Seized of the matter - If you look at recent UN resolutions on Iraq, you'll see that they end with the phrase "Decides to remain seized of the matter." Wondering what, precisely, that means, I found the following article: What Is the United Nations Seizing, Anyway? By Brendan I. Koerner.
Perhaps another way to say it might be "We're handling it, for now."
Another 24 Hours - Yahoo! News - Fox Renews '24. 'Nuff said.
A Little Past My Bedtime -
It’s a fine line between “properly somber” and “it’s a little past my bedtime.”
The Liberal Oasis captured Bush's demeanor in Thursday night's press conference perfectly. What kind of drugs did they have Bush on? Yes - the Oasis goes on to give more substantive criticism, but let's talk about getting Bush some coffee. 8pm... my kids go to bed later than that.
<obligatory serious content> Press Conference Transcript </obligatory serious content>
New Comment System - The new comment system is in place (powered by backBlog). We've lost the old comments (I've got many of them in a file here on my machine) but I'm hoping that the new system is more responsive. Let me know if it is.
More on Fluff - I'm not going to suddenly go all fluffy on you, blog readers. But I am going to make an effort to make this blog more personal. Not less political, but a little more interesting on the personal side. More journal to balance out the stridency.

Part of the difficulty of disliking Bush's governing so much is the fact that there are so many things to complain about, you start to feel like every comment on the day is a shrill criticism. Your entire attitude becomes shrill.

The Utne Reader this month has an article about how the conservatives have been better at getting their message across than the left has. I think part of it has to do with always coming from a position of criticism. I am a critical person, critical of our government. But I really don't want to turn into the people I remember from the Clinton years - the knee-jerk Clintonhaters. That was just plain sad.

I don't know how I can change people's minds. But I do know that even people I disagree with have stories, and people like to tell their stories. Those stories are much more valuable than quoting what someone else wrote in an article, back and forth. That makes listening a valuable skill. You will have a hard time conveying your point of view if you don't know where your audience is coming from.

I'm making a concerted effort to listen. It is, in fact, much easier to disagree if you listen carefully, and find out where it is that you fundamentally differ from someone else.
Fluff - I'm tired of posting war-related, Bush-related stuff on my blog. I wish I could stick to airy observations, fluff, poetry, amusing links and such. However, the fact that we're going to start a war is really bothering me, obviously. Simultaneously, the suffering of the Iraqi people under Saddam's regime bothers me. I'd feel a lot better about our aim to supposedly free Iraq if I thought we had tried some other way to help the people of Iraq, but I didn't see any actual diplomacy happen.

If war does happen, I really don't expect rebuilding Iraq will be easy, or cheap, or quick. I don't expect them to actually be allowed to form a popular Iraqi government any time soon, either.
oderint dum metuant -
Kiesling later asks: "Has "oderint dum metuant" really become our motto?"

This phrase, now quoted regularly among the most militant denizens in the White House, means, "Let them hate us so long as they fear us." It was penned by Lucius Accius, the Roman poet (170 B.C.), and was said to be a favorite phrase of the emperor Caligula.
That's the passage that stood out the most when I read: Colin Powell Should Make An Honorable Exit.


New, Email subscription! - Now you can subscribe to Aces Full of Links via email, so you don't miss a post! Check out the subscription form in the right column. Enter your email address, hit the button, and "Bloglet" does the rest. It'll mail you once a day with a summary of posts.
Ahhh - that's better! - I like this setup much better. I may make some small changes, but this is the new, basic look for now. More room for content means less scrolling. Smaller font because, dammit, I'm not a senior citizen yet!


Ch-Ch-Ch Changes - I'm royally sick of the way my blog looks. It's part of why I am reluctant to blog lately - bloggerface shame. So I'm changing it. I'm also sick of how slowly it loads, which I believe is partly the fault of the comment system. So I may be switching it out very soon, which means old comments will be lost. Try not to give in to that feeling of unease.
There Have To Be Limits... - I remember being puzzled back when Bush said "There ought to be limits to freedom". What limits? Which freedoms? Of course, he was talking about a specific website.

But some people have taken his idea and run with it. Yahoo! News - Mall Wants to Drop Peace T-Shirt Charges. Yes, the mall that booted a guy and his son for wearing peace-themed T-shirts (and had them arrested) is now sorry. Whoops! Imagine their confusion. "What? Peace is an OK thing now? Will someone please give me the playbook - I swear I heard the president say war was the way to go. C'mon folks! What happened to with us or against us!!!??"
Shocked that anyone would be shocked at their actions, the mall is now dropping charges as it tries to figure out what is best for commerce. The peace t-shirts are bad for duct tape sales, but national news coverage is worse for everything else.

Be careful - you don't want to be caught yelling "PEACE" in a crowded mall.


Selective Witnessing - Over and over I've had conservative acquaintences tell me about Saddam Hussein's son in law - the one who escaped from Iraq and told us all about his weapons of mass destruction, but then returned to Iraq only to be killed.

For example: "Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 5 presentation to the U.N. Security Council claimed: "It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent, VX. A single drop of VX on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons. The admission only came out after inspectors collected documentation as a result of the defection of Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein's late son-in-law."

Only, it turns out that Kamel was talking about weapons that Iraq had before 1991 - weapons our witness says Hussein secretly destroyed in order to avoid admitting they ever existed.

FAIR MEDIA ADVISORY: Star Witness on Iraq Said Weapons Were Destroyed

Selectively using the information from Kamel does not increase my confidence in this administration's strident claims that war is necessary. We keep being told that they can't tell us the whole story (which they imply would obviate war) but when the story starts coming out we see that knowing the whole story weakens their position.


We Spy - When reason does not sell the war, it's time to resort to the trick bag. This was brought to my attention by a number of peopl eover the weekend (thanks, all). The Observer | International | Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war

My children love the "Spy Kids" movie series. Is it possible that these DVDs are on Dubya's playlist, too?