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BobHiggins
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Joined: 11/30/2007

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War on Terror? Torture? Prosecute Us?

There is an ongoing debate over the closing of America's most notorious detainment/torture center at Guantanamo and the legality and efficacy of using torture to extract "information" from detainees in that and other facilities.

In a piece in this morning's Washington Post titled Torture? Prosecute Us, Too Richard Cohen leads with this:

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there." So goes an aphorism that needs to be applied to the current debate over whether those who authorized and used torture should be prosecuted. In the very different country called Sept. 11, 2001, the answer would be a resounding no.

Contrary to what has become the accepted noise, "the world" did not "change" on 9/11. Our laws, our treaties and international agreements as well as our values remained. We did not become a "very different country" on September 12, 2001 despite Mr. Cohen's (and others) claim.

In many ways it is our body of law that binds the past, present and future. The rule of law gives constancy to our "values." Laws may change but the process of change is, and should be reasoned and deliberate, not an impassioned reaction to the events of the day. That kind of reaction to the passions of the moment is the path of the lynch mob. Make the jump»

"Bipartisanship" is not the Holy Grail

Harry Truman in a "bipartisan" moment with Lauren Bacall, a staunch liberal Democrat. This is about as "bipartisan as Harry got."

Last week was exhilarating for Democrats and, judging by the international media, for people all over the planet who have suffered for nearly a decade from the misguided and often criminal policies of George Bush and his terribly inept administration.

The swearing in of Barack Obama and the departure of the Connecticut Cowboy from our public affairs was something long anticipated, and, after our long dark winter, as welcome as the return of springtime and birdsong, at least in these quarters.

The Republican smear machine however, wasted no time in cranking up to its full powers of bloviation. Their program of attacking nearly every move Obama made and every statement he uttered, began seconds after his swearing in and I'm sure will continue unabated in the immediate future. Here's hoping that they are afforded every opportunity to quibble and obstruct, to grouse and whine, as a minority party for decades to come.

The moaning and squawking over the slightly bobbled recitation of the oath of office, a gaffe that was meaningless and easily ignored by people who have something other than chowder between their ears, was, in Republican circles, fanned into a twenty four hour cause celebre by the fulminating heads of Fox Noise and soon picked up on the other "open all night," "all the news that fits," networks.

The storm so roiled the calm in our national teapot that Obama's advisers encouraged him to retake the oath, which he did in a private and sparsely attended ceremony in the White House a day later. Make the jump»

Whites Only? No More, America is Finally Ready

Bumped by carol. 2009-01-19 19:04:33 -0500

Fifty years ago today I was halfway through my sophomore year at WE Stebbins High, an almost completely segregated school in the almost completely segregated city of Dayton, Ohio, a town said at the time to be a southern city that happened to be north of the Mason Dixon line.

The school was "almost completely" segregated because it was located within a good Hail Mary pass of Wright Patterson AFB. I don't remember exactly the reasons but we were told that because the school received federal funds for students who were military dependents that it had to be integrated.

"Integration" was accomplished by the admission of two young Black kids, The boy was named Sam. I remember because we became friends for awhile until the transparent racist displeasure of my little Quaker Grandmother became thick enough to keep him from dropping by. She wasn't ready for a black president. Make the jump»

Can All These Joes Be Wrong?


Note: The cartoon is the logo of the real Joe the Plumber in Amarillo. Send him some business, I'm told that he's an Obama guy. If his website takes off because of all this attention maybe he can switch from actual plumbing to an online plumbing advice column. Bob

An Endorsement, a Condemnation and an Election Reflection

Interesting, direct and informative. Originally posted 2008-10-11 20:26:32 -0500. Bumped and promoted. -- GH

During the 1968 election, one of the keystones of Dick Nixon's campaign was his "plan to end the war in Vietnam." Of course he had no real plan, or, if he did it was a poor one, evidenced by the fact that the war dragged on for seven brutal years after that sad election season.

It has been said in some quarters that the "plan" Nixon alluded to, but never spelled out, was a nutty scheme (nutty schemes seem to abound in the halls of power) to have Kissinger convince the Russians that Tricky Dick was just batshit crazy enough to use nuclear weapons if the North Vietnamese would not come to the table and end the war on his terms.

History has shown that Nixon was nuts enough. So was and is, Henry the K, but the Vietnamese, after fighting a collection of Yankees, French, Japanese and Chinese among others, for uncountable hundreds of years weren't impressed with new and improved threats, from new and unimproved enemies. Make the jump»

True Patriotism: The empty lapel of Barack Obama


"It is the quality of patriotism to be jealous and watchful, to observe all secret machinations, and to see publick dangers at a distance. The true lover of his country is ready to communicate his fears, and to sound the alarm, whenever he perceives the approach of mischief. But he sounds no alarm, when there is no enemy; he never terrifies his countrymen till he is terrified himself. Make the jump»

Throw Out The Hyenas of the Ruling Class


Is there anyone out there who still harbors the delusion that George Bush or most of his administration possesses the slightest shred of human integrity or the tiniest morsel of respect for the truth, for law, for the people of this country or any other? Make the jump»

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