins and operations. It also makes them sound less fearsome and organized than we all thought about two weeks ago.