Jimmy Carter must have known that even the title of Palestine Peace Not Apartheid would draw fire, in daring to implicate Israel in systematic racial oppression of Palestinians. But evidently he's had it up to here with this particular denial of the obvious, especially as perpetuated by his fellow Democrats:
[Good Morning America host] Robin Roberts told Carter that "many people find surprising that you
come down a little hard on Israel, and that there have been some key
Democrats who have distanced themselves a little bit from your view on
"In fact, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said 'it is wrong to suggest
that the Jewish people would support a government in Israel or anywhere
else that institutionalizes ethnically based suppression, and Democrats
reject that allegation vigorously,'" Roberts said. "What is your
response to that?"
"Well, Robin, I have spent the last 30 years trying to find peace
for Israel and Israel's neighbors, and the purpose of this book is to
do that," Carter responded. "But you can't find peace unless you
address the existing issues honestly and frankly."
Carter said that there was "no doubt now that a minority of Israelis
are perpetuating apartheid on the people in Palestine, the Palestinian
Carter called Israel's occupation the "prime cause" of continuing violence in the Middle East.
"And contrary to the United Nations resolutions, contrary to the
official policy of the United States government, contrary to the
Quartet so-called road map, all of those things -- and contrary to the
majority of Israeli people's opinion -- this occupation and
confiscation and colonization of land in the West Bank is the prime
cause of a continuation of violence in the Middle East," said Carter.
"And what is being done to the Palestinians under Israeli domination
is really atrocious," Carter continued. "It's a terrible affliction on
In his book, Carter argues that "peace will come to Israel and the
Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with
international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American
policy, with the wishes of a majority of its own citizens and honor its
own previous commitments by accepting its legal borders."
Indeed. An excerpt from Carter's book can be found here.
Yet again, courtesy of Professor Schwitzgebel. These lists strike me as a bit less idiosyncratic, especially at the high end, than the other lists (putting aside the surprising number of references to Judith Butler's silly work, that is!).
Via the Virtua Stoa, I learn of an on-line version of this forgotten classic by Paul Lafargue (husband of Laura Marx, daughter of Karl); an excerpt:
A strange delusion possesses the working classes of the
nations where capitalist civilization holds its sway. This delusion
drags in its train the individual and social woes which for two
centuries have tortured sad humanity. This delusion is the love of
work, the furious passion for work, pushed even to the exhaustion of
the vital force of the individual and his progeny. Instead of opposing
this mental aberration, the priests, the economists and the moralists
have cast a sacred halo over work....
In capitalist society work is the cause of all intellectual
degeneracy, of all organic deformity. Compare the thorough-bred in
Rothschild’s stables, served by a retinue of bipeds, with the heavy
brute of the Norman farms which plows the earth, carts the manure,
hauls the crops....
The Greeks in their era of greatness had only contempt for work: their
slaves alone were permitted to labor: the free man knew only exercises
for the body and mind. And so it was in this era that men like
Aristotle, Phidias, Aristophanes moved and breathed among the people;
it was the time when a handful of heroes at Marathon crushed the hordes
of Asia, soon to be subdued by Alexander. The philosophers of antiquity
taught contempt for work, that degradation of the free man, the poets
sang of idleness, that gift from the Gods:
O Melibae Deus nobis haec otia fecit.
Jesus, in his sermon on the Mount, preached idleness:
“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not,
neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all
his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Jehovah the bearded and
angry god, gave his worshipers the supreme example of ideal laziness;
after six days of work, he rests for all eternity.
Seymour Hersh opens "The Next Act," for The New Yorker (Nov. 20) with this anecdote:
A month before the November elections, Vice-President Dick Cheney was
sitting in on a national-security discussion at the Executive Office
Building. The talk took a political turn: what if the Democrats won
both the Senate and the House? How would that affect policy toward
Iran, which is believed to be on the verge of becoming a nuclear power?
At that point, according to someone familiar with the discussion,
Cheney began reminiscing about his job as a lineman, in the early
nineteen-sixties, for a power company in Wyoming. Copper wire was
expensive, and the linemen were instructed to return all unused pieces
three feet or longer. No one wanted to deal with the paperwork that
resulted, Cheney said, so he and his colleagues found a solution:
putting “shorteners” on the wire—that is, cutting it into short pieces
and tossing the leftovers at the end of the workday. If the Democrats
won on November 7th, the Vice-President said, that victory would not
stop the Administration from pursuing a military option with Iran. The
White House would put “shorteners” on any legislative restrictions,
Cheney said, and thus stop Congress from getting in its way.
Asked about the story, Cheney's office says it is short of having any record of it.
Matthew Davidson, a philosopher at Cal State-San Bernadino, writes:
The California State University system, with 23 campuses, 405,000 students, and 44,000 faculty and staff, is the largest and most diverse university system in the country. However, with steep student fee increases, stagnating and very low wages for faculty, and executive perks that members of the California Legislature have called an instance of "fraud", the system is in deep trouble. The CSU turns out more than 50% of the public school teachers in the state. This makes the disintegration of the CSU all the more troubling.
Here is a link showing executive salaries and perks (including keeping their salaries even after they leave the CSU). It is truly amazing to behold the corruption, especially when one compares the salaries and perks to the compensation for a full professor who has been in the CSU for 25 years--roughly $87,000.
On Nov. 15th, 1500 faculty and staff descended on the CSU Board of Trustees meeting to protest the dire conditions in the CSU. Here is very powerful footage of the event, including a widely-covered speech to the Trustees by State Senator Gloria Romero
I would appreciate any coverage you could give this situation in your blog. We need all the help we can get in educating these students and producing an informed electorate. California's Master Plan for higher education is in a shambles. And this is catastrophic for the state, and potentially for the country, as well.
Elizabeth Wrigley-Field has written in calling attention to the following petition to the UCLA PD, concerning their recent public torture of a student by electric shock:
We condemn the recent excessive and unnecessary force used in the case
of the Iranian American student abused at the UCLA Powell Library. This
is a case of police brutality and warrants immediate action taken
against the police involved.
Q: What's the difference between Iraq and Vietnam?
A: Bush had a plan for getting out of Vietnam.
Not only a plan for getting out, but for victory! Bush is now visiting Ho Chi Minh City, and has declared the "ideology of freedom" victorious, thirty years on. Victory in Iraq, too, seems now assured since, as the Vietnam experience shows, "We'll succeed, unless we quit." Heck, we might even succeed anyway! Good Thanksgiving news for the troops and their families.
Apparently some UCLA cops were doing an ID check at a computer cluster last night; a student named
Mostafa Tabatabainejad didn't have his ID, and when the cops grabbed at Tabatabainejad to rush him out, he started loudly complaining. One thing led to another, and the cops ended up shocking Tabatabainejad with tasers five times, at least a few times because he wouldn't, or couldn't, stand up. This was all in full view of at least a dozen other students. Most of this was caught on video, which you can see here.
The cops' self-serving press release is here. Central claims in this press release are contradicted by the witness reports I cite above, but in any case, for chrissakes, why is anything Tabatabainejad did worthy of being tortured?
If you're interested in giving the folks at UCLA a piece of your mind:
This will lead to a very high level resignation -- any parent becoming aware of this torture video, and they will become aware of it, will fear that their kid will be the next victim of the renegade campus torture cops.
UPDATE: the cops compounded their intimidation by threatening to shock-torture bystanding kids asking for badge numbers -- according to the ACLU, this is an "illegal assault".
UPDATE: Jessica Wilson compiled this list of UCLA admin and cop big shot emails:
Sarah Buss (ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of action) at the University of Iowa has accepted a tenured offer from the Department of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The Michigan Department's announcement is here.
The University of Notre Dame has made a senior offer to Richard Cross (medieval philosophy, philosophy of religion) at Oxford University. Because there is a "two-body" issue here, this may take awhile to resolve...but fortunately decision time for prospective students is many months away!
Frank Jackson, one of the world's leading figures in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, epistemology, and metaethics (among other areas), has accepted a half-time appointment at Princeton University, where he will spend one semester per year; he will remain at the Australian National University the rest of the time. At Princeton, he will be reunited with two former ANU colleagues, with whom he has done much work: Philip Pettit, whose main appointment is in the Politics Department at Princeton; and Michael Smith in philosophy. This is a major appointment for the Princeton department.
UPDATE: David Chalmers also reports "Frank Jackson is stepping down as director of the Research School of Social Sciences to once again become a regular member of the Philosophy Program" at ANU.
ANOTHER: The Princeton Department's announcement is here.
Between 100 and 150 staff and visitors were kidnapped this morning from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Scholarships and
Cultural Relations Directorate in the downtown Karradah district.
Iraq's higher education minister immediately ordered all
universities closed until security improvements are made, saying he was
''not ready to see more professors get killed.''
''I have only one choice which is to suspend classes at
universities. We have no other choice,'' Abed Theyab said in an address
Evidently the 80 or so gunmen, wearing blue camouflage uniforms of the type
worn by police commandos, had an easy time of it, closing off the surrounding streets and receiving no resistance from the 4 ministry guards. The neighborhood police chief is under investigation along with some of his
The abductions were the most brazen attack yet on Iraqi
academics, who have often been targeted by insurgents. Recent weeks
have seen a university dean and prominent Sunni geologist murdered,
bringing the death toll among educators to at least 155 since the war
Thousands of professors and researchers have fled to
neighboring countries to escape the lawlessness and sectarian strife,
robbing the country of its brain trust.
The academics apparently were singled out for their relatively
high public stature, vulnerability and known views on controversial
issues in a climate of deepening Islamic fundamentalism.
Usually critics of the Philosophical Gourmet Report are content just to insult me, but Keith DeRose (Yale) looks at a case of someone who felt the need to question the philosophical competence and/or aptitude of all students who might use the PGR and all faculty who participate in producing it. Wow!
Herman Cappelen, currently Fellow of Somerville College, Oxford, has accepted an offer from St. Andrews University to take up an Arche Chair in Philosophy. This is terrific news for St. Andrews, as it substantially strengthens their program in philosophy of language.
Did the midterms vindicate liberal Democrats, or the paleoCons? In his election post-mortem, paleoCon icon George Will likens the neoCon Republicans' Iraq debacle to the Clinton Democrats' universal healthcare initiative. Roughly, just as popular realism has rightly rejected nation-building over there, it will--again--rightly reject universal healthcare as a federally mandated right over here. Both initiatives were cases of "irrational exuberance," and both may (normatively) and will (politically) be rejected, and on similar grounds.
The analogy fails. Universal "semi-socialized"--or even fully socialized--healthcare has not proved ruinous to the industrialized democracies that have embraced it. Nor has it proved politically ruinous to the parties that have initiated and maintained it.
True, those democracies have not allowed pharmaceutical lobbies and medical associations to dictate policy. But--post-Abramoff--is an "irrational protuberance" of special interests going always to be the salient feature of America's political physiognomy? Powerful deciders can cut Gordian knots--why not unsightly warts? Maybe the legacy-obsessed Bush XLIII would let universal healthcare go with a mere signing statement, if the Democrats insist on it (as they know they ought). But with a burgeoning national debt and deficit, the lobbies and the
Cons--neo- and paleo- alike--can be counted on to raise the hue and
cry against taxing and spending--especially spending to meet legitimate
public needs. But straightening out the 2003 prescription drug law, which
prevents our government from negotiating lower drug
prices, won't cost the taxpayers a dime. The dilemma for XLIII (and his heirs-aspirant) could be: try to beat the Democrats over the head with
the 1994 debacle, or preempt the healthcare issue by doing the right thing? Presumably, Nixon's ghost is happy to have signed the Clean Air Act (no slouch of a legacy, that).
Of course, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and so forth were--from the paleoCon perspective--"confidently comprehensive, continent-wide attempts to reform complex social systems"--attempts that are just too hubristically naive for serious discussion. (You know, like social security, child-labor laws and the minimum wage.) But hubristic naivete has been XLIII's stock-in-trade, and he hasn't vetoed anything Congress has sent him, yet. [Ed.-- well, only one thing: Mike Bishop reminds me that the stem cell bill was vetoed in September. But would negotiating prices with drug companies cross a similar moral boundary, in XLIII's view?]
This essay makes some sound points; I would post an excerpt, except the formatting is causing me too much trouble for unknown reasons.
UPDATE: This piece from the Los Angeles Times suggests the newly elected Democrats, while including some social conservatives, includes many economic liberals and opponents of the Iraq War. (Thanks to Michael Weisberg for the pointer.)
So, as most readers no doubt have discovered, the new Philosophical Gourmet Report has been on-line since this morning. Already a few folks have e-mailed me with corrections; the corrections will be on-line by Monday. Two are worth mentioning, as illustrative of the kind of things readers ought to look out for and feel free to contact me about.
Folks at the University of Leeds, which had ranked quite well in Philosophy of Art in 2004, noticed that Leeds had disappeared from the 2006 listing, even though they'd actually strengthened their staff in that area. In fact, this turned out to be a pure transcription error: Leeds had a rounded mean score of 4.0 in Philosophy of Art for 2006, making it one of the stronger faculties in this field in the world. Although scores are automatically recorded, they do have to be manually transcribed into the rankings, and while these have been proofed many times, there may still be errors. Of course, there is some sometimes random fluctuation in scores given shifts in the pool of evaluators, so it shouldn't be surprising if some faculties with a rounded mean of 3.0 in 2004 dropped off the list in 2006, or if a school with a rounded mean of 4.5 in 2004 has a rounded mean of 4.0 in 2006. But if a faculty which had a strong score in 2004, and which hasn't had losses in the interim, has disappeared, please let me know, and we can double-check.
The other kind of error I especially want to hear about are errors of omission from the listing of faculty moves since 2004. For example, I discovered today that the move of Paul Franks (Kant, German Idealism) from Notre Dame to Toronto--while reflected in the faculty lists for the surveys--was left off the listing of moves in the new PGR by accident, even though that move without a doubt played a significnat role in Toronto's score in those specialty areas.
Thanks again to the members of the Advisory Board for their input and advice, and to the several hundred philosophers who completed the surveys. Thanks also to readers who have already or who may yet catch errors, substantive or typographical. And, of course, best of luck to the students who will be using the new PGR in the current round of applications to grad schools.
Stephan Hartmann (philosophy of science and physics, formal epistemology, social choice theory) and Colin Howson (philosophy of science, logic), both professors at the London School of Economics, have accepted senior positions elsewhere: Hartmann will go to Tilburg University in the Netherlands, where he will also serve as Director of a new Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, and Howson will join the University of Toronto in 2008. (Hartmann, as noted earlier, also had an offer from UC Davis, which he declined.) Those are big losses for the small LSE Department; neither were reflected in the just-completed PGR surveys.
...tomorrow (Thursday, November 9) at www.philosophicalgourmet.com. In any case, I have signed off on it, and so some time during the day tomorrow it should go live (since it is hosted by Blackwell in Oxford, if they get it up in the morning in the UK, it should be available in the early morning hours in the US). Please e-mail me if you spot any errors. (I may be hard to reach by e-mail tomorrow, however, so don't be surprised if I don't reply right away.)
I do apologize for the fact that the U.S. elections have interfered with PGR coverage; I am hopeful that the new Democratic Congress will take appropriate steps to make sure that the timetable of the 2008 elections is adjusted so as not to distract attention from the release of the 2008 PGR.
UPDATE, 7:30 am in Chicago on Thursday, November 9: Blackwell is in process of making it live now, so it should be on-line in a few hours.
1. Happily, I was wrong to be so pessimistic. The prudent wing of the ruling-class party, otherwise known as the Democrats, prevailed quite decisively and in many unexpected places. The Democrats now control the House of Representatives by a comfortable margin, and may yet control the Senate, depending on the final outcome of the election in Virginia, which is all the more remarkable given that it is a conservative state with an only partially functional democracy. Perhaps most notable is that Missouri, which has been a bellwether state for some time, elected a Democrat to the Senate. As Missouri goes, so goes the nation, or at least rather often.
2. It is still unclear whether the Democrats stand for anything, or whether they are simply the beneficiaries of widespread distaste for Bush, his incompetence, and his war of aggression against Iraq. (Why it took so long for this distaste to become widespread--where were these folks in 2004? what in the world were they thinking then?--is, alas, one of the mysteries of our time, and indicative of the feeble and/or unpredictable cognitive and emotional condition of the electorate.) The Democrats in the House are almost certain to begin investigating abuses of executive power, but will they pursue impeachment? Will they expose the lies leading up to the war of aggression against Iraq? (Perhaps throwing the Democrats the bloody meat of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's "resignation" [sic] today was meant to forestall some of this.) In the Senate, even without a majority, the Democrats are now in a position--or would be if they have even a little courage--to filibuster some of the disgraceful judicial nominees Bush has put forward, and to do so without risk of the Republicans changing the Senate rules, since they are very unlikely to be able to get the needed 60 votes now, even if the Democrats fail to pick up Virginia. This means no more Janice Rogers Browns, and it should also mean no more hard right nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court. But, again, this supposes that the Democrats will actually stick together as a party, and won't spend time appeasing the closet Republicans in their midst (like Joseph Lieberman, the war-monger and whore of the insurance industry, who was re-elected in Connecticut, after losing in the Democratic primary).
3. Many of the newly elected Democrats are fairly conservative, usually on the so-called "social" issues like abortion and gun rights. But these issues pale in importance by comparison, e.g., to future wars of aggression, and the question is whether the new-found Democratic majorities will mean an end to the Bush juggernaut that endangers the world. Let us remember that significant numbers of Democrats supported the war of aggression against Iraq; will Democrats really do better if a war against Iran is fomented? I am not at all confident, especially not if Israel is used, as we have speculated before, as the instigator.
4. Will the new Democratic majorities, assuming they control both houses--but dependent as they are on so many conservative Democrats--be able to tackle the most immediate threat to democracy and liberty in the United States, the Military Dictatorship Act of 2006? Or will the Democrats continue playing "tough guys" and acquiescing in the rhetoric of the fake "war on terror"? My guess is they won't have the courage to act on either front; some colleagues in the Law School here at Chicago, who follow the political process more closely, expressed the view that the first legislative agenda item for the Democrats would be raising the minimum wage. It ought to be raised, but that is not the aggressive leadership that is needed from a genuine "opposition" party at this time in the United States.
5. A change in which wing of the ruling-class party controls the legislative branch in the U.S. is welcome, to be sure, given the deranged criminality of so many of the leaders of the other wing, but will this change presage a change in the public culture and discourse? In the absence of that kind of shift, we may only be spared some of the short-term horrors of which Bush and his bestiary of madmen are capable. The U.S. has moved further and further to the right on the central issues of economic and foreign policy since Reagan's takeover in 1981; unless we start moving in the other direction, these changes in party control will not matter in hindsight.
CNN warehoused a stock of pink pixels to mark GOP pickups on thesethreepages. They haven't needed them yet -- but their logistics team was fully taxed in keeping the streams of baby blue flowing through the tubes of the internets.
This marks what, as Bill Montgomery notes, may turn out to be an extremely rare electoral outcome: while not every race in the midterm has been decided yet, it seems that no Democratic-held Senate or House seat or governorship was picked up by a Republican -- apparently such a shut out has never happened before.
A Fox News reporter who's had himself waterboarded says it's "a pretty efficient way to get someone to talk and still have them alive and healthy within minutes." Healthy on the outside, that is. Psychologists say to watch out for long-term damage, evidenced by, e.g., screaming at showers. Media Matters has the story, with video.
[Update, 11/8: Keith DeRose points out some serious flaws in the Media Matters' story:
First, in the first paragraph, there's this:
Harrigan stated that his report on
waterboarding was meant to show viewers "what exactly it is,"
whether it is "torture," and if "the U.S. [should] use
He did say he wanted to show exactly what waterboarding is, but the rest of the
characterization is exactly wrong. Harrigan explicitly says that
he's setting aside questions about whether it's torture and whether we
should use it (this on the video on the media matters page).
(Incidentally, in a talk with someone else at Fox News, when asked whether waterboarding
was torture, he responded positively in a very strong way: "I can't
see how you could call it anything else. I mean, it's
[Gee, a dunk in the water can get even Fox News to sing like a canary.--ed.]
Then there's this:
Harrigan alternated between
claiming that the waterboarding was "really scary" and not
"that bad" while being subjected to the different
Well, maybe, but it makes Harrigan sound undecided -- "alternated
between." He didn't go back and forth. He said
"phase 1" was not that bad, but stage 3 was really scary.
So, at least I'd say this is a bit slanted.
Finally, I don't think the page is right in setting up this
Reflecting on his experience,
Harrigan remarked, "[Y]ou really learn you can crack pretty quickly.
... I mean, they took me to the brink, where I was ready to submit, tell
them anything within minutes, and then, just minutes later, I was
standing by the side of that pool feeling fine." Harrigan concluded
that "as far as torture goes, at least in this controlled
experiment, to me, this seemed like a pretty efficient mechanism to get
someone to talk and then still have them alive and healthy within
minutes." However, psychologists, such as Dr. Allen S. Keller,
director of the Bellevue Hospital Center/New York University
for Survivors of Torture reportedly disagreed: According to The
New Yorker magazine, Keller
that "such forms of near-asphyxiation," like waterboarding, could indeed lead to long-term psychological damage:
Harrigan is careful to say "at least in this controlled experiment."
Maybe he should have done more to emphasize that important point, but
he did at least make it. In particular, one important control was
this: Harrigan could just squeeze the hands of his torturers, and
they'd immediately stop, and you see that he only lasted a couple of
seconds in phase 3, and he knew they weren't going to hurt him. That that could leave him alive and healthy within minutes is perfectly
consistent with waterboarding under other, less-friendly conditions
leaving long-term problems. Here, some of the blame may be Harrigan's, because, despite his "at least..." clarification, he may have left a
misleading impression. But, in any case, there is also a problem with
the media matters site, in assuming there's a real difference between
what Harrigan said and what their psychologists say.]
I have been relatively quiet about this--mostly because I'm horrendously busy with teaching, writing, workshopping, flying, copy-editing, proofing, PGRing, and kissing my babies that I've time for almost nothing else (other than posting 1 or 2 backlogged items!)...but also because I'm not sure what to say that might be of any interest.
To be sure, I hope that the Democrats--the party of craven cowards and spineless accessories to military dictatorship, the majority of whom supported the criminal war of aggression against Iraq--prevail tomorrow, since the other alternative might only be euphemestically described as "the greater of two evils." And even though all the "opinion polls" in the U.S. predict Democratic victories, I'm--on this one--with Karl Rove and Yogi Berra: "it ain't over till the fat lady sings." And the "fat lady," for all we know, is suppressing the vote, stuffing the electronic ballot box, and (if Illinois is any indication) running last-minute attack ads that are so extraordinarily inflammatory and misleading as to make Goebbels blush.
And, of course, as in 2004, it's possible that the "fat lady" is so pitifully ignorant and venal that she's going to re-elect the greater of the two evils fair and square.
By the way, in our nominal democracy, only 10% of the seats in the legislature are actually viewed as competitive tomorrow. There was, as I understand it, far more turnover in the Politburo during the Brezhnev years than there is in America today. And they consumed twice as much vodka, so we stand doubly indicted!
Look, if the Democrats prevail tomorrow, and a handful of them actually decide they stand for something other than not being George W. Bush, then maybe America has a future. I hope so. But I ain't optimistic. And I'd love to be wrong.
The Quebec ministry of education has told unlicensed Christian
evangelical schools that they must teach Darwin's theory of evolution
and sex education or close their doors after an Outaouais school board
complained the provincial curriculum wasn't being followed.
children are legally required to follow the provincial curriculum ...
but these evangelical schools teach their own courses on creationism
and sexuality that don't follow the Quebec curriculum," said Pierre
Daoust, director general of the Commission Scolaire au
Coeur-des-Vallees in Thurso, whose complaint sparked the provincewide
Quebec law requires school boards assure the
ministry of education that every child between the ages six of and 16,
with the exception of home-schooled children, receives an adequate
education, he said.
But the roughly 15 elementary and high school
students who attend a school operated by l'Eglise evangelique near
Saint-Andre-Avellin are being educated according to a Bible-based
curriculum and their diplomas will not be recognized anywhere in Canada.
of l'Eglise evan-gelique, part of l'Association des eglises
evangeliques du Quebec, counter that the school teaches a "world view"
that is essential for their students.
"We offer a curriculum
based on a Christian world view rather than humanistic world view,"
said Alan Buchanan, chairman of a committee that reorganized the
school's administration this past summer, as well as a former Quebec
public school teacher.
Mr. Buchanan said l'Eglise evangelique teaches evolution as well as intelligent design.
want the children to understand what they're going to meet in the
outside world, and also what's wrong with the theory," he said. "We
also teach that a better theory -- that God created the universe and so
While the school doesn't teach sex education, it does teach biology, he said.
have the Christian world view that says sex should only be in marriage
and a public school system that teaches kids about sexuality," Mr.
Buchanan said. "We believe students should be taught abstinence...."
spokeswoman Marie-France Boulay said yesterday the province will
negotiate for several weeks with an unspecified number of evangelical
schools to determine whether they can meet provincial standards that
include the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution....
Here. The quotes are accurate, though a bit out of context (e.g., Cornell's recent drop to 16th didn't have to do with spousal hiring issues, as the main losses were of couples employed by Cornell--but more generally, Cornell, like other schools in very small college towns, faces the problem of employment for spouses in the era of professional couples).
A cheering reflection on the cultural underpinnings of the left blogosphere political movement. Especially cheering when read as a sort of "happy face" take on the value of bricolage in response to Thomas Frank's depressing doctrine of the context of cool. Also most excellently proceeding from the core Lennon-ist exhortation to "try something new".
Vids: goodnatured people and one fucking psycho. (Though I note that Big Time manifests a bit of stung-ness in response to a huge dis from his long time bud Ken Adelman.)
Ramsey Clark, former USAG and Saddam's lawyer, worries about "victor's justice".
There's a good deal to read on the incredibly hilarious "101st fighting keyboarders fuckup" reported by the Times over the weekend; most cheering is that Bush considered it a pet project and even engaged in a bit of sympathetic interpretative prediction of the predicted reaction to the sweet cherries that the 101st would pluck from his document treasure trove: "Bush extended his arms in exasperation and worried aloud that people
who see the documents in 10 years will wonder why they weren't released
sooner. "If I knew then what I know now," Bush said in the voice of a war skeptic, "I would have been more supportive of the war." " Note that this anecdote is from last March's Weekly Standard! [Backstory; more: apparently Laurie Mylroie and some other crazies, worried about the evaporating WMD justification for the Iraq invastion, enlisted PowerLine's moronic "Big Trunk" Mirengoff and others in pressuring a pair of congressmen to pressure Bush to pressure Bush's third CIA boss, Negroponte, to release 2 million pages of captured Iraqi docs on line, against standard intel procedure (and fucking boneheaded common sense!). Or something like that. The goal was for an "army of Davids" -- in InstaIgnorance's asinine phrase -- to open-source translate them out of Arabic to provide the retrospective propaganda that would induce the war critics to shut up. Because we know how the right wing blogosphere is so knowledgeable about other cultures and so public spirited. For months, the IAEA was warning the Cheney Admin to take the docs down since they tell you in detail in Arabic how to build a nuke, info that the IAEA suppressed from the public for decades -- until last March. Needless to say, the Cheneyites paid no attn until the NYT broke the story over the weekend. The national security party at work. I've been rotflmao all weekend!]
A very cool formula to predict the outcome of a given congressional race without polls.
The Clinton folk wargamed an Iraq takeover in 1999 and predicted that even with 400K troops, the likely outcome would be chaos. Rummy's New Model Army tried to do it with a third of that. Result? Chaos! (Incidentally, I've never seen a decent explanation of just why Rummy digs the light military so much. Maybe his thought is just as straightforward as this: with the same manpower a light military can fuck up a lot more places than a heavy military.)
Excellent! Daniel Ortega, a true peoples' hero, appears poised to make his comeback. Caveat: he used to be a Good Guy, overthrowing one of the more vicious Central American caudillos, and valiantly stood up for years against a ruinous US proxy war, dunno what he's been up to these days.
Oh, couldn't it have been predicted. In the face of the coming Democratic onslaught (more of a motivation, evidently, than the ongoing Iraqi slaughter) many big-name cheerleaders for the war on Iraq have suddently gone anti-war, anti-Bush, and more generally anti-Republican. Three days ago, invasion evangelists Sullivan and Hitchens outdid each other in overt sneering at Bush, having special fun with Bush's claim that things were going "fantastic" in Iraq, with Hitchens suggesting that Bush is a hallucinating incompetent, and Sullivan saying that Bush's claim indicated that he was "unhinged" and had "lost his mind". Hitchens, coming out strong with his lee to port, rejected his characterization as a "conservative", stating that he "has no [dinner?--ed.] party affiliation"; Sullivan advised voters to take Bush's failure into account and indeed, spoke of the election as "an intervention".
Perle goes so far as to say that, if he had his time over, he would not
have advocated an invasion of Iraq: "I think if I had been delphic, and
had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into
Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider
other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most,
which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.'
Not that Perle et al. disclaim their PNAC policies, of course. The fault lies in the implementation, you see: they just didn't count on Bush's [sic] admin being so incompetent, nor on the viciousness of the resistance. Neo-cons don't seem to realize that such extrinsic failures don't get them off the hook; even putting aside the ludicrous and murderous tenets of the PNAC agenda, neocons are specifically responsible for the disaster in Iraq in their vision of invasion's failing to incorporate the likely contingencies.
UPDATE: A particularly outrageous cowardly lion denial is discussed here.
The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism
suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal
details of the "alternative interrogation methods" that their captors
used to get them to talk.
The government says in new court
filings that those interrogation methods are now among the nation's
most sensitive national security secrets and that their release -- even
to the detainees' own attorneys -- "could reasonably be expected to
cause extremely grave damage." Terrorists could use the information to
train in counter-interrogation techniques....
If the American people can be trained not to gag at arguments like this, who knows? Maybe the evildoers can train themselves not to gag while taking a "dunk in the water."
Here is the text of the editorial, an advance copy of which we received this afternoon.
Time for Rumsfeld to go
"So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused
and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard
That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.
But until recently, the "hard bruising" truth about the Iraq war has
been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington. One rosy
reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice
President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "mission
accomplished," the insurgency is "in its last throes," and "back off,"
we know what we're doing, are a few choice examples.
Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired
generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines,
inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should
have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought
the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.
Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate.
Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the
war's planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.
Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate
Armed Services Committee in September: "I believe that the sectarian
violence is probably as bad as I've seen it ... and that if not
stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war."
Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide
showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on
"critical" and has been sliding toward "chaos" for most of the past
year. The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police
force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for
the security of their new government and their nation.
But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of
molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a
force for national unity has become a losing proposition.
For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training
the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of
national identity, are only in it for the money, don't show up for duty
and cannot sustain themselves.
Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.
And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.
Now, the president says he'll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.
This is a mistake.
It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has
failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break
publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is
losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.
These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many
privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private,
adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of
subordination of the military to civilian authority.
And although that tradition, and the officers' deep sense of honor,
prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe
Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with
the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy
has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the
blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the
troops who bear its brunt.
This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party
wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)