Other voices | Wednesdays Wars: Malala Yousafzai, Judge Debra Nelson, Marion Bartoli: Doing Their Jobs

Judge Debra Nelson

Judge Debra Nelson, a former substitute school teacher and county prosecutor, was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to the Circuit Court in Florida in May of 1999. She was chosen to sit on the Zimmerman case by a lottery selection process of Florida judges.

Before the Zimmerman trial began, she was reasonably well known in the Florida legal community, and totally unknown outside of the state. For the 15 days of the Zimmerman trial, she was the best-known judge in the world. Her every move was analyzed and dissected by millions worldwide.

One TV analyst described her as, “An equal-opportunity curmudgeon.” If being quietly competent, decisive, and prepared makes one a “curmudgeon”, she qualified. She exerted total control of the courtroom while allowing each side reasonable latitude to make their best case.

She respected the gravity of the occasion. She had the mother and father of a dead teenager in the same room with his admitted killer, and the parents of the killer. She successfully ensured an orderly and fair proceeding. Continue Reading…………

Other voices | Wednesday’s Wars: Hagel. Does he love Israel enough?

Published on Feb 1, 2013

Decorated Vietnam War veteran and two-term United States Senator Chuck Hagel spent 8 hours on the witness chair, trying to convince 26 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that his love for Israel was sufficient to warrant confirmation as Secretary of Defense. Everything else was of secondary importance for the Committee.

I watched the hearing gavel to gavel … from 9:30am to about 6:00pm. The slobbering and fawning over Israel was embarrassing. Israel was mentioned constantly, and usually referred to as, “our most important ally.” The names and security needs of the 27 countries who have provided troops to fight and die alongside ours in Afghanistan were not mentioned or considered.

No Committee member was so uncool as to mention that Israel did not assist us in either Iraq or Afghanistan. I guess the lesson is that once you achieve “most important ally” status, you don’t need to actually do anything … just cash the checks. Good work if you can get it.

When not questioning whether Chuck Hagel loved Israel enough, Republican Senators went to considerable length to probe whether Hagel would be willing to demonstrate that love by killing Iranians. Hagel repeated the Obama position that all options involving Iran and the nuclear problem are on the table. Continue reading…..