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Friday, November 14, 2003

Whitehouse plays its favorite game: "Runaround and Coverup" 

I can't believe this shit. The Bush administration is STILL prohibiting families of 9/11 victims from finding out what happened to allow their loved-ones to be murdered.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist (or at least not full-time). I don't think the Bush administration "did" 9/11 in any way. I think more could have been done to avoid it, by both this administration AND the last one (yes...I'm criticizing the Clenis, and there's alot more where that came from).

What I don't understand is why the administration is so obsessed with keeping anyone from knowing anything about what they did, are doing, or will do in the future if they aren't hiding SOMETHING that is either illegal, unethical (they don't hide that one so well as it is), or outright evil.

If they keep this shit up, they'll turn me into a wad of paranoia to make Alex Jones cringe. The whole thing stinks of a Nixonian shitstorm, only Nixon didn't have Karl Rove, so he didn't get away with it.

Fuck our government for using a catastrophic event as an excuse for a war for profit, and then disallowing those MOST affected by the event from learning how and why it happened.

Fuck 'em.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Whitehouse.org does it again 

These guys always tickle me funnybone, but this particular bit is truly funtastic.

Frist is pathetic (or at least his webmaster is...) 

Check this out...

Scroll down to the screenshots of the polls and read that post. I watched all this shit go down (via Atrios), but Texas Patriot has the chronolgy down nicely...

UPDATE (via Atrios): Reuters has a story on the whole shinanigans...rate it at the bottom of the link.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

ACS member? 

Visit the excellent website of the Drug Policy Alliance and educate yourself.

Drug Policy and the ACS 

I just got back from a meeting of the American Constitution Society a little while ago. They had pizza, which was sweet. What they didn't have, for the most part, was an understanding of why drug policy reform should be a part of the overall platform of the American left.

We were "brainstorming" possible speakers and issues. I spouted out a few predictable lefty speakers who live in Austin just to make sure people would hear me, then brought up the topic of drug policy reform...which received a resounding "wha?". Nobody said anything.

Just prior to this they had been talking about Gore's speech about the evils of the Patriot Act with childlike awe. What they fail (or refuse) to realize is that much of what we are so worried about the Patriot Act (broadly, the erosion of civil liberties) has been staple to the diet of the War on Drugs for years, and it's only getting worse. It just doesn't make any sense to me that the "progressive law student organization" could be so blind...

Someone said something to the tune of, "what does that have to do with us?" I wanted to scream, "ILLEGAL PROPERTY SEIZURES, PAID INFORMANTS, INVASIONS OF PRIVACY (to be fair, the president of the organization sort of mumbled that in my defense without being prompted...a ray of hope) AND THE TRASHING OF DUE PROCESS!" But I'll leave it for another day and try instead to talk to members (I am a member, and really appreciate what the organization is doing) and find out why there is such ignorance (or apathy) about the issue.

I'll update if I make any progress...

BTW: ACS is a great organization. This is one instance of frustration, otherwise they are good people fighting for good causes.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Naderitis 

Democrats bitch about Nader costing Gore the election. It bugs the shit outta me...

Here's what I wrote in response to one such assertion by Hesiod:

I voted for Nader. I live in Texas. Gore was NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES going to win Texas. I was voting for the Green Party, not as Nader the candidate because there was NO way Nader was going to win the election as a whole. I voted to allow REAL third party involvement in American politics and for the party platform I most agree with (the Green platform).

I'll vote Green again if they run someone this year, and the Democratic party should seriously consider trading votes with Greens (who are usually okay with the idea) in swing states if they are that worried about Green spoilers.

Otherwise, the only way to get voters like myself back into the Democratic fold is to start taking up some real progressive positions in major policy concerns.

Yes, Nader has some serious flaws as a politician (especially a total lack of broad appeal and charisma), but what politician doesn't have flaws?

Go ahead and bash Nader, but don't let it seem like bashing the Green Party...we're growing, and we're growing because the Democrats are continuing to alienate their progressive base by "compromising" (or caving in, however you want to characterize it).

Still dig the blog, and still read it almost daily...but Greens and Dems should be allies on most counts, don't lose allies against a common enemy for no good reason...

---------------------------------

So I overstated my allegiance to the Green Party for effect, but you get the idea...

"Inbedded" with the Miami Police 

So the Miami police are inviting journalists to be embedded with police units for the FTAA demonstrations.

Hit the link. I think Jensen is right (and I should add he was a reader for my undergraduate thesis, so I am not unbiased here).

My response? The organizers of the protest should extend an invitation as well, to allow journalists to view the situation from that side as well. If journalists from all organizations agreeing to the police invitation also embedded reporters on the other side, I think it would not only be the most impartial means of reviewing the event, but would also make for some extremely interesting and [corporate news apologist] exciting and lucrative [/corporate news apologist] journalism.

I truly hope that nothing violent occurs at the protest, but I've also seen situations where police overreact to othwise peaceful events and cause violence. Even reporters embedded with police units could miss that, and incorrectly characterize the situation, and their embedded status would only lend further credibility to a false account. Like my soccer coach said, "always hit first, the ref only sees the retaliation."

A little something about this blog 

I was going to try to make this thing a shiny prepackaged expression of self. I've decided to scrap that because it's causing me to unduly and uncharacteristically censor myself. So now I'm opening it up to brainstorming, waxing philosphical, journal like ramblings and stories, straight up funny shit, and the ever present "political analysis" that I so love to indulge in. Have fun.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Amorality and the Law 

I sometimes find that those in the legal profession and undertaking legal education misunderstand the attempts to impose objectivity on legal practitioners. Objectivity is important, and I don't mean to question the need for people to be willing and able to adopt an objective point of view when necessary to intelligently understand an issue free of subjective adulteration. There is a difference, however, between objectivity and amorality.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not talking about morality from some external source (holy text, what my parents told me, etc.). I feel very strongly that the adoption of a moral code external to one's own experience leads to a fundamental misunderstanding of the world and is the root of most of the world's problems.

I'm talking about personal morality. Ethics may be a better word to describe it, except for the connotation of professionalism that "ethics" seems to carry with it.

In recently reading the Dred Scott decision, the amorality of the opinion struck me. Taney writes, "It is not the province of the court to decide upon the justice or injustice, the policy or impolicy, of these laws." It's not that I don't understand his point, and the point of judicial objectivity in general, it just appears obvious to me that there is a difference between adhering to a strict review role and permitting policy to fly in the face of humanity.

I don't advocate activism from the bench. As much as I would like to have read something in the Scott decision hinting at the profound injustice underpinning the ruling, I don't want to see reactionary justices issuing moral decrees on abortion or sodomy laws. Sorry if the brainstorming is leading me in 2 different directions at one...here's my point via personal example:

Most law students would not associate themselves openly with illegal activity. I've chosen to do just this, or rather I've chosen to remain on the course I've always taken despite my new educational surroundings. This has caused some people to ask me why I want to be a lawyer if I don't respect the law.

Without going into the obvious response that anyone asking such a question is likely to have broken several laws that day alone, my answer is this: I only respect the law where it corresponds with my personal moral sense of justice. I have no respect for the law in and of itself except where it serves the greater goal of creating a more just society. I cannot view the practice of law as a mere vocation, engaged in solely for financial benefit and security. I see the law as society's attempt to practicably apply moral philosophy. Part of what makes me want to be a lawyer is my adamant belief that there are great, fundamental wrongs being perpetrated by our legal system under the guise of Justice.

Damn...that post made no sense. Oh well...

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