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Links With Your Coffee - Monday




The arts video collection is great!

I was blown away at first by the Boston Review article for its dispassionate and probing analysis, particularly on the topics of illegal detention and torture. My surprised vanished when, half-way through, I decided to double check who the author was: Elaine Scarry, who has been one of the most vocal, informed, and powerful critics of torture, both in the U.S. and abroad, and whose writing on this and other topics is always both formidable and elegant. I'm delighted to see an article by her here, so thanks Norm!

What will this shift over to the rule of law mean? It will mean that when we are led by a person who does not believe in the rule of law, we will not as a country follow the rule of law; and when we are led by a person who does believe in the rule of law, we will follow the rule of law.

I think this sums up the case very powerfully. It is also, as Scarry directly adduces, tantamount to saying we'll follow the law when we feel like it, which amounts to saying there isn't any such thing as 'rule of law' as a independent standard of behavior. That is but exactly the force of painting illegal wire-tapping and torture as mere 'policy differences', based in different 'beliefs' or 'world-views'. I think the case for impeachment has always depended on just this kind of dispassionate and tough-minded view Scarry presents of the long-term consequences of doing nothing.

In the recent history of U.S. cities, one city often acts as the catalyst for hundreds of others: in January 2002, Ann Arbor, Michigan passed a resolution voicing its noncompliance with the Patriot Act; there are now 406 towns (and eight states) that have passed similar resolutions.1 So, too, the governing councils of ninety-two towns have, by a formal vote, called upon the U.S. Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

(1.) Why haven't I heard anything about this until now? (2.) One of the things that has impressed me most about the U.S. during the past 7 1/2 years, the thing that gives me some hope, has been the courage of individual states to set their agenda on important national issues in response to the federal government either doing nothing or doing something illegal--climate change and health care being the obvious ones, as well as illegal surveillance.

With special thanks to JoAnn:

Barack Obama is condemning campaign rumours involving the children of candidates, including Republican vice-presidential contender Sarah Palin. He says he will fire any campaign worker that violates his rule. Obama, speaking to reporters in Michigan, says he thinks "people's families are off limits, and people's children are especially off limits." Palin, the Alaska governor, announced that her 17-year-old daughter Bristol is five months pregnant. McCain's campaign said the announcement was made in order to knock down rumours that Bristol was actually the mother of Palin's fifth child, who was born in April.

Here's hoping teh Interwebs heed the word of their new messiah, and leave this child alone.

Elaine Scarry's article is indeed excellent - bravo for providing the link Norm.

OK this is not really on topic but i am watching CNN and the discussion about Palin, the repubs, are attacking any critism of Palin as sexism. All women commentators on the right, saying things like I am offended..... now if Obama's camp said that their attacks were based on racism, there would be an outcry.

I also note how hard it is for Carville to attack the female talking head from the right, he is really trying not to really say what he thinks. To be honest he did not do that badly. Now I still think the arguement should be that McCain did not value the american people enough to choose someone that we actually know something about.

Still might backfire with the blue collar contingent that would say, why can't she be president? I still think what we should say is that how can we comment on this selection when we know so little about her.

Police State USA Update: Amy Goodman arrested. If this doesn't make you sick with rage, then you've got an iron stomach.


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