amari_z: (egg)
Bwhaahaa!



inaug



From Time, by way of Crooksandliars, which suggests you write your own caption.

(And one day to the Crackiversary!)
amari_z: (tree)
I've been keeping my mouth shut about it here, but as pessimistic as I always am about getting balanced Middle East coverage from the U.S. media, I've still been completely appalled by the one-sided reporting on Israel's attack on Gaza. But now, even the mainstream press has had to give more than the back of the hand acknowledgment of the death and destruction that Israel has wreaked against civilians.

Quoted in the NYTimes:

“It’s a war against us as people,” a man shouted. “What happened to Hamas? Nothing!”

***

The house had a special meaning. The family had lived for generations in a refugee camp, and six years ago had saved enough money to build it. This morning they came to find it in shambles, a crushing discovery.

“It was my dream and now it is erased,” said Hadija Saker, 55, who ticked off the evidence, as she saw it, of Israel’s unjust actions. She said Hamas lacked influence in the area. A teacher at a United Nations school lived on one side. A journalist on the other. Most painful, she said, were her lemon trees, which she had nurtured for years and now lay crushed under the sandy soil crisscrossed with the marks of tank treads.

***

"The Israeli actions made the situation more intractable, he said. “How can I convince my neighbors now for the option of peace? I can’t.”

He added: “Israel is breeding extremists. The feeling you get is that they just want you to leave Gaza."



For better coverage, I have a lot of respect for Democracy Now!. And although I'm not always thrilled by it, the BBC does a far better job than any major American media outlet.
amari_z: (egg)
If you've friended this journal, you might want to read the third paragraph if nothing else.

I’ve been pretty much AWOL lately, and haven’t been spending much time online at all. (So, if there’s something anyone wants me to know, please tell me/post a link in the comments, because I haven’t been keeping up.)

I’m still working on the next part of Resurrection (a/k/a teh crack). I was hoping to finish it by the end of the year, but it’s going slooowly and I don’t seem to have much time/energy for it, so that seems unlikely--although I‘m going to try to have at least a draft done (provided work doesn‘t decide to explode in my face). I’m up to about 20 pages, although they need severe rewriting. There are a bunch of things in this chapter that I’ve been building toward for ages, so hopefully when it’s done, it’ll be somewhat exciting. It’s funny--I think I originally figured I’d get to these plot points in something like the sixth part. Ha! I actually remember sitting in an airport awaiting my connection on my way back from Austria, o so many moons ago (after I had been prodded into making this a series and realized I probably couldn‘t just get away with making bad jokes), and coming up with these vague plotty things. (I think I was smirking to myself because people in the waiting area gave me a couple odd looks. Or maybe that was because they were just worried I was a terrorist.) Anyway, this just means that in addition to the usual agonizing I do when writing this stuff, there’s no pressure or anything.

Also, I haven’t been paying attention to the friending thing for a while. I think a couple people have friended me. If you’re one of them, and you want me to friend you back, you can post something here. If you want to be added to my personal filter (mostly me venting my rage about work and other stupidities, but not even that lately), let me know, but I tend not to do that unless you have an active journal. And at some point when I get around to it, I am going to prune my filters, which are kind of a mess. This means that if you’ve haven’t commented much but are currently friended and included in the filter, I might defilter you on the assumption that you’re here for the fic (when I post any), which is all public. So, if you’re the quiet type, but don’t want to be defiltered, I’m afraid this is your chance to speak up. If you you aren't sure whether you're filtered and/or likely to be defiltered and care one way or the other, feel free to ask.

Ok, complete random change of topic: in one of the last posts I managed to make, the one after September 11, I quoted from a book by Rashid Khalidi, who is Middle Eastern scholar of moderate bent. I just recently saw this. You know, I do find it infuriating that even the hint of being critical of Israel in this country is enough to brand you as evil. I find this comment, made by a student, telling: "'It should have been like, yes, I know him, and I’d like to know more Middle East experts, because that’s an important thing when you’re making policies.’” How the hell are you ever going to begin to address the situation unless you can acknowledge the positions of both sides? It’s absolutely essential as a starting point--unless, of course, your ultimate policy is actually genocide.

And so what if Mr. Khalidi had babysat Obama’s kids? What’s wrong with the concept? The Colin Powell line seems to be the one to take here, not a simple denial. (And, to my mind, whatever else he’s done that I despise, Powell has completely redeemed himself in my eyes. He’s the only major political figure I’ve heard who’s made the point that I’ve felt like screaming since this whole Obama-is-a-Muslim stuff began.)

And also, btw, if anyone is interested in reading something from the non-Israeli perspective, I just finished Palestinian Walks, which is beautiful book about the landscape of Palestine and the change that Israel’s policies have wrought. It gives some sense of what it means to live in the occupied West Bank. I also read Let It Be Morning, a novel set in a Palestinian village in Israel just before the Oslo Accords were signed. Both are recommended.

And speaking of books, I’ haven’t bought a book in at least a month (I think). That’s pretty scary (and has nothing to do with the frightening state of the economy, since I‘ll forgo food before reading material). Consider it my contribution to the Halloween thing, since I worked late yesterday, did not dress up, ate no candy, gave no candy away, and played no tricks. I’m determined to make a good dent in my Big List of Shame. I’m actually down to under 20 books on my fiction list (we won’t mention the nonfiction). This, if you know anything about me, is pretty much unprecedented.
amari_z: (daily)
Although I’ve been trying to keep my mood up, I’ve been not so pleased lately. It’s the usual combination of I hate my job, what am I doing with my life, the world is melting, the world is spiraling further into chaos, my country is no longer recognizable to me, all my painfully-earned savings are shrinking, people suck and so on.

My reaction to Heath Ledger’s death is case in point of my grumpiness. It was shocking, he was young and had a promising career, I feel bad for his family, but . . . why is this so front in center in the news and in people’s minds? I realize this is the unfortunate way that the new news cycle has come to work and that there are much, much less worthy things that the press has focused on (hi Brittany!), but I’m actually just annoyed at this point. Can we bother with the actual news just for the sake of novelty? It’s not like there are a shortage of conflict-oriented stories out there for the media to cover.

I’ve pretty much not talked about current events or politics here in ages—and I’m not going to go into any kind of long rant—but I’m feeling compelled to point to a few things today, just because. If one follows the non-celebrity oriented news, no real surprises, I should think. Some might say don’t read if you don’t want to be depressed, but, despite my current state of mind, I’ve never bought that idea.


A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials made over 900 false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Enron investors appeal.

The West should strike first, and with nuclear weapons, if necessary. So says a new, 150-page "manifesto" penned by five retired senior NATO officers and military strategists and distributed over the last 10 days to Pentagon officials and NATO Secretary General.

If you were watching the news, you may have heard about the confrontation between the U.S. navy and Iranian speedboats in the strait of Hormuz. What didn’t get as much coverage (no surprise) is that the incident was basically manufactured out of a routine event. (Also see Jon Stewart poking fun at this--I have to include this clip because of the huge love for Aasif Mandvi’s “I’m from Tampa, Jon.”) Yeah, since the war mongering has been going so poorly, CNN felt it necessary to step in and do all that it could do for its country.

“A new mortality report from the International Rescue Committee says that as many as 5.4 million people have died from war-related causes in the Congo since 1998. A staggering 45,000 people continue to die each month, both from the conflict and the related humanitarian crisis. Amidst the deadliest conflict since World War II, hundreds of international corporations have reaped enormous profits from extracting and processing Congolese minerals.” See here.

Congress fails to override SCHIP veto. And some Republicans call this attempt to extend the healthcare of uninsured children a political stunt.

This summer brings unnerving shrinking of polar ice. “Astonished by the summer’s changes, scientists are studying the forces that exposed one million square miles of open water — six Californias — beyond the average since satellites started measurements in 1979.”

Surviving a CIA black site. Mohamed Farag Ahmad Bashmilah spent over two and half years imprisoned before being released without any charges being filed against him. He describes: “They wanted me to confess to having some connections to some individuals of al-Qaida. They tried several times to get me to confess, and every time I said no, I would get either a kick, a slap or a curse. Then they said that if I did not confess, they will bring my wife and rape her in front of me. And out of fear for what would happen to my family, I screamed and I fainted. After I came to, I told them that ‘please, don’t do anything to my family. I would cooperate with you in any way you want.’”

Prison break in Gaza “But for Palestinians, life has grown more unbearable since Bush decided to get "engaged". Since Annapolis, the death toll of Palestinians killed by Israelis has soared 100%. The ratio of Palestinians to Israelis killed last year was the most unbalanced ever, at 40:1, up from 30:1 in 2006 and 4:1 from 2000-2005. The total death toll for 2007 stands at 322 Palestinians and eight Israelis. Of the eight, five were soldiers who died while carrying out military operations inside the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The pretext for these endless killings is the Qassam rockets. But the truth is that the daily incursions, assassinations, and embargo, have proceeded without fail before and after the rockets. The excuses change all the time, but the reality of occupation remains the same.”

I could go on, and on. But I’ll stop here since I'm now slightly more angry than depressed. So on a lighter note, just for fun:

Bill Clinton: Screw it, I’m running for President. “While the announcement has come as a surprise to many, Beltway observers said it was not completely unexpected, citing footage from a recent Democratic debate that showed Clinton fidgeting in his seat, gripping the arms of his chair, and repeatedly glancing at all the television cameras while rapidly tapping his right foot. Analysts also noted one debate in which Clinton mouthed responses to all the moderator's questions while making hand gestures to himself.”
amari_z: (tree)
I’ve been keeping the politics limited to snide comments recently, but I want to point out this New Yorker article, discussing the CIA’s “interrogation" program. Its worth a read, especially if you’re an American--know what sort of barbarianisms your government has been engaging in to “defend” you.

A few excerpts:

The C.I.A.’s interrogation program is remarkable for its mechanistic aura. “It’s one of the most sophisticated, refined programs of torture ever,” an outside expert familiar with the protocol said. “At every stage, there was a rigid attention to detail. Procedure was adhered to almost to the letter. There was top-down quality control, and such a set routine that you get to the point where you know what each detainee is going to say, because you’ve heard it before. It was almost automated. People were utterly dehumanized. People fell apart. It was the intentional and systematic infliction of great suffering masquerading as a legal process. It is just chilling.”


The former officer said that the C.I.A. kept a doctor standing by during interrogations. He insisted that the method was safe and effective, but said that it could cause lasting psychic damage to the interrogators. During interrogations, the former agency official said, officers worked in teams, watching each other behind two-way mirrors. Even with this group support, the friend said, [Khalid Sheikh] Mohammed’s interrogator “has horrible nightmares.” He went on, “When you cross over that line of darkness, it’s hard to come back. You lose your soul. You can do your best to justify it, but it’s well outside the norm. You can’t go to that dark a place without it changing you.” He said of his friend, “He’s a good guy. It really haunts him. You are inflicting something really evil and horrible on somebody.”


Ordinarily, the U.S. legal system is known for resolving such mysteries with painstaking care. But the C.I.A.’s secret interrogation program, Senator [Carl] Levin said, has undermined the public’s trust in American justice, both here and abroad. “A guy as dangerous as K.S.M. is, and half the world wonders if they can believe him—is that what we want?” he asked. “Statements that can’t be believed, because people think they rely on torture?”
amari_z: (daily)
I don't usually find our Republican overlord and his hangers-on all that amusing, but ROTFLMAO over the fight between Condoleeza Rice and James A. Baker III over Middle East policy. I never thought I'd be siding with James Baker in any universe, but you go, JB!

The New York Times described Baker as having "made little secret in private that he regards the administration as a bunch of diplomatic go-cart racers, more interested in speed than strategy and prone to ruinous crashes."

Oh. Hee. I knew there was a reason I still read you, NYT. The full article is here.

Be Afraid

Nov. 14th, 2006 02:12 pm
amari_z: (grail)
On Monday, the government made its first attempt to use the recently passed Military Commissions Act against a person detained on U.S. soil. See here.

Among many other things, the law basically strips U.S. immigrants of their right to challenge their detention in U.S. court, if they are designated by the administration as an "enemy combatant." In other words, if you are not a U.S. citizen, even if you are in the U.S. legally, even if you are a permanent resident with a green card and have been living in the U.S. for decades, the government has given itself the power to detain you unilaterally at its whim for as long as it wants and has stripped you of the right to challenge its actions in any civilian court.


amari_z: (fall red trees)
The U.S. Government has (NOT including Guantanamo) been keeping 14,000 prisoners overseas--outside the reach of any law. That's FOURTEEN THOUSAND people being held under the name of the United States, without any due process, without being told why they are being detained, without access to evidence, without access to counsel, without access to any court or public forum, without contact with family, without any any rights whatsoever.

If you don't read anything else on the subject, read this. A couple excerpts )
amari_z: (Aspen leaves)
As a follow up to the previous post (and although no surprise whatsoever, still, oh, so disgusting) Bush seeks political gains from foiled plot.

[White House spokesman Tony]Snow said Bush first learned in detail about the plot on Friday, and received two detailed briefings on it on Saturday and Sunday, as well as had two conversations about it with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

But a senior White House official said that the British government had not launched its raid until well after Cheney held a highly unusual conference call with reporters to attack the Democrats as weak against terrorism.


and

"Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won't "look as appealing" under the circumstances.


And more on the convenient timing issue here.

amari_z: (storm)
As I've mentioned, er, once or twice, I have recently been crushed beneath the heel of work. The one partial benefit of that has been I haven't had much time to brood over current events. Not even getting into Thursday's insanity, the state of affairs has been enraging, maddening, frustrating, disgusting and a lot other things that there aren't words strong enough to express. As much as I usually can't contain myself, this time, I don't feel able to even begin to articulate anything sufficient to express my feelings on the Middle East "crisis," much less how it's being portrayed and spoken about, and I generally just find myself driven to tears. Fortunately others are not so stymied and are more articularte than I. For anyone who wants, here is a link to an essay (one of many, many excellent pieces out there if you look (and don't look to mass media)) that someone sent me today. An excerpt:

They tell you that a Jewish state is democratic but a Muslim state is evil; that Palestinians living in Palestine have no rights and no state but Jews living in the rest of the world can ‘return’ and live there as rights’-bearing citizens; that Jesus wants you in Palestine unless you are a Palestinian or a Muslim; that Washington, London and Tel Aviv can produce nuclear warheads but that Tehran is a global threat for daring to enrich uranium; that legitimate resistance is terrorism but state terrorism is “self-defense”; that the desert state of Syria is Nasrallah’s courier and puppeteer but that Washington is an honest broker and a partner for peace; that Iran is a rogue state for arming Hizbullah but that America is freedom-loving for arming Tel Aviv; that we cannot talk to Damascus or Tehran unless they renounce themselves out of existence first; that expansionism and regime change are necessary for American and Israeli national security but that the Arab and Muslim winners of free and fair democratic elections should be arrested in the middle of the night and imprisoned in secret police detention centers for attempting to rule.

They tell you that three soldiers captured by Hamas and Hizbullah are worth the collective destruction of Palestine and Lebanon but that civilians kidnapped by Israel are not worth the price of a printed page; that the tens of thousands of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails and the hundreds of Afghanis, Pakistanis, Arabs and others at Guantanamo Bay are worth less than the abandoned pets of the residents of North Israel fleeing to the bomb shelters. They sing sanctimonious hymns to the glory of international law as they veto it into the oblivion of a million shell fragments.


Go read it. A few other rather randomly chosen links, all of which, in my opinion, are worth reading: here, here, here, here.

On Thusday's news, I have to mention something. The mother of a very good friend of mine was unlucky enough to be traveling from America to Africa with a stop over at Heathrow on Thursday morning. From what I understand, she, along with many other passengers with non-EU, non-US passports, were herded out into a parking lot where they were forced to wait for their flights without food, water or shelter. My friend's mother, an elderly woman with diabetes, spent 10 hours out in that parking lot, along with thousands of other people, including other elderly people and babies, before being escorted back into the airport to board her flight. She was not allowed any access to a telephone to call her family, who were frantic about her whereabouts. WTF? I've no where near read all the coverage of Thursday, but I haven't seen stories about this little detail of civilized behavior. My friend is ready to raise hell. Let's see if she gets anywhere.

amari_z: (daily)
I am teeth-constantly-clenched stressed and busy right now, but as I was eating my dinner at my desk, I came across this in The NYTimes, which reminded me why, in addition to being scaryevilfascists, our government is also, on top of everything else, just plain stupid (which makes its increasingly successful quest for absolute power even more scary).

You need to be registered to read the article, but in short, surprise, surprise, Homeland Security has no idea what the crap it's doing. The Inspector General of Homeland Security has issued a report that the National Asset Database (which is used to calculate how much money each state gets to fund security) is basically smoking crack. (Okay, the report used different words, but that was the idea.)

According to the database, Indiana is the state with the most potential terrorist targets (50 percent more than NY and more than twice as many as California). And Wisconsin is second. Don't get me wrong, I like cows and cheese as much as the next non-lactose intolerant person, but wtf?

Among the potential "assets" needing protection listed in the database are places like the Sweetwater Flea Market in Kentucky and the Amish Country Popcorn in Indiana (which, by the owner's own admission, is in the middle of nowhere and employs five people).

Other assets that are likely to draw the terrorists' eyes included Old MacDonald’s Petting Zoo, the Mule Day Parade, “Beach at End of a Street,” “Nix’s Check Cashing,” “Mall at Sears,” “Ice Cream Parlor,” “Tackle Shop,” “Donut Shop,” “Anti-Cruelty Society” and “Bean Fest.”

I don't know about you, but I’m feeling reassured. Can people this incompetent actually manage to rig an election? Oh, wait, I forgot that they farmed that project out to the private sector.

amari_z: (daily)
I have been very, very quiet on the news/political front lately, but just to show that my rage is unflagging, and is indeed only waxing, because it, like human stupidity, appears to be infinite in its capacity, I have to mention the recent USA Today article that reports that the NSA has obtained records of millions of domestic telephone calls.

Cause it's not unlawful if they call it legal )

amari_z: (egg)
In today’s Senate debate over the Patriot Act, Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, stated, "Civil liberties do not mean much when you are dead."

I love these type of statements. They show what upright, educated, principled and brave leaders we have. They show shameless attempts at base manipulation, stupidity, utter lack of character and complete disregard for the principles on which this country was supposedly built.

Senator, life doesn’t mean much if you aren’t free.

And I don't really think the government's inability to get unilateral access to library records is going to be killing too many people. But global warming might.*

And yes, I'm in a pissy mood.


* Bunning said about global warming: “I believe the science we have seen does not support the need to engage in questionable policies to control so-called ‘global warming.' We need more evidence that the climate is actually affected by emissions, especially carbon emissions, before we act too quickly." This was said in the debate over the (defeated) 2003 Senate bill which would have required reductions in greenhouse gas emissions - including carbon dioxide - to 2000 levels by the year 2010. Such questionable and fast moving policies.

amari_z: (patriarch)
Because I need some good news:

The federal government just settled one of the cases brought by a non-citizen detained in New York after 9/11, which alleged illegal detention and abuse. Several cases are pending, including a class action, but I believe that this is the first to be settled. Notably, a settlement allows the government to avoid having to produce Ashcroft, Mueller and other senior government officials to testify under oath. The government had lost a motion trying to dismiss the case (and thus avoid having to produce witnesses) last year.

The government had argued that these suits should be dismissed without testimony because the emergency circumstances justified extraordinary (i.e., illegal) measures. In other words, the government, in its self-proclaimed no-end-in-sight war on terror, may now violate any law it wishes with impunity—basically the administration’s standard argument for everything it does.

But the judge held that: "Our nation's unique and complex law enforcement and security challenges in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks do not warrant the elimination of remedies for the constitutional violations alleged here."

And even better: "This proposition, which suggests that, as a matter of law, constitutional and statutory rights must be suspended during times of crisis, is supported neither by statute nor the Constitution.”

By way of background: in the weeks after 9/11, 762 non-citizens were arrested, mostly on immigration violations. 184 were identified as being "of high interest" to investigators and held in maximum-security conditions, in Brooklyn and elsewhere, until the F.B.I. cleared them of terrorist links. More than 80 men were classified as suspected terrorists and held in high-security cells at the Brooklyn facility between Sept. 14, 2001, and Aug. 27, 2002. Virtually all were Muslims or from Arab countries. The government has, of course, argued that there was no evidence of discrimination in their actions. Most of these people, many of whom were long time residents with families in the U.S., were eventually deported.

The inspector general's report on the detentions said that little effort was made to distinguish between legitimate terrorism suspects and people picked up by chance, and that clearances took months, not days, because they were a low priority. Among the abuses described in the report — many of them caught on prison videotape — were beatings, sexual humiliations and illegal recording of lawyer-client conversations.

While, of course, a settlement has no actual precedential value and is not any sort of admission by the government, it is a form of accountability. The plaintiff is only getting $300,000, though, which seems a bit paltry, given that the man, a 13-year NYC resident, was imprisoned for eight months, was most likely abused, then jailed for minor charges unrelated to terrorism (check fraud) before being deported (obviously, no ties to terrorism being found). The judge still has to approve the settlement. Another detainee was a co-plaintiff, and his case remains pending.

Edit:

Because you know it couldn't last--apparently the government has been putting war protesters on the no-fly list. You go, Bush administration!

amari_z: (daily)
I used to laugh at those people who had emergency bunkers in their backyards, but no longer. Unfortunately, I have no backyard.

As was no doubt predictable from the moment O'Connor resigned: A state is about to pass legislation banning all abortions (and by the way, no exception for rape or incest, although I suppose women should be grateful that they'll still be allowed to choose whether or not to have an abortion or to die). Let the slide into religious theocracy continue. (Because, as we've seen from other examples around the world, it is, after all, a truly excellent form of government--just check out the Taliban--no question everyone behaved themselves under their regime. But, oh, wait, I thought we hated them (didn't we blow the shit out of them?)--but I guess it's really all about what kind of theos you have in your cracy.)


Oh, and since our government is so concerned about spreading democracy (and we all know from social studies class that a free press in the cornerstone of any democracy), the U.S. government is continuing to use my tax dollars to pay for pro-American articles in the Iraqi press (and btw, Rumsfeld, "just misstated the facts" when he said last week that the U.S. had stopped this practice--and that's not a lie exactly how?). But silly me to object to this, since while we are trying to spread "democracy" it is the new, improved version of American "democracy" in which the first principle is that the administration gets what it wants and the media should be its propaganda machine. And the Constitution is just, like the Pirate Code, more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules.

And if the recent election was not clue enough, Canada is looking less and less likely as a sane line of retreat. You might need your own bunkers soon, Canadians, because the Christian right is turning its eyes in your direction. Be afraid. I'm not kidding.

And don't feel too smug, Brits. Apparently, your government is trying to pull a Bush and award itself powers to literally do anything it wants. Again, I'm not kidding. Parliament, following in Congress's footsteps, may soon just be another residual but useless organ (like your appendix).

And I'm not even going to mention ports, the ongoing Katrina cover up, how the illegal wiretapping has basically successfully been brushed aside, the attack on the Samarra shrine, the ongoing voting machine fiasco (because even when you've stacked the deck in your favor, stuffing the ballot box is the only guarantee), how Cheney was most likely drunk when he shot his hunting buddy (who has now extended his profuse apologies to Cheney for his inconsiderate act of getting himself shot in the face), and . . . and . . . .

amari_z: (morning fog)
I have been pretty much biting my tongue for the last week in an effort to not start ranting about the Gonzales "testimony" and other current events, but my tongue is bleeding now, so I have to point anyone interested to a piece by Reza Aslan on the Danish cartoon fiasco.

He writes:
So, while in Europe and the United States the row over the cartoons has been painted as a conflict between secular democratic freedoms and arcane religious dogma, the controversy is really about neither. Instead, it's another manifestation of the ongoing ethnic and religious tensions that have been simmering beneath the surface of European society for decades, like last year's Paris riots and the murder two years ago of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

In the minds of many Muslims in Europe, the cartoons were intentionally inflammatory, published to further humiliate an ethnic and religious minority that has been socially and economically repressed for decades. Indeed, it seems as though the cartoons were deliberately meant to provoke precisely the reaction they did. . . .

. . . .

And that is why as a Muslim American I am enraged by the publication of these cartoons. Not because they offend my prophet or my religion, but because they fly in the face of the tireless efforts of so many civic and religious leaders—both Muslim and non-Muslim—to promote unity and assimilation rather than hatred and discord; because they play into the hands of those who preach extremism; because they are fodder for the clash-of-civilizations mentality that pits East against West. For all of that I blame Jyllands-Posten. We in the West want Muslim leaders to condemn the racial and religious prejudices that are so widespread in the Muslim world. Let us lead by example.


full text here )

And because I can't help myself, I have to add that, as someone who has gone to law school, I find Gonzales's argument for the legality of the administration's wiretapping to be utterly, completely and irredeemably laughable. A 1L who made this argument in law school would be torn apart by the professor. One of the basic principles for statutory interpretation is that, if the law is not clear on its face, and in the absence of controlling precedent, one looks to the intent of the legislative body that passed the law. In the absence of legislative intent, no go. Straight to jail, man--unless of course the judge is in your pocket.

Of course I'm being a bit facetious (but only a tiny bit) and it's slightly more complicated. If anyone's interested, a basic outline of the arguments (and why they're wrong according to the Congressional Research Service--which is a nonpartisan research arm of Congress) can be found here.

Ok. Resuming tongue biting.

amari_z: (bunny)
I often ask myself why Bush hasn't already been impeached.

Here's good argument for why he should be from a former congresswoman. The Impeachment of George Bush )

As beautiful as the image is, the problem is that even if he is impeached--where does that leave us? President Cheney? *shudder* He has to go as well.

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