Heritage ? A lot of it was Tom Paine, making it up on the spur of the
The sad part is that a war of liberation from a colonial king turned
into a war of independence instead. Imagine if both populations had
turned against the king instead of being set against each other. The
French revolution, without the threat of English intervention to turn
it into a police state afterwards.
:>Since he was elected, let :>him do the job as he sees fit.
: No, how about holding him to the standards of the Constitution ?
: There are limits, even for a president.
Not according to the memos Ashcroft refuses to provide to Congress!
: I envy the US its constitution, and the fabled "checks and balances"
: of its government. On the whole I prefer the UK's political system to
: that of the USA, but your founding fathers did a damn good job on this
Too bad the current administration is doing it's damndest to gut them.
-- Andy Barss
There's too much wiggle room in that statement - at least for my
comfort. It doesn't bother me that he has considerable latitude
in the performance of his job; but an important part of that job
is to preserve and protect the Constitution.
I feel obliged to respect the office; but do not feel obliged to
respect the office holder if I become convinced that he does that
job badly - if he participates in or acquiesces to activities or
conduct unworthy of respect.
Too, the President serves at the will of the majority of the
population. In my mind he is accountable to the American people
and can not honestly hold the office and simultaneously flout the
will of the people or deviate from either the letter or the
spirit of the Constitution.
I'm glad you're appalled - but I'm afraid that even if your
wishes were fulfilled, nothing would change significantly.
I think Larry's comment is insightful; and I think this is always
a danger. Somehow it seems that when people focus their attention
on others (either as individuals or as a group) they tend to
become more like those others. All too often the opressed turn
right around and conduct themselves as did their former opresors.
Perhaps or perhaps not - I lean toward the "not" side because I
think that other issues can too easily lead to GC violations -
and I don't think that these treaties provide much protection for
our troops at all (even though I really like the idea that they
No, the president serves at the will of the majority of the Electors of which
there are what, 535? Even there it is only every 4 years. Once elected he
serves at the will of a very small minority of either the House or Senate (that
number being the minimum number of those who could block an impeachment in the
House or a conviction in the Senate). The Constitution does not even talk about
a presidential election and allows the states to select their electors any way
that they want. A popular vote for president is not required at all (by the
Constitution) if a state decides to select its electors in some other manner.
The President is not meant to represent the people, he (or she) is meant to
represent the states and the states are NOT meant to be represented in direct
proportion to their respective populations. They are clearly NOT supposed to
blindly follow the "will" of the people - they are supposed to lead and are
thus insulated from short term shifts in public opinion (one of the big
shortcomings of a parlimentary form of government IMHO). The Great Compromise
was truly great but is truly not understood in todays world.
On Fri, 11 Jun 2004 02:34:19 +0000, David Hall wrote:
And that's what Hillary finally figured out after spouting off about
getting rid of the Electoral College. She's part of the Senate which has
equal State representation, not equal population representation.
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples
then you and I will still each have one apple.
hmm...my newsreader doesn't have Larry's post in this thread
that you have quoted, Leon.
to Larry: The president is elected for four years under the
premise that if we do OUR job to elect the best person for
that top job, he will carry out his oath of office, which to
my recollection, mentions nothing of taking the pulse of the
man on the street, before acting in accordance with his best
judgment and those advisors that he has hand picked to make
his tenure in office as successful as possible. To act only
to appease the public would create havoc. The public is
swayed by the liberal media and really has no business
trying to run the country by demonstrating in the streets or
calling in to talk shows, or writing their petty complaints
to their local newspaper. The voters can make an adjustment
at the next election.
Only one disagreement. I was stunned, not appalled, when I first heard of this
"The test and the use of man's education is that he finds pleasure in the
exercise of his mind." Jacques Barzun
I view the Geneva convention like I view most gun laws. Criminals
don't care whats illegal so they the laws don't affect them. It's those
who abide by the laws that are affected.
Same way with the Geneva Convention. None of our advesaries have ever
followed it. Certainly not Iraq in 91 or more recently ( though you rarely
ever here about this). So once again it is only the U.S. and a few of our
allies who care enough about it to follow it or enforce it if it isn't.
Jewish civilians weren't protected by the Geneva conventions.
Attrocities like that were such an aberration at the time of drafting
that they're simply outside the scope of Geneva.
One of the Nurnberg defences was that German soldiers acted no worse
than RAF pilots against Berlin or Dresden. This was rejected, partly
because someone else's crime is never a defence for your own, but also
because the Holocaust was treated as a non-military action carried out
by soldiers, rather than a military campaign. The much-quoted defence
that "we were only follwing orders" failed no only because there was
seen to be an over-riding moral imperative to disobey such an order,
but also because these orders could not _be_ valid military orders in
an operation that had failed to be "military" within the bounds of
Some cases that weren't presented at Nurnberg (and perhaps should have
been) involved anti-partisan actions on the Eastern front. In some
cases these _could_ be presented as legitimate military actions, and
it was their _manner_ that was under question, not their _purpose_
(unlike an extermination camp, which is basically morally wrong from
the outset). This is a much weaker legal case than for others, even
for those similar actions in the Baltic states that were carried out
by "civilian" "police" and were prosecuted.
There were also cases where western allied Jewish soldiers and airmen
were captured. They were generally (except for a few rare cases)
treated reasonably well as POWs and were not given the special
treatment they might have expected as occupied civilians on the basis
of religion. This was generally true for Luftwaffe prisoners, as the
Luftwaffe resented any intervention from other groups, mainly for
reasons of internal management poolitics. It was broadly true for army
prisoners too, although it's known to have broken down somewhat when
POWs found themselves under the forced labour organisations towards
the end of the war.
Sadly "Allied" prisoners have to be distinguished as Western Front or
Eastern Front though. Slavs captured on the East _were_ treated
primarily as untermensch to be abused with the worst excesses that the
civilians endured, not as soldiers.
One of the worst recent offenders against _the_Geneva_conventions_ is
the US' actions at Guantanamo and the like. Note that the US is still
a country with a good human rights record and a broadly fair treatment
of other nation's civilians (there are problems, for sure, but only
the worst of anti-US bias can really equate Iraqi prisons before and
after the war). However as it applies to Geneva, then the US is on
clear contravention of it, when most other nation's attrocities just
aren't applicable to Geneva's rules.
This is one of the strongest arguments for an international court of
human rights, despite the US' objections to it. Geneva is just no
longer enough to cover cases such as Rwanda or Srebrenica.
The Geneva convention is almost always followed, because it's
implemented by people who know damn well that they might themselves be
in need of it all too soon.
Armies may abuse civilians (and I note that they've finally coughed to
Srebrenica) , but it's most rare for the solidery to begin abuse of
Remember what happened on October 23, 1983? Ronald Reagan was the
President. They bombed the Marines and 240 good Marines were killed. What
did we do? Reagan, realizing defeat, pulled the remaining Marines out of the
Lebanese war. This coupled with the defeat of the Soviet Union in
Afghanistan demonstrated to the Bin Ladens of the world that a super power
can be defeated by small, committed groups.
We have send the message, directly and decisively that the US will not ever
again, cower to a terrorist or a government that gives aid to terrorists.
This is what I believe drives President Bush currently.
I will tell you that I do not condone torture or brutality as a means to
extract information from a prisoner or any other captive. I do support
doing what we can to trick, bribe, scare or intimidate them into providing
us with useful information.
I have a niece in the Navy and a nephew in the Marines in the gulf and on
the ground as I type. I pray daily for their safety. My nephew told me
that the local Iraqis are very grateful to the US for getting rid of Sadam
and his government. Its only a small faction of old government cronies and
zealots that continue to make trouble and the world press zeros in on them.
After the press leaves, the crowds break-up and go back to normal
As long as we have solders there, we should support them. If in hindsight,
it is determined this effort was wrong, we need to change our government by
using the democratic methods laid down by other that also gave their lives.
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