The discussion over Guantanamo has been loud and heated over the decade and more of its existence, but I will note two small things I think give away a lot. First, the prisoners were put at Guantanamo largely so as to avoid the legal oversight of the US justice system and keep those prisoners outside of the law. Second, those prisoners at Guantanamo were tortured but the United States could not call it that for a long time, instead cloaking the torture in euphemisms.
If you look closely at the photographs, you will see that what looks like the front of the Supreme Court building is, in fact, a giant facade…
August 15, 2012, 5:40 pm
Well, that was a doozy. Monday, amidst the general piling-on of Fareed Zakaria (for reasons good and proper, I should note), the Washington Post breathlessly ran a story headlined “More questions raised about Fareed Zakaria’s work”:
Zakaria’s 2008 book, “The Post-American World,” contains a quote from former Intel Corp. chief executive Andy Grove about the nation’s economic power. “America is in danger of following Europe down the tubes, and the worst part is that nobody knows it,” Grove says in Zakaria’s book. “They’re all in denial, patting themselves on the back as the Titanic heads straight for the iceberg full speed ahead.” The first edition of Zakaria’s book, which became a bestseller, makes no mention of the comment’s source, nor does a paperback version of “Post-American World” published in 2009.
Thief of quotes!
Except, well, no, as David Frum …
June 26, 2012, 2:08 pm
So, if I understand Antonin Scalia correctly, states are sovereign when it comes to excluding suspicious people from their borders, but not when it means excluding suspicious corporate money from their borders.
Scalia in SB 1070 dissent:
Today’s opinion…deprives States of what most would consider the defining characteristic of sovereignty: the power to exclude from the sovereign’s territory people who have no right to be there. Neither the Constitution itself nor even any law passed by Congress supports this result. I dissent.
Unsigned opinion (with which Scalia concurred) reversing the Montana Supreme Court:
The question presented in this case is whether the holding of Citizens United applies to the Montana state law. There can be no serious doubt that it does.
My favorite analysis of this included the phrase “Citing materials taken from the Internet as recently as last Friday,…
November 9, 2011, 7:58 pm
By the way, this has been somewhat in the public record since April. Where was the media? ESPN? Hello?
June 24, 2010, 5:07 am
There oughta be an axiom of regulation, that if you’re changing the rules in such a way that will make you sound grossly culpable when something goes wrong, you shouldn’t do it.
June 23, 2010, 8:45 pm
I had a vaguely negative impression (mainly received rather than first-hand) of Herman Melville’s abilities as a poet; but “Shiloh” is pretty strong.
Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh —
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh —
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there —
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve —
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.
A military sentimentality I can get behind. The density of rhyme is certainly artificial, and the…
May 26, 2010, 3:33 pm
Via Steve Benen, an awesome or rather horrific photo-set of the oil’s arrival on the Louisiana coast.
We hear about fears of its effects on the American Gulf coast, and of what might happen as it moves out into the Atlantic — but has there been much discussion of its effects on other Caribbean countries? This map, for instance, shows that it’s expected to move past Havana and the north coast of Cuba.
Update 5/27: optimistic reports.
November 30, 2009, 4:58 pm
…Bill Moyers has first-hand experience with things like this:
BILL MOYERS: Now in a different world, at a different time, and with a different president, we face the prospect of enlarging a different war. But once again we’re fighting in remote provinces against an enemy who can bleed us slowly and wait us out, because he will still be there when we are gone.
Once again, we are caught between warring factions in a country where other foreign powers fail before us. Once again, every setback brings a call for more troops, although no one can say how long they will be there or what it means to win. Once again, the government we are trying to help is hopelessly corrupt and incompetent.
And once again, a President pushing for critical change at home is being pressured to stop dithering, be tough, show he’s got the guts, by sending young people seven thousand miles from home to fight…
October 9, 2009, 6:27 pm
There’s something strange about the popular area of specialization this year:
September 25, 2009, 11:13 am
…I give you UC President Mark Yudof. A sample of his comedic stylings:
Question — U.C. is facing a budget shortfall of at least $753 million, largely because of cuts in state financing. Do you blame Governor Schwarzenegger for your troubles?
Mark Yudof — I do not. This is a long-term secular trend across the entire country. Higher education is being squeezed out. It’s systemic. We have an aging population nationally. We have a lot of concern, as we should, with health care.
Question — And education?
Mark Yudof — The shine is off of it. It’s really a question of being crowded out by other priorities.*
Question — Already professors on all 10 U.C. campuses are taking required “furloughs,” to use a buzzword.
Mark Yudof — Let me tell you why we used it. The faculty said “furlough” sounds more temporary than “salary cut,” and being president of the…
September 4, 2009, 11:10 am
I apologize for being a bit late to the party, but if you haven’t already read David Grann’s reported essay in this week’s New Yorker, you really should. Grann looks at the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, a man executed by the State of Texas in 2004, though he very well may have been innocent. It’s a beautifully reported and written piece, and one of the most terrifying explorations of the state’s power that I’ve read in many years. Seriously, set aside an hour or so — it’s a long article, and you almost certainly won’t be able to stop once you start — and begin reading.
(The title of the post, by the way, is a quote from Sandra Day O’Connor.)
August 31, 2009, 8:39 pm
On September 1, 1967, Siegfried Sassoon died, aged 80. He had a long and productive career as poet, novelist and memoirist, but he is remembered chiefly as one of the fine group of English poets of the First World War (along with Rupert Brooke, Israel Isaac Rosenberg, Wilfred Owen, and above all Edward Thomas). For a sample of his wartime work, take “Remorse”:
Lost in the swamp and welter of the pit,
He flounders off the duck-boards; only he knows
Each flash and spouting crash,–each instant lit
When gloom reveals the streaming rain. He goes
Heavily, blindly on. And, while he blunders,
‘Could anything be worse than this?’–he wonders,
Remembering how he saw those Germans run,
Screaming for mercy among the stumps of trees:
Green-faced, they dodged and darted: there was one
Livid with terror, clutching at his knees…
Our chaps were sticking ’em like pigs … ‘O hell!’
April 5, 2009, 9:39 pm
America is too exceptional; and American soldiers are people too.
Updated: here’s Obama’s ‘exceptionalism’ answer:
In one sense, of course, it’s nearly vacuous. But in “threading the needle”, as someone put it, in building a principled frame within which cake may be both eaten and had, it resembles the lightning-strikes of insight familiar from psychotherapy or religion.