Anti-Americanism As an Anti-Concept. Roderick, Austro-Athenian Empire (2011-05-13).
Just as some questions (e.g., “Have you stopped bleating at your wife?”) carry false presuppositions and so can’t rationally be answered either yes or no, so some terms build false presuppositions into their meanings, making it impossible to use the term (at least in its ordinary sense) without signing on...(Linked Sunday 2011-05-15.)
Jury awards $82,000 after woman is arrested when asking police for a business card. Aimee Green, The Oregonian, Portland News (2011-04-14).
Jurors say if police aren't in an urgent or dangerous situation, they should always hand over a business card when asked.(Linked Monday 2011-05-16.)
Intellectual Property is Murder. Kevin Carson, Center for a Stateless Society (2011-05-11).
Among the terms of a so-called “free trade agreement” between the European Union and India is a requirement for “data exclusivity” which will eviscerate India’s generic drug industry. “Data exclusivity” means that clinical trials conducted before marketing by the company that originally produced the drug cannot be applied to meet...(Linked Monday 2011-05-16.)
Posts filed under
The news has been full of headlines about the United States killing Osama bin Laden. I don’t have anything in particular to add to what’s already been said on that. But what you may have missed in the rush is that last weekend they actually went for a twofer and tried to kill Muammar Gadhafi too. They didn’t manage to do that, but they did kill his 29 year old son, Saif al-Arab Gadhafi. They did this by having NATO war-planes fire two missiles into a family home. This is what all the news stories talk about. They also killed three of his grandchildren. This is almost never put in the headlines and almost always tacked on as a single sentence with an
Also, by the way…. It took about half an hour of searching, but the one story I found with anything to say about the grandchildren — the majority of the victims of this
strike — is this article by Richard Boudreaux from the Wall Street Journal. Two of the grandchildren they killed were toddlers, a two-year-old girl, and a two-year-old boy. The other was a baby girl only 5 months old.
Libyan officials called the airstrikes an assassination attempt on Col. Gadhafi, who they said was in the compound but escaped harm, and an attack on a residential neighborhood of Tripoli. The leader’s 29-year-old son, Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, was reported killed while hosting a family gathering. Two of his nieces, aged 5 months and 2 years; a 2-year-old nephew, and an adult friend also died in the blasts, the officials said.
Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, Commander of NATO’s Military Operations, Said In A Statement that
All NATO’s are military in nature. He said that
NATO is fulfilling its U.N. mandate to stop and prevent attacks against civilians with precision and care. He said that
We regret all loss of life, especially the innocent civilians being harmed as a result of this ongoing conflict.
Here is the
military target that Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard had blown up with a missile.
Neighbors said the bombed compound, across town from the Libyan leader’s main residential complex at Bab al-Aziziya, has belonged to the Gadhafi family for decades. Saif al-Arab, the sixth of the colonel’s seven sons, lived there, but it was also used by his parents and other relatives, neighbors said. Its walled grounds encompass two residences; two other buildings, one used as a den and the other as a kitchen; and an empty stable.
Two missiles struck the compound, one stopping the kitchen clock 45 seconds after 8:08 p.m. Several pots of food—pasta, rice, fish, stuffed peppers—had been cooking on an electric stove.
target was a family home in a residential neighborhood. One member of the family happens to be a thug and a mass murderer, and if he died, it’d be as righteous a kill as any in this world. But 2 year olds and babies being set down to dinner have nothing to do with that. But they, not he were the ones who died, in the infinite precision of blowing up houses with air-to-surface missiles, so that NATO could fulfil its U.N. mandate to stop and prevent systematic attacks on the Libyan population and populated areas.
They said that was a
precision strike against
a known command and control building. They said that they intend to
step up strikes against
broadcasting facilities and command centers in the capital. They are so sorry, they regret so much, and they are going to do it again, and again, and again.
Somewhere out there, at the bottom of the chain of command, there is a soldier from America or Europe who pulled the trigger and fired a missile into a house full of people on the off chance that it might kill a politically-significant target. He killed a baby and two toddlers instead. He must be so proud.
When he comes back home, people will clap him on the back and tell him
Thank you for your service and those of us who suggest that there is nothing noble or courageous about shooting missiles into residential neighborhoods and murdering babies will be told what a bunch of naifs, or ingrates, or wretches we are if we blame those who were just following orders, instead of
supporting the troops.
Meanwhile, at the top of the chain of command, there is an immensely powerful gang of generals and heads of state, calling the shots and signing off on the plans to launch missiles on mission after mission like this one, knowing perfectly well that these kinds of aerial assaults, the policy and the tactics that they have chosen to prosecute their chosen wars, constantly and predictably mean killing many times more civilians, families, and children than people allegedly targeted by the
mission. They call for this over and over again, in the off chance that one day the massacre will also manage to kill off somebody who matters. All so that that Progressive President Barack Obama can give a press conference and pound a podium and say
My fellow Americans to announce another landmark triumph for Justice and American Forces. Those of us who mention all the friends and kinfolks and babies and bystanders they killed in this cynical policy of massacres are accused of being sensationalists, perhaps not even engaged in adult conversation. Those of us who say that governments shouldn’t be launching this kind of aerial assault, given how many innocents it inevitably kills, will be told that we just don’t care enough to try and stop a repressive regime from slaughtering Libyan civilians.
It took me a while to write about this because everything about it it makes me so angry, and so miserable.
The latest instalment in our ongoing monthly feature. You may be surprised to find that this month I am going to pass over the new fucking war that the Peace President has been kinetically pursuing against yet another Muslim country. Too obvious. Instead, we have….
In which Obama decides he’s in favor of the unitary theory of the executive — in order to save his Czars, natch.
There is no ambiguity in that vow: none at all. He explicitly promised not to use signing statements to nullify Congressional statutes he thought were invalid. Citing his credentials as a Constitutional Law professor, Obama explained that “Congress’ job is to pass legislation,” and when that happens, a President has only two options: “the President can veto it or sign it.” In contrast to Bush — who, Obama said, “has been saying ‘I can change what Congress passed by attaching a statement saying I don’t agree with this part, I’m going to choose to interpret it this way or that way’” — Obama said he, by contrast, believes “that’s not part of [the President’s] power.” He punctuated his answer as follows: “we’re not going to use signing statements as a way of doing an end run around Congress.” It just doesn’t get any clearer than that.
But on Friday, Obama did exactly that which he vowed in that answer he would never do. When signing the budget bill into law, he attached a signing statement objecting to some provisions as an encroachment on executive power but still vowing to obey them (such as restrictions on transferring Guantanamo detainees), but then explicitly stated that he would ignore the provision of this new law that de-funds his so-called “czars” (which are really little more than glorified presidential advisers). Declaring that the Executive has the unfettered “authority to supervise and oversee the executive branch” — i.e., asserting another critical aspect of the “unitary theory of the Executive” — Obama declared that “the executive branch will construe [the de-funding provision] not to abrogate these Presidential prerogatives.” In other words, we’re going to ignore that mandate because we believe it’s unconstitutional: he’s going to use funds for exactly the purpose that Congress, in a bill he signed into law, flatly prohibited.
Hey, remember back when Obama stopped the Drug Enforcement Agency from raiding medical marijuana dispenaries in states that have legalized medical marijuana?
Here’s how Obama’s DEA stopped raiding medical marijuana dispensaries that this month in Spokane:
DEA agents raided at least four dispensaries around Spokane…. On Thursday evening Charles Wright said that “THC will be open and in full operation tomorrow.” His message less than a day later was much different.
“Effective immediately, THC Pharmacy is shutting down immediately and I recommend all pharmacies in Washington State follow suit,” he said.
DEA agents raided THC Pharmacy Thursday, confiscating all the marijuana and cash. But it wasn’t the raid that scared Wright into closing. He said his it was a conversation he said his attorney had with US Attorney Michael Ormsby Friday morning.
“I am being threatened with 20 years to life and I have no further political power to do anything. If I open the doors today they will put me in prison tomorrow,” he said.
… Charles Wright said that US Attorney Michael Ormsby has said that federal raids will continue until all dispensaries are in compliance with federal law, which states it is illegal to possess or sell marijuana.
Here’s how they stopped it in Rhode Island:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The top federal prosecutor in Rhode Island has warned Gov. Lincoln Chafee that the state’s plan to license medical marijuana dispensaries violates federal law.
U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha says in a letter delivered to Chafee on Friday that federal prosecutors have the right to investigate and prosecute those who grow and distribute marijuana, even if such activities are allowed by state law.
Here’s how they stopped it in San Marcos, California:
At least one medical marijuana dispensary in San Marcos was raided by law enforcement agents Thursday, authorities confirmed, and the homes of suspected medical marijuana providers in North County were hit, as well.
Authorities raided the Club One Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary at 1232 Los Vallecitos Blvd., a business park just north of Highway 78, said San Diego County sheriff’s Capt. Mike Barnett.
“It was raided today along with several other locations throughout North County and Riverside County,” said. “Evidence was seized and money was seized.”
… Also, residences in Vista, Oceanside and Temecula were raided Thursday by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the San Diego Narcotic Task Force…. The homes hit by the raids were the residences of medical marijuana patients, said Eugene Davidovich, the director of the San Diego chapter of Americans for Safe Access.
Here’s how they stopped it in Metro Detroit:
Drug agents executed search warrants at two medical marijuana facilities in Oakland County on Tuesday, but it was unclear whether it signaled a new federal crackdown against the state’s fledgling industry.
The raids were part of a wide-ranging operation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which dispatched agents in eight coordinated raids of homes and businesses in Detroit, Novi, Commerce Township, Walled Lake and Romulus.
… [T]he raids were focused in Oakland County, ground zero in the battle between medical marijuana clinics and law enforcement officers.
A DEA official confirmed that agents executed search warrants at Casab’s home in Commerce Township and his Caregivers of America marijuana facility on 12 Mile in Novi.
The DEA raided another Caregivers facility on Decker Road in Walled Lake. The building is owned by 1020 Decker LLC, whose registered agent is lawyer Barry A. Steinway of Bingham Farms, state records indicate.
Walled Lake issued a medical marijuana dispensary license to 1020 Decker LLC on Aug. 31, 2010, under terms of a local ordinance.
“The feds say it’s illegal, but the city issued them a license,” Abel said.
It’s been two and a half years, but I’m sure that sometime real soon now our Progressive President is going to get his Drug Enforcement Agency to halt those raids. They probably just haven’t gotten around to it yet, because they’ve been so very busy in the past couple months.
War on the World
Finally, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention one of our Progressive Peace President’s real triumphs. During the long, dark night of the Bush administration, the United States government became notorious for its use of torture, its disregard for due process, and its endless, arbitrary detentions in legal black-holes like Guantanamo Bay, all in the name of a ever-shifting, never-ending War on Terror. Obama promised that he would rectify that. Nowadays, thanks to Obama, they only promise to hold people in Guantanamo forever without a trial after they try out a few options and can’t figure out any kangaroo court where it would be politically expedient to send them. Under the Bush administration, the CIA became notorious as one of the leading practitioners of indefinite detention and interrogation by torture, in black-hole secret prisons where prisoners — many of them innocent victims of mass sweeps and round-ups — had no legal recourse at all. The Obama administration has put an end to all that. Now:
“The CIA is out of the detention and interrogation business,” said a U.S. official who is familiar with intelligence operations but was not authorized to speak publicly.
Huzzah and kudos. Now, instead of indefinitely detaining people without trial and torturing them for years, the CIA just kills them instead:
Under Obama, the CIA has killed more people than it has captured, mainly through drone missile strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas. At the same time, it has stopped trying to detain or interrogate suspects caught abroad….
In summary executions like this one:
WASHINGTON — C.I.A. drones fired two missiles at militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas on Wednesday…. The strikes drew a sharp rebuke from a Pakistani government that is increasingly public in its criticism of the C.I.A.’s covert role in its country.
… The drone attack was widely interpreted by Pakistan’s main spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, as a deliberate effort by Washington to embarrass the country. “If the message was that business will continue as usual, it was a crude way of sending it,” a senior Pakistani intelligence official said.
… The targets of the attack were militants commanded by Maulvi Nazir, a Taliban leader from South Waziristan…. The drones struck a double-cabin pickup truck and a motorcycle as they returned from Afghanistan into Pakistan, a Pakistani military official said. Seven fighters were killed and six others were wounded in the attack just south of the village of Angor Adda on the border between the two countries.
Pakistani officials have grown more alarmed at the frequency of the drone attacks — 117 last year, more than all previous years combined — and the fact that the targets are now largely low-level fighters and junior commanders, not top operatives. Wednesday’s strikes bring this year’s number of attacks to 20….
Plus ca change, mes amis. But President Bush must be careful to cover his political bases; I hear that he is planning to run for a fourth term next year.
Apparently this is becoming an ongoing monthly feature. Here’s this month’s. You may recall back around fall 2010, a lot of voting Progressives were passing around links to a site called
WhatTheFuckHasObamaDone.com. When I went to the website, some cosmic force decided that this is the first thing the random number generator would throw at me:
And I closed the browser window, because, well, what else can I ask for after that? To be sure, Obama did sign an executive order to close the prison at Guantanamo in January 2009. And with that piece of paper under his belt, Obama went on to keep the prison at Guantanamo open and running for the next year and a half while voting Progressives were marking that one up as a win. Now, in March 2011, after two years of running the prison at Guantanamo, the Hopester’s got this to serve up:
NEW YORK – President Obama today issued an executive order that permits ongoing indefinite detention of Guantánamo detainees while establishing a periodic administrative review process for them. The administration also announced it will lift the ban on bringing new military commissions charges against detainees that don’t already have ongoing cases in the substandard system.
The American Civil Liberties Union has long called for Guantánamo to be shut down and opposes the indefinite detention of prisoners there, some of whom have been imprisoned by the U.S. without charge or trial for nine years. The ACLU has also long called for an end to the illegitimate military commissions and for the government to prosecute terrorism suspects in the federal criminal courts.
The more things Change….
"The Eastern Regions of Libya Are Now Free Regions" Jesse Walker, Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2011-02-18).
Col. Qaddafi has an eccentric habit of periodically declaring that he has abolished the Libyan government. His subjects suddenly seem interested in taking him up on the idea. Amid reports of severe repression, claims are coming in that the city of Benghazi is now "out of the control of the Gaddafi...(Linked Friday 2011-02-18.)
And Just Across the Strait from Yemen... Jesse Walker, Jesse Walker: Reason Magazine articles and blog posts. (2011-02-18).
The BBC reports: Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Djibouti to call for President Ismael Omar Guelleh to step down. The demonstrators were reportedly monitored closely by security forces in riot gear. Mr Guelleh's family has governed the Red Sea city state since independence from France in...(Linked Friday 2011-02-18.)
When rape is Your Tax Dollars at Work. Obsidian Wings (2011-02-19). Men in Uniform (Cont'd). (Linked Saturday 2011-02-19.)
ST(O) : If all stories were written like science fiction stories. www.shrovetuesdayobserved.com (2011-02-19). (Linked Saturday 2011-02-19.)
the basic problem with the notion of government is displayed in. Captain Capitulation, eye of the storm (2011-02-20).
the basic problem with the notion of government is displayed in the "massive show of force." only it can do that. but even worse than that, only it can subject you to the indignity of using your own resources to intimidate and/or shoot you. surely it is occurring to someone this evening in...(Linked Monday 2011-02-21.)