Political Lomcevak (Tumbling the Liberal Mindset)

The Definition of a political lomcevak? What you get when you mix an aerobatic pilot, a gun nut, a Burkean Conservative and an avid Fisherman, and then attempt to imprint a Liberal Law Education into him.

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Thursday, May 29, 2003

"Clinton calls for third term
Former US President Bill Clinton has called for a change to the constitution's 22nd Amendment which prevents a person from being elected president more than twice.
"I think since people are living much longer... the 22nd Amendment should probably be modified to say two consecutive terms instead of two terms for a lifetime," he said.

Speaking at the John F Kennedy Library and Museum in Boston, the former president said such a change probably would not apply to him but would benefit future generations.

The amendment was passed after Franklin D Roosevelt was elected to a record fourth presidential term in office.

"There may come a time when we elect a president at age 45 or 50, and then 20 years later the country comes up against the same kind of problems the president faced before," said Mr Clinton.

"People would like to bring that man or woman back but they would have no way to do so."

Mr Clinton who left office in 2001, said he had "loved" his time as president but was also enjoying life outside the White House.

"I was surprised at how happy I was to have my life back," he said during a question-and-answer session.

He said he was writing his memoirs, which are due to be published in the autumn of 2004, although he said they may be on sale before then."

Not just NO, HELL NO. Forget it Billy. No way. Eight years of you is all I can take.

And for reference, and this is directed at Alan Colmes, Bill Clinton did not "create" 22 million jobs. The Government doesn't create jobs. In fact, the way I see it they get in the way of a whole bunch of them. George Bush doesn't have a create jobs button that he is too evil/stupid/moronic to find. And the recession proceeded Bush's Presidency.

Honestly, you must really think people are too stupid to know this. I don't think you are that stupid, why are you insulting me? Presidents can only screw up the economy, they really can't fix it. It's a very basic economic principle.

And that applies to you also, Ms. Ferraro.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003
Well, this is shocking, just shocking I tell you.

"Palestinian President Yasser Arafat stepped in to assert yesterday that he -- not his prime minister -- is in charge of the Palestinian side in negotiations with Israel, throwing plans for an Israeli-Palestinian summit into confusion." Source

Any State department employee who did not see this coming should have been shot. Why the apparent surprise?

"U.S. State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher said he had been told the Sharon-Abbas meeting was postponed "for technical reasons."

Well, there's my answer. Boucher is involved. You know, if I ask for a reason why something important is delayed or put off that I may be personally involved in, I am not placated by "technical reasons." "Technical reasons" is a term of art for bullshit. You try that with your boss.

"Why is your report delayed?"

"Oh, technical reasons"

"Your fired"

Now we find out, and there is nothing technical about it. It's Arafat. or bullshit, whichever you prefer.

"The PLO executive member said that with the jockeying over the summit, Arafat was sending a message to the United States, Israel and Abbas that Arafat makes the decisions over negotiations."

Fine, if this is true, then the "roadmap" is finished. We have already negotiated with Arafat. Many, many, many, many, times. And I am quite sure that Sharon has no interest in negotiating with Arafat again. Can't say I blame him, since negotiating with Arafat is a waste of time. And if that is not self evident to you, you have rationality problems.

"Israel and the United States have been seeking to sideline Arafat, charging that he is tainted by terrorism and has led his Palestinian Authority into corruption and inefficiency."

Ahhhh, yes, the usual press fairness. We have charged him with corruption and terrorism. Merely a charge, sine one could not find a scintilla of proof that Arafat is a terrorist, right? Idiots. And stop awarding Arafat presidential status. Back in the 80's it was Chairman Arafat, which was a little better. It doesn't indicate electoral legitimacy like President Arafat

""Arafat is the elected president of the Palestinian Authority and should not be isolated," he said, calling on Israel to release Arafat from a virtual house arrest in his West Bank headquarters."

Abbas, shut up. Are you going to be helpful or not. This is not helpful.

"Meanwhile, officials are arranging a three-way summit with U.S. President George W. Bush, Sharon and Abbas early next month."

I cannot for the life of me think why this is a good idea. I understand why we want peace in that region. But before that can happen we have to get rid of Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad and the rest, and that means Syria and Iran have to go down, quickly followed Saudi. Only when the Palestinians see that they are completely isolated will they become reasonable. I agree that there needs to be a Palestinian state at some point, but I am unconvinced that this is the way to go about it. Every attempt to force the Palestinians and the Israeli's to talk has ended badly, and resulted in worse violence.

Apparently, I am wrong about Al Queda in Iran

"Iran captures Al-Qaeda's No. 3 leader
11 terrorists have been arrested since Tuesday

TEHERAN - At least 11 extremists linked to Al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiah extremists have been arrested in the Middle East and Asia since Tuesday.

But the biggest catch this month is Al-Qaeda's third-ranked leader - the alleged mastermind of this month's bombings in Riyadh - who was seized in Iran, according to intelligence sources quoted in Melbourne's The Age newspaper.

Saudi Arabia also announced yesterday the arrest of a key man behind the Riyadh suicide attacks as well as several other Al-Qaeda terror suspects.

Al-Qaeda's No. 3, Saif al-Adel, once Osama bin Laden's personal bodyguard, approved the bombing of residential compounds in Riyadh before his capture by Iranian security forces at the start of the month, nine days before the attack, said the Age report.

The United States has identified him as the most senior Al-Qaeda member linked to the attacks that killed 34 people.

The US government has offered a US$25 million (S$43 million) reward for his capture, but Saif would probably be deported first to Egypt, his place of birth.

In the Saudi raids, security forces 'detained a number of people a few days ago', Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said.

No more details were released but the Okaz newspaper quoted sources as saying the arrests, including that of suspected ringleader Ali Abdulrahman Ghamdi, were made in the holy city of Medina on Tuesday.

The Al-Watan newspaper reported at least eight suspects were arrested in the raids.

Ghamdi is wanted as a member of the cell of 19 alleged terrorists whose names and pictures were released by the Interior Ministry only a few days before the May 12 Riyadh attacks that left 34 people dead, including nine bombers.

Saudi Arabia said the 19 were members of Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network who had planned major attacks on the kingdom.

Searches of the gunmen's hideout and their getaway car netted a huge cache of arms, including 55 hand grenades, 377kg of explosive and 2,545 bullets of different calibres, as well as cash and disguises.

Ghamdi and two others were arrested at an Internet cafe while the five others were apprehended at a house used by the men, Al-Watan quoted unnamed security sources as saying.

Meanwhile, Cambodia has smashed an alleged branch of the Jemaah Islamiah network.

Three men - who allegedly plotted to carry out attacks in Cambodia using Al-Qaeda funds - were charged yesterday under the Terrorism Act.

Officials said Esam Mohamid Khidr Ali, a 40-year-old Egyptian, Hajichiming Abdul Azi, 36, and Muhammadyalludin Mading, 41, were detained at a mosque just north of Phnom Penh on Tuesday. -- AFP, Reuters" Source

Very interesting. What is also interesting is that the Iranians grabbed this person. Could they be cooperating with us slightly? I think we will see.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Apparently, the Administration has decided that Al Queda is being harbored by the Iranian government. Now any one who has read my blog knows that I am an unapologetic Bush fan. However, I don’t buy this.

Before the war in Iraq, I had upped my reading on Islam in order to have a conversant knowledge of the religion. I did not want to believe that the entire religion was bad, since that would be too terrible to contemplate. Thus far, I am still not completely convinced one way or the other. Those that state that Islam is the religion of peace are in error, since that is far too pat and simplistic of an answer. Those that think that every member of the religion are out to get us, are also overstating the case. Thus far, it seems that the religion, at its most fundamental level, is very susceptible to hijacking by extremists. Since this is a fundamental flaw, it is very difficult to fix, and may doom the religion entirely without a complete overhaul. This is a long and complicated process, which I have not even begun to get my mind around how it would happen.

However, I do know that the Iranian Shia sect of Islam, and the Wahhabism of Al Queda are virulent enemies. Many authors have made this clear, from Stephen Swartz to Bernard Lewis, even to Edward Said. The Wahhabi sect are a fundamentalist Sunni group. From Palestine to the Balkans, the Wahhabi’s and the Shia’s have been at each others throats.

So given this, why would Iran hide Osama or any other Al Queda member? Is this the Administration brand naming terrorism? Is this Iran deciding that they would rather band with Al Queda and other Wahhabi terrorists then face us alone? I find that hard to believe. I find it very difficult to believe that the Iranian clergy would be willing to accept the risk of letting Wahhabi followers into their country to spread the Wahhabi form of Islam. It would be almost as bad as letting in Christians to preach.

The Law Student Finally Rises

Well, thank God, that is done. One of my worse sets of finals to come down the pike. While I was down, I saw that the various law professors (Glenn Reynolds and Jeff Cooper ) took it upon themselves to whine about the work product they get from law students. Here's a thought. If you want clear prose, why don't you give the students time to put their thoughts down? A horse race, which is what most law school exams are, is a terrible indicator of actual knowledge. I think a much better test would be a take home (one night), open book exam, wherein the student has to produce a legal memo on the fact pattern, or question that the professor has. This would be much more analogous to what lawyers do. There would be time pressure, but not ridiculous time pressure. The question could be complicated enough that the student couldn’t hope to put in a great answer without prior preparation, and the final product would be much easier to read. Can you believe many of us have to handwrite our exams still?