Monday, October 31, 2005

Save the Court
An African American had been convicted of felony murder by an all white jury from which black jurors had been impermissibly struck because of their race. Alito cast the deciding vote and wrote the majority opinion in a 2-1 ruling rejecting the defendant's claims. The full Third Circuit, in a split decision, reversed Alito's ruling, and the majority specifically criticized him for having compared statistical evidence about the prosecution's exclusion of blacks from juries in capital cases to an explanation of why a disproportionate number of recent U.S. Presidents have been left-handed. According to the majority, "[t]o suggest any comparability to the striking of jurors based on their race is to minimize the history of discrimination against prospective black jurors and black defendants . . ."--

From pages 9 and 10 of the full preliminary report, here (PDF)
"Spousal notification – would require a married woman to present a statement signed by her husband, attesting that he knows about her intention to have an abortion, before she could undergo the procedure".

The link is from Tapped, but CBS news put the subject 45 seconds into their report.
It was 1970 - the year Roe came to court. I was a young mother with three daughters under the ages of five. My life was my family. Then one day my husband left. I was terrified. Suddenly I was alone in my responsibility to my children. I was a homemaker with no money, no job, no car. I was quickly forced onto welfare.

Then - almost immediately after my husband left - I found I was pregnant. I was devastated. Physically, financially, emotionally - I couldn't care for another child.

Like most women, I never expected to even consider an abortion. I was a Catholic woman. Abortion was illegal. It was shrouded in shame and wrapped in danger. I couldn't discuss abortion with my mother, my sister or my friends - let alone my priest. I had to struggle with the moral and ethical questions alone - to debate my obligations to my children against my responsibility to the developing life inside me. In the end, I chose my children. I chose abortion.

But in those days, that was not a choice I could make by myself. I had to appear before an all-male hospital board. They asked all the awful questions. They probed into the most intimate details of my life. I felt completely worthless, violated. The only way I could get a safe, legal abortion - the only way I could avoid putting myself at risk - was to convince them that I was unstable - that I was incapable of raising another child - that I was unfit to be a mother.

But the inquisition had a final - and most demeaning - twist. The board finally agreed to grant me an abortion - but, first, I had to get written permission from the man who abandoned me and our daughters.

I found him. He gave me permission. And I had the abortion.
Kate Michelman


update such as it is, from Volokh.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

link

I found it at CT, where they seem unable to laugh and think at the same time. But they found it from Andrew Sullivan, where I found this:
"You are right to say that Taranto's comment on menstrual blood was pathetic, and to add the label "homophobic bigot" to the label "religious bigot" and "torture apologist" that he deserves to wear.
As a man who has been a happy heterosexual all my life, I just want to point out that I too find this interrogation tactic utterly repellent and un-American. And not because I find menstrual blood itself repellent--I actually have some very fond memories of being smeared here and there with menstrual blood over the years, and I have found it not the least bit repellent. (Sometimes as part of love-making, sometimes as part of the ordinary inevitable intimacy of living with the wife of twenty years who has given me two children).
But you know, there is this thing about the difference between what we may do consensually, and what the government may order its agents to force on people, which the Bush administration seems to have stopped paying attention to. You'd have thought this distinction was essential to the conservative outlook, but then...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Desire or Convention
Freedom or Equality

Equality implies a pulliing up and/or down depending on one's prior status. This is bourgeois Anglo-Saxonism at it's worst: one is either removed from one's past, history, ritual, custom- one is free- or one is not. But if you follow behavior rather than ideas, actions more than explanations, you realize that this removal is a fiction. Libertarianism is the elevation of this fiction to theology.

What I admire and appreciate about both Lewontin and the man who considers himself his mortal enemy is the sense they share that for all their education, perhaps brilliance, not much divides the two of them with the rest of humanity. Each in their way is believably humble. And if you don't think Trivers has found a way to manufacture his humility out of arrogance you miss the fucking point.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Fucking idiots.
Never trust an auto mechanic on environmental policy.

The urge to 'maximize' is only universal as a tendency, one that has been constrained in many ways over the history of human civilization.
It was not celebrated as a moral good until very recently, and is now only celebrated as such by those who those who would consider themselves realists by considering it an absolute [Darwinian?] universal.
From this they build arguments which are successful if and only if you accept the assumptions that precede their logic.
The wilingness to do that, as a liberal, is what accounts for the absurd structures of division and re-division in Dworkin's last book.

You can't deny the fact of individual conscience but neither can you deny the fact of collective activity and knowledge. One person can not invent language. There are no monads. We are products of our time more than producers of it. In accepting Epstein's pretense of a value-free logic, you abdicate a responsibility to the philosophical humanism of which the common law has played such an important part. The intellectual asks: What do we value? What is the relationship of the individual to the collective? What are the responsibilities of each to the other?

What do we value?
What should we value?

The defeat of Stalinism makes these shitheads so full of hubris they wants to believe, and they want you to believe, that it's dangerous- even a danger to democracy- to ask that last question.

What should we value? That's the question democracies ask of themselves. That's their cause and their reason for being.
The American people abdicated their responsibility in voting for an idiot. Judith Miller abdicated her responsibility. Neocons view that abdication as a moral good.
"Wanker of the Day"
George Packer.

What did you expect?
From Juan Cole:
Tom Lasseter of Knight Ridder says that the passage of the constitution may not halt Iraq's slide into civil war and partition. (Since the Sunni Arabs overwhelmingly rejected it, the charter is at the very least not a force for national unity!) He quotes a US official saying, "Maybe they just have to have their civil war" and commenting that it is a "way of life" "over here."

I see. So the US invades Iraq, overthrows the government, dissolves the army, appoints an ethnically determined government, backs fundamentalist Shiite parties and Kurdish parties against the interests of the Sunni Arabs. And now it is the Iraqis' fault that there is communal violence, because they are just like that "over here." Well, you can't say that Orientalist stereotypes aren't at least useful as fig leafs for imperial SNAFUs.

Shahin M. Cole observed today, "Partition is the consequence of failed colonialism."
Of Models and Descriptions, Ideas and Ideologies, the difference between the 19th and 20th centuries, etc. etc.
I happened to be reading a paper by a friend today and came across a lovely passage by William Morris on the principle of distribution that would obtain in a socialist society. The passage is from Morris’s What Socialists Want and I found it interesting in the light of the arguments that go on today among egalitarian liberal political philosophers. Thus spake Morris:
when a family that is comfortably-off sit down to a leg of mutton how do they act? do they bring in a pair of scales and weigh out to each one his share of the victuals? No that is done in a prison, but not in a family: in a family everybody has what he needs and no one grudges it: Mary has one slice, Jack has two, and Bill has four: but Mary and Jack don’t feel wronged, since they have had as much as they wanted: and the reason for this is that enough has been provided, and that the members of the family trust one another. My friends it is for you to choose whether you will live in a prison or a family: we Socialists beg you to choose the latter.
The important thing for Morris is that everyone have enough, and that everyone trusts one another sufficiently to be assured that others are not taking more than they need. And he contrasts this with an attitude of (suspicious) calculation. I’m not sure whether Morris is enunciating a principle of justice here, or whether he would say that justice is inherently calculative and that these are circumstances of abundance where the watchful attitude of strict justice no longer applies. But if (and it’s a big if) this is taken as a principle of justice, then it is notable that he isn’t endorsing a principle of strict equality, but rather one of sufficiency. Indeed this contrast is even clearer towards the beginning of the text where Morris writes:
So you see whatever inequality I admit among people, I claim this equality – that everybody should have full enough food, clothes, and housing, and full enough leisure, pleasure, and education; and that everybody should have a certainty of these necessaries: in this case we should be equal as Socialists use the word ….
Again, a principle of sufficiency and the suggestion of the dimensions of human existence in which we should have sufficient that prefigures some of the lists of essential capabilites that Martha Nussbaum enumerates in various places.
My two comments:

1- You’ve made the intellectual’s usual mistake of equating description with prescription. Calculating an argument against calculation destroys Morris’ thought.

Literature, unlike philosophy, describes without prescription, and Morris’ is as much a literary as a philosphical statement. The 19th C. was good for that sort of stuff. I’ve made the same point to Henry about Marx.

The question you should be asking is how to construct and communicate in such a way that might attempt to do justice not to the ideas of ‘friendship’ and ‘trust’ but to the facts of them.
I’m not claiming there’s an answer to the problem- strictly speaking there isn’t- only that the problem exists. In fact it’s the central problem of contemporary intellectual life.
What exactly is ‘art’?

2- Again, since no one listens, here's the question: how do you construct a 'model' as complex as what preceded it? Morris is describing family relationships as they exist, using givens and generalities. He is describing a system after its genesis. That's what literature does. A model on the other hand is a precursor.
There's a contradiction here, and if Morris is on one side everyone here is on the other.
I prefer Morris if only because he is more interested in his way in the complexity of things than of ideas.
---

I'm so sick of these assholes. What do you say to people proud to be smarter than David Brooks? So you're not absolute idiots. Now get down off your high-chairs and do something worthwhile.
Idiots like Brooks know enough to be self hating. These fuckheads are too full of themselves to see the contradictions in their own position.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Nathan Newman: [links in original] "If we want to have a U.N. session on Syria's involvement in foreign assassinations, can we also get one on Kissinger's involvement in the coup and potential assassination of Chile's President in the 1970s?
How about the US support for mass murder by allies in Guatemala?
And the US involvement in the mass murders that followed the overthrow of President Suharto of Indonesia in 1965?
Or investigations of any range of illegal foreign adventures by our intelligence services?
I'm happy to see a real look at Syria's dirty dealings in Lebanon. I just hope this is a first step in opening up the books on illegal assassination of foreign leaders by ALL countries."
Syria?

It's going to be an interesting weekend.
July 20 2004

I forwarded the link to the the F.T. piece on Wilkerson to Laura Rozen yesterday without posting it. I should have been paying more attention..

It's going to be an interesting weekend
After Wilson published a book criticizing the administration in April 2004, during the closely fought presidential campaign, Libby became consumed by passages that he believed were inaccurate or unfair to Cheney, former aides said. He ordered up a meticulous catalog of Wilson's claims and public statements going back to early 2003.

The result was a packet that included excerpts from press clips and television transcripts of Wilson's statements that were divided into categories, such as "political ties" or "WMD."

The compendium used boldfaced type to call attention to certain comments by Wilson, such as one in the Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa student newspaper, in which Wilson was quoted as calling Cheney "a lying son of a bitch." It also highlighted Wilson's answers to questions from television journalists about his work with Sen. John F. Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee.

The intensity with which Libby reacted to Wilson had many senior White House staffers puzzled, and few agreed with his counterattack plan or its rationale, former aides said...

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The ax is falling.
The sky may be too, but that's a different issue.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A few day ago courtesy of Prof. Bainbridge I found this defense of Congress' authority by John McGinnis of the Heritage Foundation.
Now, from Jack Balkin we have this from Mike Paulsen and John Yoo.
Also from J.B. just for laughs.
There was always a litmus test. We knew it, and now they admit it.

I'll also repeat (sort of) what I wrote yesterday:
There is no way to resolve once and for all the conflict between authority and indiividual responsibility in a democratic country. It's a moral and philosophical problem that must be faced by each individual every time the question arises.

Conservatives have been trashing the rules of debate for years: dismissing argument as such, lowering everything to the level of insult and equating dissent with disloyalty, all of course while claiming to take the high road. Now they've left themselves no room to move.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Guardian

Chris McGreal in Jerusalem:
"At the northern edge of Jerusalem, on the main road to the Palestinian city of Ramallah, three towering concrete walls are converging around a rapidly built maze of cages, turnstiles and bomb-proof rooms.
When construction at Qalandiya is completed in the coming weeks, the remaining gaps in the 8m (26ft)-high walls will close and those still permitted to travel between the two cities will be channelled through a warren of identity and security checks reminiscent of an international frontier.

The Israeli military built the crossing without fanfare over recent months, along with other similar posts along the length of the vast new "security barrier" that is enveloping Jerusalem, while the world's attention was focussed on the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon's removal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip.

But these de facto border posts are just one element in a web of construction evidently intended to redraw Israel's borders deep inside the Palestinian territories and secure all of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and to do it fast so as to put the whole issue beyond negotiation. As foreign leaders, including Tony Blair, praised Mr Sharon for his "courage" in pulling out of Gaza last month, Israel was accelerating construction of the West Bank barrier, expropriating more land in the West Bank than it was surrendering in Gaza, and building thousands of new homes in Jewish settlements."

Sunday, October 16, 2005

BIRD FLU, BIRD BRAINS, AND ECONOMISTS
In reference to the links in this post.
Ellipses
Papers by Thomas Nagel (pdf)
and Michael Perry

Perry begins with an extended quote, a reference to a reference:
Richard Rorty, the leading postmodernist liberal theorist . . . concedes that liberalism, once so jealous of its autonomy from Biblical faith, is in fact parasitic upon it. In his essay “Postmodern Bourgeois Liberalism,” he describes secular liberals like himself as “freeloading atheists.” They continue to rely on the Judeo-Christian legacy of concern with human dignity despite their rejection of the revealed truth that alone could support this concern. . . . For Rorty, God is dead but secularized Christian morality continues. This is precisely one of the scenarios envisaged by Nietzsche in The Gay Science: “God is dead, but given the way men are there may still be caves for thousands of years in which [t]his shadow will be shown.” True, only 125 of those years have now passed, but on the evidence of Rorty’s thought, it’s hard to believe that this sort of shadow play still has centuries to run.
Nagel begins straight off:
Analytic philosophy as a historical movement has not done much to provide an alternative to the consolations of religion. This is sometimes made a cause for reproach, and it has led to unfavorable comparisons with the continental tradition of the twentieth century, which did not shirk that task. I believe this is one of the reasons why continental philosophy has been better received by the general public: it is at least trying to provide nourishment for the soul, the job by which philosophy is supposed to earn its keep. Analytic philosophers usually rebuff the complaint by pointing out that their concerns are continuous with the central occupations of Western philosophy from Parmenides onward: metaphysics, epistemology, logic, and ethical theory. Those topics have been pursued in a great tradition of works that are often technical and difficult, and that are not intended for a broad audience. The aim of that tradition is understanding, not edification.
I don't know what to do with this crap. What analytical philosophy fails to do is acknowledge the fact of the thinking subject, of the subject centered nature of all thought as such. The speaking -always rational!- voice seems to eminate from somewhere but no one can say where that place is. Is it the voice of science? Is science a place now?
And what the fuck is all this about the nourishment of the soul?

Freedom of inquiry, and the right -the obligation if you're an adult- to be curious; these are the only grounds for a theory of rights in a godless age. And they're enough from an intellectual standpoint to get the job done. Common sense morality does the rest.   A grouping of people each with a variety of limited understandings, each with his or her own story, each no more valuable than the next if only because we can not predict the outcome of events. Simple. Rorty's got his head up his ass.

And as I've said before concerning religion itself and faith: very few people claim to witness miracles. Most by far hear stories. Faith in miracles as such, absent a compelling story, leaves non-witnesses with kitsch, with unmediated faith which communicates to others again only if at all on faith. For the rest of us the language -art and artifice- convinces, or not.  And theologians like literature professors know, even if they won't admit, that the language comes first.

People believe good stories more than bad ones. Stories are more important than gods.
Mafi Floosh
Mafi Moshkele
In re: McDonalds. A man and his wife in a late model Explorer or some other large SUV, at the drive-through. 11 pm last night.
Breaking the fast.
I was next in line, on foot.
1
Early this autumn, as today's Iranian rulers defied the new Rome by pressing ahead with their nuclear program, I traveled for two weeks through what is now the Islamic Republic of Iran. In the year of their Lord 1384, I talked to mullahs armed with laptops, regime supporters in the religious hotbed of Qom, and Islamic philosophers highly critical of the regime. I met intellectuals of all stripes, artists, farmers, politicians, and businesspeople. Most memorably, I had long, intense conversations with some of the young Iranians who make up the majority of the country's population. I see their earnest faces before me as I write, especially those of the women, framed in the compulsory Islamic head scarf, the hijab, which they somehow manage to convert into an accessory of grace and quiet allure.

2
The cold war ended in 1991, but a continuing flow of books on the subject testifies to our deep fascination with it, and to the contested meaning of its legacy. This is particularly true of its ideological component, the "cultural cold war," for as David Caute has noted, the "mortal 'stroke'" that buried Soviet communism was not just economic and military, but also "moral, intellectual, and cultural." The opening of the archives east and west over the past fifteen years has greatly contributed to the debate over what exactly happened, by allowing commentators to reexamine, for example, the role of the CIA in front organizations in the West, like the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and that of the NKVD/ KGB and its affiliates in Communist fronts of a similar nature.
...they somehow manage to convert into an accessory of grace and quiet allure
...the "mortal 'stroke'" that buried Soviet communism was not just economic and military, but also "moral, intellectual, and cultural."

Thousands of years of philosophies in any language the vast majority declaiming one or another of the varieties of asceticism, and the current descriptions -in this country- of the recent epic, absurd, violent and tragic attempts to impose those values by force on the people at large devolves inevitably into a defense of the moral superiority of sheetrock and McDonalds.

All culture is artificial, be it in the culture of Tehran in 2005 or that of whatever public school Timoth Garton Ash was attending when he first had a cock in his ass.
The hijab becomes 'an accessory of grace and quiet allure' precisely because it is mandatory. Anything that is obligatory becomes used, becomes transformed by use. Please, please, speak of what is gained and lost.

You would consider yourself an intellectual. Act like one.
idiots. idiots idiots idiots idiots idiots...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Nathan Newman makes me laugh

Najibullah, Reza Pahlavi, and Saddam Hussein were all modernizers, but P.Z.Myers doesn't get the joke.
Deal with the boredom, the poverty and the banality of working (or semi-working)- life and fundamentalism will take care of itself. 'The Partnership for a God Free America' won't work any more than its namesake, nor should it.

How mamy times can I say it: puritans and drunks.
And I prefer drunks.
"So the referendum is tomorrow- well, technically speaking, today."

Monday, October 10, 2005

Pakistan is a politically unstable country, WITH NUKES. It is also geologically unstable.

Juan Cole
The Pakistani government is now estimating 30,000 dead in the earthquake, and incidents of civil violence are being reported by AP. CNN is suggesting that 2.5 million are homeless, and perhaps as many as 5 million.

The magnitude of the disaster is only gradually becoming apparent. It will put enormous pressure on Pakistan's government to respond effectively. Its ability to do so is not clear.

The geopolitical outcome could be significant. Governments have been shaken by poor response to smaller catastrophes than this one, e.g. Turkey's in the late 1990s. Gen. Musharraf's future may depend in part on how well he can turn his military and government to disaster relief. Likewise, the future of Kashmir, a global flashpoint, may be affected. If Pakistan cannot show it cares and can come to the aid of the Kashmiris it rules, it will very likely forfeit all claim on the region (in opinion polls, few Kashmiris want to join Pakistan, anyway).

The Bush administration response so far seems to me wholly inadequate to the scale of this problem.
I called P.Z Myers a pedant
['pednt] noun a person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning.
Jodi Wilgoren is an idiot.

Miller defended herself in the same terms last year, but she and Wilgoren represent the perverse outcome of Myer's ideal. Judgment is necessary only because ambiguity exists. Myers' disdain for ambiguity and the reporters' unwillingness to accept anything else are two sides of the same coin.

To take creationist concerns seriously is not to take creationist science seriously. That's ambiguity kids, and none of them gets it.
Myer's arrogance, Miller and Wilgoren's cowardice and evangelical anger all reinforce each other.

Again, a country of puritans and drunks.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Editing film is like editing language: rearranging sentences you may not have written into paragraphs, building paragraphs into chapters and chapters into books, or movies.
A Glass in the Sink
I posted this a couple of years ago. It's a simple flash movie. I'm working with Final Cut now on a new project. The response has been very good. We'll see.
A couple of men with brown skin sittiing and drinking in a book-lined room listening to a white guy play guitar.

"I have cancer and jungle fever, and tonight one of them is going to get cured."

A theater critic discusses politics.

Another academic is denied tunure.

I've never paid much attention to either August Wilson or Oscar Hijuelos; rightly or wrongly I've always seens Wilson as a representative of the Arthur Miller/ Playhouse 90 school, and I have no interest. But a friend of mine has done some drinking with Hijuelos and relayed some good stories. And of course I respect craftspeople on principle. Same goes for this.
I don't give a shit about Drezner. I'm beyond disgust with academia, or at least of the sort that sees ideas over acts- or even worse, a priori as reality. Every definition is de facto a forced isolation, artificial; and the invention of god is merely an attempt to naturalize the man-made definitions of the world. But every word must have one meaning for it to have a thousand implications. And those changing implications are the ground from which future meanings come.
I've just given you a simple description of the process of linguistic, legal and Constitutional change: not how it should or shouldn't happen, but how it does. There is no argument that can be made against this.
So lets hear it for the craftsmen and women who make life worth living for the vast majority, and whose works and actions make possble the careers who those who think otherwise.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Max Smart
"What, if anything, does secular philosophy have to put in the place of religion?"

Here's more from the same same source

I've run into a few things like this recently.  Does a 'village atheist' have a philosophy? Is his morality as such in question? Should it be? Philosophers are either priests or ex-priests: they see the disenchantment of the world is either a tragedy or a goal; they are unwilling or unable to see their truth-seeking in historical context. I'd be amused to see a poll of the religious beliefs, or lack thereof, of novelists or actors. The disenchantment of the world never happened and never will and god has nothing to do with it, just as he or she has nothing to do with religion (except in the minds of a tiny percentage of eccentrics)

The original sin is not curiosity but its opposite as lived and professed by popes, professors and market theorists. And as far as rights are concerned it makes more sense to focus on freedom of inquiry, the right of the people to acquire knowledge, than on freedom of speech, which devolves quickly into the right one man to be stupid. The right to listen is more important, more foundational, than the right to be heard. It's a subtle shift but it's important.

Oh God, why the fuck am I reading this shit? Do neoliberal technocrats and rationalist pedants bore me so much that I have to start mocking conservatives?
They're all the same at this point.
The Meaning of Life.
via C.T. which leads on, or back, to this bit of pedantry by C.Z. Myers
More of the same in a different state of development, if not maturity, from Leiter
My response to both:
Definitions of Postmodernism

"Given the choice between drinking a beer with a priest who has an imagination and a mathematician who doesn't..."

As if Leiter's hypertropied formalism were not a symptom of ideological crisis.
And remember, I'm a third generation atheist.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The next generation of intellectual liberals, N+1.

It's not the anti-intellectualism of this country that drives me nuts, it's the intellectualism that claims so proudly to go against the grain while being consumed with envy. In the Stocks (including 'The Ballad of the Stockholder Intellectual'); full of naive moral confusion and self pity, as if Gore Vidal doesn't have a good broker. Joan Didion in her recent piece in The Times Magazine on life after her husband's death referred to "Jose. Who was in our household." She and John Gregory Dunne had at least one servant, and he cried.

Didion's clear-sightedness is beyond these teenage idiots. The Chatroom Society:"Though there may not be a great writer left, literature still rules." Radiohead, or the Philosophy of Pop: "I've wondered why there's no philosophy of popular music... Everyone repeats the received idea that music is revolutionary. Well is it? ...Is pop truly of its time, in the sense that it represents some aspect of exterior history apart from the path of its internal development?"
My god, what colossal willed ignorance, the absolute inability to look for oneself, at oneself, at one's tastes and preconceptions, and simply to describe them.
The democrats should be attacking republicans for even thinking of questioning Bush's choice.

"Not a sexy topic"
You're kidding me, right?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

"Senators beginning what ought to be a protracted and exacting scrutiny of Harriet Miers should be guided by three rules. First, it is not important that she be confirmed. Second, it might be very important that she not be. Third, the presumption -- perhaps rebuttable but certainly in need of rebutting -- should be that her nomination is not a defensible exercise of presidential discretion to which senatorial deference is due."
George Will

"To the pure, all things are pure."
---

Meanwhile, here's the Democratic agenda: "Don't talk about the War"

both links from Atrios

Monday, October 03, 2005

There's something wrong here.
I'm amused I guess.
"The first soldiers to arrive on Khalil Bashir's doorstep in Gaza five years ago explained the new geography of his home in terms he understood only too well. His three-storey house was to be like the West Bank, the Israeli officer said, with its areas of divided security and administrative control.
The army designated the living room as "Area A", after the part of the occupied territories where the Palestinians have control, and told all three generations of the Bashirs, from 81-year-old Zanah to her five-year-old granddaughter, that they were confined there for most nights and sometimes for much of the day. It was the only part of the house they could still call their own.

The bathroom, kitchen and bedrooms were "Area B", where Palestinians administer themselves but Israel has security control. In the Bashir home that meant soldiers had priority and the family had to ask permission to cook or go to the toilet.

And then came "Area C", where the Israeli military government runs everything and the Palestinians have no authority. The soldiers warned the Bashirs that all of their home above the ground floor was Area C and if they ventured up the stairs they would be shot."
"The rough consensus seemed to be that China poses at least as serious a medium and long-term threat as Islamic terrorism, but that we need to be careful not to shoot ourselves in the foot by reacting to China in ways that undercut what ought otherwise be major economic benefits we derive from its rise."

The nationalism of the powerful is petty.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Reed Hundt:
"When I was chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (1993-97), I asked Bill Bennett to visit my office so that I could ask him for help in seeking legislation that would pay for internet access in all classrooms and libraries in the country. Eventually Senators Olympia Snowe and Jay Rockefeller, with the White House leadership of President Clinton and Vice President Gore, put that provision in the Telecommunications Law of 1996, and today nearly 90% of all classrooms and libraries do have such access. The schools covered were public and private. So far the federal funding (actually collected from everyone as part of the phone bill) has been matched more or less equally with school district funding to total about $20 billion over the last seven years. More than 90% of all teachers praise the impact of such technology on their work. At any rate, since Mr. Bennett had been Secretary of Education I asked him to support the bill in the crucial stage when we needed Republican allies. He told me he would not help, because he did not want public schools to obtain new funding, new capability, new tools for success. He wanted them, he said, to fail so that they could be replaced with vouchers, charter schools, religious schools, and other forms of private education."

Keep this one for your archives and bring it out whenever you want to end an argument on this subject.
In Defense of Bill Bennett

Numbers have no secondary or implied meanings. Can there be implied meanings in logic? If so how are they acknowledged?
It is logical, indeed required that we recognize implied meanings in verbal communication. Without this any discussion of politics is absurd. That Bennett's construction was 'loaded' is undeniable. DeLong's inability to recognize that this is so -or that implication can be seen to exist without knowing or caring to know intention- marks the limits of his intellectual imagination. The same goes for well off ratonalist idiots who argue with the faithful poor.
What are the implied meanings of a college education? NOT IMPLIED TO YOU, ASSHOLE, BUT TO SOMEONE WITHOUT IT!
update: read the first couple of comments here