7/30/10 – Five by 8: Irreversible mistakes?

1) According to a poll reported by the AP, a lot of Pakistanis think the U.S. is an enemy.

Nearly six in 10 Pakistanis polled described the U.S. as an enemy and only one in 10 called it a partner.

Considering the large amount of aid we give to one of our sole allies in the Middle East and the similar interests in discouraging extremism and promoting freedom and democracy, why wouldn’t Pakistan like us?

The strikes by CIA drones are widely unpopular in Pakistan. The Pew poll found that of those who had heard about drone attacks, 93 percent said they are a bad thing, 90 percent said they kill too many innocents, and 49 percent said they are being done without the Pakistani government’s approval.

Oh, right — we’re already bombing them. Well, at least the poll gives a clear and distinct set of numbers for the U.S. to work with.

Eighteen percent said they view al-Qaida with favor, compared to nine percent a year ago and 25 percent in 2008. Fifty-three percent had an unfavorable view of the group, compared to 61 percent a year ago and 34 percent in 2008.

OK, that makes absolutely no sense. With numbers like that, maybe we shouldn’t trust this poll at all. The limited engagement of suspects within Pakistan’s borders is supposedly assisting simultaneously with national security and regional stability. Instead, the Pakistani public is scared of us, the government is supporting the Taliban, and we can’t even poll accurately. Will this be the next big problem?

2) Immigration day (unofficial name) is upon us.

Raw footage of some of the protests:

So, ignoring the fact that there are twice as many cameras as protesters in the video, Arizona experienced some unrest yesterday after the new immigration laws went into effect.

Adding to the stress, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked specific measures of the SB 1070 on Wednesday that were particularly incendiary (such as the police’s requirement to question anyone about their citizenship status). Then, yesterday, the state appealed Judge Bolton’s decision, calling it a “bump in the road.”

Bolton indicated the government has a good chance at succeeding in its argument that federal immigration law trumps state law. But the key sponsor of Arizona’s law, Republican Rep. Russell Pearce, said the judge was wrong and predicted the state would ultimately win the case.

Not only are we in for a potentially aggressive series of protests and demonstrations, but now a lengthy legal battle over state versus federal power. What do you think? Should Arizona have the right to make immigration laws without the interference of the feds? Leave a comment below.

3) Have you ever wanted to win for money? How about doing a good deed for nothing? Now you can do both, according to the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge.

It is a $1.4 Million competition designed to inspire a new generation of innovative solutions that will speed the pace of cleaning up seawater surface oil resulting from spillage from ocean platforms, tankers, and other sources

What a great idea! Give someone a million bucks to help clean up the worst oil spill disaster in U.S. history! Maybe someone should give BP a prize for coming up with a good idea to clean it up. We know they need it, now.

The money seems to be coming from Wendy Schmidt. And where does she get this money? Well, her husband is Eric Schmidt… the same Eric Schmidt that sits in the chair at Google that say’s ‘CEO.’

So, clean up BP’s disaster and get some of the Google empire’s dough! That’s a great deal.

Assuming ABC reporter Jeffrey Kofman is right, you bright young minds better get on that if you want the $1 million.

4) The Duluth News Tribune picked up an interesting story out of Madison, Wis. about a man who has been allowed to sue over a dead fetus.

A Wisconsin man can sue a former girlfriend’s insurer for the wrongful death of their fetus, which was stillborn after the woman was in a car accident, a court ruled Thursday.

This raises an interesting question about the responsibility of a woman to her fetus (oh, other than the carrying, feeding, nourishing, giving birth, raising, and mothering the child). We’ve never heard this debate before…

Good thing the District 4 Court of Appeals had the right mind to get the argument out of the womb and toward the real issue.

“The correct question is whether Vander Meulen had a duty to the world at large to use ordinary care in operating her motor vehicle,” Judge Charles Dykman wrote for the three-judge panel. “With the correct question posed, the answer is easy: She did.”

Of course, that means father Shannon Tesar can go ahead with his appeal. What happens with abortions? The man could claim that the woman’s emotions or lifestyle or upbringing led to her decision to get an abortion, and therefore he is suing Planned Parenthood in a wrongful death suit. Hmm… we’ll watch this one.

5) As a journalist, or just a curious individual, last weekend’s release of tens of thousands of documents detailing unreported incidents from the war in Afghanistan was exciting and cutting-edge.

However, the Pentagon has just bitten Wikileaks and the site’s founder Julian Assange back, saying that the site can now feel responsible for deaths of soldiers and innocents in the region.

“Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family,” chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen said.

Did this do more harm than good? Has Wikileaks dug a hole too deep to get out of? Releasing that many documents at once to the public is a dangerous act indeed, with the risk of painting an overly complex and convoluted picture on the Afghan war canvas.

But this has also given thousands of people answers to previously ignored questions. Where do we go from here?

  • Tyler

    “Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family,” chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen said.

    This is unconstructive hyperbole from the military. These documents were created 2004-2009. They’re historical documents, not current reports. How do current actions have anything to do with past reports?

    the risk of painting an overly complex and convoluted picture on the Afghan war canvas.

    I’m not sure the war in Afghanistan/Pakistan can get much more complex and convoluted.

  • BJ

    Not that I am for the law but we should not question if “Should Arizona have the right to make immigration laws without the interference of the feds?”

    If you replace immigration with any other kind of law does the question still give you the same answer?

    Should the State of xxx have the right to make a law on xxx without the interference of the federal government. As long as not in conflict with “the Interstate Commerce Clause.”

    My guess is the Fed’s are saying that the state’s are interfearing with congress’s regulation of commerce with foreign nations. But unless they are doing somthing against a law on the books I can’t see that argument. In fact that they are enforcing federal law.

    Didn’t read the bill but if the law ‘required’ them to check for status, is it not true that the always could check status? It would seem that only if federal law said that you could not check for status would this be in conflict with federal law IMHO.

    I don’t remember when but a while back some cities, think mpls or st paul did have this, had don’t ask status law’s on the books. I don’t know if that was a conflict or not. Seems if don’t ask was wrong that asking for status would be ok.

  • JackU

    First off, I’m not a lawyer, a constitutional scholar or anyone whose opinion on this you should value. That said here goes…

    If the state can pass an enforcement law with respect to immigration why can’t they pass a law setting the rules for immigration? The answer of course is that Article 4 section 2 gets in the way.

    The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

    One of the reported reasons for the current law is that Arizona feels the federal government isn’t moving fast enough to correct the immigration problem. So they have taken enforcement into their own hands. What if they decide to pass a law specifying who can enter into Arizona over it’s southern border. In theory you setup a situation where someone could enter legally in California and become a citizen, but since they wouldn’t have been allowed into Arizona in the first place any rights they have might be challenged as they would be seen as an illegal immigrant in the eyes of Arizona law and there for would have achieved Naturalization via fraud.

    It may seem far fetched, and it probably is, but precedent is a dangerous thing sometimes. If we believe that immigration is one of those things that falls under the control of the federal government then maybe we should leave it there.