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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In The "You Need To Pay Attention" Department...

...we have two recent events in the news:

North Korean Nuclear Test
Having grown up during the Cold War, I read about the threat of nuclear war and saw many a movie-story-TV show that had this as its theme. However in hindsight, I think most of us now realize that our "enemy", the Russians, we as much afraid of nuclear war as we were, and were at least as sane as we were in terms of being careful not to cross certain lines of propriety. There are no such bets with North Korea though. Simply put, the folks running that regime don't seem to give a crap about anything but themselves. To the extent that they care about their own survival I think things stay more or less in check. The moment though when they reach that point where it becomes a mentality of "what have I got to lose?" then we should all be worried. These are dangerous folks.

I heard a caller to a local radio show say that we should "bomb them (the North Koreans) into the stone age", which I think is as much a statement of frustration as it is idiocy. I get the distinct impression that the North Korean leadership wants a conflict. Maybe they will get one after all, but all of us should be paying attention.

President Obama Nominates Judge Sotomayor To The Supreme Court
I've not read much about Judge Sotomayor's record yet, but I will over the next day or so. One thing is for sure: ultra-right wing politicians and assorted lackies (including Entertainer Rush Limbaugh) wouldn't be happy unless the President nominated an old, white, born-again Christian to the Supreme Court, so a fight for this nomination would be happening regardless of who was nominated. Personally I find Judge Sotomayor's personal story, including being raised by a single parent in poverty, living with diabetes, etc. to be very compelling.

Will she be "too liberal" for Senate Republicans? Yes, but note that former Senators Rick Santorum and Bill Frist voted in favor of her nomination to the bench in the past. I do hope that comes out loud and clear and the days and weeks go by.

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