. . . Stripes Forever?

Stockton and Tweed (both of y'all, apparently) took issue with my support of the concept of "extraordinary powers" to meet the transient needs of "extraordinary times". I'm glad they did, because I meant what I posted but think the clarification of why believe it is the most important thing.

While I think my reply
in the comments more fully explains how I can support such measures, despite their lacking in specific, literal constitutionality, I think the bigger issue is still and always, what will the electorate support? What impells voters to support people whose methods go against the grain of moral treatment and consideration for any but the most recalcitrant from reason or emotionally misguided of our fellow humans?

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer
Stay Vigilant About Our Civil Rights



Recently, I attended a symposium at the conservative American Enterprise Institute on the state of national security. The day's last panel, on law and order, was made up of three war-on-terrorism hawks: Heather Mac Donald, researcher and writer at the Manhattan Institute; former deputy attorney general John Yoo, and Cornell University law professor Jeremy Rabkin. All three deplored what they considered an excessive hysteria about the maltreatment of detainees resulting both from knee-jerk hostility to President Bush and from liberal softness.

All three stressed that we are facing a faceless and stateless enemy with no visible command and no combatant uniforms. Our response, they argued, should be viewed in the context of this threat.

Yet it was Mac Donald, no one's idea of a softie, who made an important and alarming point: "The very fact that detainees are violating the rules of war, that they are not wearing uniforms or any identifying insignia, makes the possibility of factual error in who you pick up much more severe than when you are capturing a traditional uniformed enemy."

In her view, the administration should have put "a lot more due process early on to make the factual determination" that we are holding the right people. She declared that human rights activists "have it right when they complain that detainees in the war on terror are facing the prospect of indefinite detention," and dismissed as "disingenuous" the assertion that every war is of indefinite duration when it starts.

Measures to safeguard the innocent, she said, would have boosted support for the war on terrorism both at home and abroad.

The Skimmer's poster up top has an eerily prophetic feeling to it. I don't like what it implies but am fascinated by how well it reflects my own feelings about the politics which people in this country, at this stage of our cultural evolution, can still consider acceptable behavior vis-a-vie others of own species.

BG's imaginings, possibly paranoidal, conceivably not so much, are echoed in conversations I have with normal everyday kinda folk with whom I work and for whom I have a great deal of respect when it comes to how they live their daily lives and treat people with whom they come in contact.
Maybe it's just my imagination running wild, but I can see it.

I can also picture a lot of my neighbors, friends and some family members thinking to themselves or even saying out loud to each other ...

Well, she shouldn't have had a blog to begin with! That was really dumb of her. And to name it that? Serves her right. She should've known better. I would never have done such a thing.

If you haven't done anything wrong, then you've got nothing to worrry about.

Unless of course we give the definition of "wrong" entirely over to people who have no respect for the lives, rights and liberties of those who not only don't agree with them, but merely appear to be like those who with whom they have seriously and violent disagreement.

Happy weekend, everyone. Keep the conversation going so we don't start accepting things like torture, spying on our own citizens and "dissappearing" non-citizens as human values with which we are willing to live, just for a little more cushion between our singular lives and the often terrifying and unfair reality in which we exist.


  1. Have a good weekend, yourself.

    Rest up for the good fight.

  2. I am so angry right now. I cannot even talk. I've done no work today except tell everyone to:


    Maine -- Bush Compound
    Bank of America
    Anything Republican

  3. That was all Tweed. As you probably know, I'm apolitical. Not having an agenda allows me great latitude to slam the neo-fascist elements of society.

    I have to say, the very idea that we are having a conversation about torturing people is surreal. I'm firmly against torture, except for social activists and pedestrians.

  4. great picture. i think i am done.

  5. This song keeps coming to mind . . .

    Whatsoever Ive feared has come to life
    Whatsoever Ive fought off became my life
    Just when everyday seemed to greet me with a smile
    Sunspots have faded
    And now Im doing time
    Cause I fell on black days

    Whomsoever Ive cured Ive sickened now
    Whomsoever Ive cradled Ive put you down
    Im a search light soul they say
    But I cant see it in the night
    Im only faking when I get it right
    Cause I fell on black days
    How would I know
    That this could be my fate

    So what you wanted to see good has made you blind
    And what you wanted to be yours has made it mine
    So dont you lock up something that you wanted to see fly
    Hands are for shaking
    No, not tying
    No, not tying

    I sure dont mind a change
    But I fell on black days
    How would I know
    That this could be my fate

    Hands are for shaking, not tying.

  6. The outlook is bleak... MY outlook is bleak. I just found out that they just passed a bill that will make protesting in favor of fair treatment of animals a terrorist act if the company being protested is diminished financially in any way. If this bunch retains power, I am sure to spend my golden years in prison.

  7. wow. Blueberry, i am a lot more woried about AL-Qaida than I am of PETA.

  8. Alas, the people making these laws are more worried about NARAL and the ACLU than with anyone who might end up saving lives.

    Lousey time to experience History first hand, eh.

  9. Lousey time indeed. Where and when will it all end? Badly...


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