Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Greenwald

Their Entire Lives Ahead of Them

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The violence and rights abridgments of the Bush and Obama administrations have been applied almost exclusively to Muslims. It is, therefore, Muslims who have been systematically dehumanized. Americans virtually never hear about the Muslims killed by their government’s violence. They’re never profiled. The New York Times doesn’t put powerful graphics showing their names and ages on its front page. Their funerals are never covered. President Obama never deliversteary sermons about how these Muslim children “had their entire lives ahead of them – birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.” That’s what dehumanization is: their humanity is disappeared so that we don’t have to face it.

Weekend Links

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Tolkien Class At Wis. University Proves Popular. Marquette English hits the big time.

A decade-long spending binge to build academic buildings, dormitories and recreational facilities — some of them inordinately lavish to attract students — has left colleges and universities saddled with large amounts of debt. Oftentimes, students are stuck picking up the bill.

* Legal systems and/as the history of imperialism and colonialism.

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* The New York Times drops its oppo research on Cory Booker.

When snow blanketed this city two Christmases ago, Mayor Cory A. Booker was celebrated around the nation for personally shoveling out residents who had appealed for help on Twitter. But here, his administration was scorned as streets remained impassable for days because the city had no contract for snow removal.

Last spring, Ellen DeGeneres presented Mr. Booker with a superhero costume after he rushed into a burning building to save a neighbor. But Newark had eliminated three fire companies after the mayor’s plan to plug a budget hole failed.

* California judge declares that women’s bodies can prevent rape. Don’t worry, folks — he’s already been admonished. Still a sitting judge, but admonished.

* American Exceptionalism: The Shootings Will Go On.

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* So it’s okay when he says it: “The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican.”

* Glenn Greenwald has seen Zero Dark Thirty.

The fact that nice liberals who already opposed torture (like Spencer Ackerman) felt squeamish and uncomfortable watching the torture scenes is irrelevant. That does not negate this point at all. People who support torture don’t support it because they don’t realize it’s brutal. They know it’s brutal – that’s precisely why they think it works – and they believe it’s justifiable because of its brutality: because it is helpful in extracting important information, catching terrorists, and keeping them safe. This film repeatedly reinforces that belief by depicting torture exactly as its supporters like to see it: as an ugly though necessary tactic used by brave and patriotic CIA agents in stopping hateful, violent terrorists.

More from the New Yorker.

* This time Obama is totally going to keep his promises about drug enforcement.

Why race matters after Sandy.

* UC surrenders, zunguzungu named chancellor.

* China Miéville vs. science fiction.

* Twenty-seven-year-old single mother of three sentenced to life imprisonment for bag holding the same day HSBC declared officially above the law. Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke.

School cafeteria worker fired for helping needy student. You know, Christmastime.

Midweek Links

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A collection of artists and activists advocating the neoliberalisation of children’s minds. That is scandalous and stupid. The text is open. This should – could – be our chance to remember that it was never just us who made it, and it was never just ours. China Miéville on the future of the novel.

* 53 Arrested Development Jokes You Probably Missed.

‘The Office’ Ends As Documentary Crew Gets All The Footage It Needs.

In retrospect, we really over-shot this thing by an enormous margin,” said Sheffield, adding that he likely had more than enough good material after filming a British workplace from 2001 to 2003.

* Romney didn’t get a Ryan bounce anywhere but in my beloved Wisconsin. Well, hell.

More great moments in polling: Obama apparently leads Romney among African-American voters 94% to 0%. Some room for improvement there.

* Nobody say “war crime”: Glenn Greenwald says U.S. drones are now attacking first responders.

* “Well, I think the fact that you’re actually innocent is a ‘technicality’! So there!” A 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision said that prisoners found to be “actually innocent” should be released even if they had not followed all legal technical requirements. The next year, Congress passed a new law with stringent time limits on when inmates could file habeas corpus cases in federal court. But the nation’s highest court has never ruled on whether those deadlines apply in cases in which there is evidence of “actual innocence.” Appellate courts across the nation disagree on whether they do. The law, in its majestic equality…

* Answering leninology from the other day: here’s Gawker’s primer on the case against Julian Assange.

Bonobo genius makes stone tools like early humans did. Monkeys reject unequal pay. I’m sold. It’s their turn.

That Wacky Kucinich

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”Wacky”, like its close cousin “crazy,” is a term of derision exclusively reserved for those who deviate from such conventions. And that’s the point worth making here: the real reason anyone with D.C. Seriousness, including many establishment liberals, relished mocking Kucinich is because he dissented from the orthodoxies of the two political parties. That, by definition, makes one wacky and weird, even when — as is true for the Obama assassination powers and so many other bipartisan pieties — the actual wacky and crazy beliefs are those orthodoxies themselves (we’ve seen this repeatedly with those who stray from two-party normalcy). In reality, the actual crazies are those who fit comfortably within that two-party mentality and rarely challenge or deviate from it, while those who are sane, by definition, dissent from it (just today, Democratic Sen. Carl Levin, a prime co-sponsor of the indefinite detention bill passed late last year, called for a naval blockade of Iran).

Glenn Greenwald on the wackiness of Dennis Kucinich. This is a good piece, but I think Glenn overlooks here the extent to which Kucinich (like Ron Paul, whom Glenn also gives too much credit) was an unusually terrible spokesman for heterodoxy even by the standards of a mass media environment that seeks to destroy iconoclastic thinkers. You can distill Kucinich’s greatest hits into a single list in this way and he doesn’t sound that bad—but there are reasons no one took him seriously that go well beyond the fact he was saying things they didn’t want to hear.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 10, 2012 at 8:56 am

Saturday Night Links

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* SOPA update from Cory Doctorow: The Judiciary Committee will have another chance to pass the bill out of committee at a special session on December 21.

* The headline reads, Australia’s most cherished marsupial, the koala, is in danger of becoming extinct in the wild within 30 years after an outbreak of chlamydia.

* The headline reads, Two deaths from brain-eating amoeba linked to sinus remedy for colds. Does the world seem a little strange today to anyone else?

* Only the super-rich can save us now! An anonymous cabal of millionaires and billionaires is looking to do something in the 2012 election by running an independent candidate in all 50 states. Just what is that something? I guess we’ll find out.

* Obama vs. the pipeline? As @thinkprogress notes, that’s the whole point of this payroll tax blackmail in the first place.

* Media Matters celebrates Fox & Friends, 2011.

* I’m with Ta-Nehisi: Occupy Wall Street shouldn’t turn into Occupy Trinity Church. If that puts me at odds with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, well, so be it…

* Today in the permafrost apocalypse: A recent estimate suggests that the perennially frozen ground known as permafrost, which underlies nearly a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere, contains twice as much carbon as the entire atmosphere.

* Glenn Greenwald: To allow significant political figures to be heralded with purely one-sided requiems — enforced by misguided (even if well-intentioned) notions of private etiquette that bar discussions of their bad acts — is not a matter of politeness; it’s deceitful and propagandistic. More, specifically on Hitchens, from Lenin’s Tomb.

* And your game of the night: Greens Survive Only When Reds Die. Like Lemmings for sociopaths. Enjoy!

Manichaeism in America

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What Carville’s confused, contradictory screed highlights is the difficulty of trying to understand American political conflicts through an exclusively partisan prism of Democrats v. Republicans.  Some issues are properly assessed via that dichotomy, but many — a growing number — are not.  Nonetheless, confining oneself to Democrat v. Republican bickering is the admission price to establishment media access — that is the only prism they understand or permit — and most pundits thus happily cling to it; indeed, partisan pundits take the lead role in enforcing this orthodoxy and trying to marginalize anyone who deviates from it or resides outside of it.  Political issues insusceptible to this two-team mindset are deemed fringe and rendered invisible.  The result (by design) of this narrow, stultifying framework is that many — perhaps most — of the most consequential political developments are ignored.

A Good Man Forced By Tragic Circumstance To Do Bad Things

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As I wrote back in April when progressive pundits in D.C. were so deeply baffled by Obama’s supposed “tactical mistake” in not insisting on a clean debt ceiling increase, Obama’s so-called “bad negotiating” or “weakness” is actually “shrewd negotiation” because he’s getting what he actually wants (which, shockingly, is not always the same as what he publicly says he wants).  In this case, what he wants — and has long wanted, as he’s said repeatedly in public — are drastic spending cuts.  In other words, he’s willing — eager — to impose the “pain” Cohn describes on those who can least afford to bear it so that he can run for re-election as a compromise-brokering, trans-partisan deficit cutter willing to “take considerable heat from his own party.”

Read Glenn Greenwald.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 1, 2011 at 9:43 am