Monday, July 25, 2005
Friday, July 22, 2005
Two segments of today's show dealt with the tension between security and civil liberties. Both the new policy announced yesterday of random searches of bags and packages in (or entering) NYC's subways and some of the provisions of the extension of the USA PATRIOT Act passed last night by ...
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Decades ago, psychiatrist Thomas Szasz (that's "SAHZ", it's Hungarian) proposed the crazy idea that the concept of mental illness is bunk. Unlike, say, cancer, it's difficult to definitively diagnose or prove a mental problem. What's more, the idea of mental illness has been used in the past to stigmatize ...
Thursday, July 21, 2005
The name John Roberts has not cured the White House Press corps of its recent fixation on someone else whose name begins with an R.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there is an investigation that continues, and I think the President has made it clear that we're not going to prejudge the outcome of that investigation.
Q: You already have the truth.
MR. McCLELLAN: We're not going to prejudge the outcome of that investigation through --
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Your blogger does not enjoy spreading rumors, especially about potential nominees for the Supreme Court (these have bitten us in the behind before). But, in the sad and admittedly unlikely case that this blog is the only one you visit today: EDITH CLEMENT IS BEING TOUTED AS THE PRESIDENT'S NOMINEE FOR SUPREME COURT! W will make the announcement tonight at nine.
"I think he wants to pick a woman -- a conservative woman. There are plenty of conservative women on the federal appeals court."
Monday, July 18, 2005
If you read the Washington Post today, your eyes might have widened at this item: "U.S. Says It Did Not Carry Out Plans to Back Iraqis in Election".
The Post's reporter was investigating suggestons in this week's New Yorker by muckraker Sy Hersh that the US covertly meddled ...
Friday, July 15, 2005
To listen to today's edition of "democracy wonk", click here.
Subject: Reaons to let bigoted opinions be heard
On the issue of whether you, as facilitator and host of a talk radio show, should cut off callers who express hateful or bigoted opinions, I believe that you have an obligation to let them express their opnions, and then respond to it in reasonable, intelligent manner. In my opinion there is no truth to the argument that you legitimize someone's opinions by letting them express them publicly - if anything it is quite the contrary.
That's the principled reason. However, from a purely callous entertainment point of view it is even more crucial that you do this. Rupert Murdoch's most talented producers could not have engineered a more dramatic and satisfying 20 minutes than what we heard on WNYC from 11:40 to Noon today.
Subject: Limp wristed liberals
Congratulations. Your last show was exciting, engaging and had all
the intellectual merit of the Geraldo show.
In the interest of having the opportunity to demonstrate your own open-minded viewpoint toward homosexuality, you have turned your excellent show into a forum for bigotry.
No matter how they attempt to dress up their arguments in the trappings of compassion, the anti-gay members of your audience fundamentally are all arguing from a biblical/religious perspective. YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE THEIR MINDS because they argue from faith and scripture rather than logic or conviction.
Subject: homosexuality, Greeks, Hebrews, Republicans, Democrats
many different cultures have had many different attitudes about sex between people of the same gender. In ancient Hawaii a propensity or inclination for a man to prefer sex with men to the exclusion of women was considered a sign of being blessed or magic or powerful.
Historically, the equation of homosexual behavior with sin comes from the interaction of Hellenistic Greek-speaking people on the coast and Hebrew-speaking people in the hills of what is today Israel/Palestine. The Greeks considered Hebrews and all non-Greek speakers Barbarians and, in return, the Hebrews considered the Greeks sinners. Those things that the Greeks did -- eat pork, have homosexual sex without shame, etc. -- were considered bad by definition, as the Greeks considered the Hebrews to be unsophisticated, uncultured, rubes.
Seems we still have Greeks and Hebrews today. Red and Blue states.
Each condemning each other on the same basis used by 2200 years ago.
Friday, July 15, 2005
This morning we speak with freelance terror investigator Glen Jenvey, who does most of his research from his laptop in his home in Wiltshire, England. Jenvey was instrumental in obtaining video evidence that led to the arrest last year of radical cleric Abu Hamza.
click here for a link ...
Thursday, July 14, 2005
subject: classically trained
What is the difference between including "classically trained" or "self taught" in a bio? If it's a fact, it is germane.
Writers lay claim to attending Oxford, politicians to graduating Harvard Law, CEOs to their MBAs from Wharton. (Not to mention journalists whose curriculum vitae announce ...
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Subject: 4 SCJ = Christine Todd Whitman
After hearing her on NPR, she sounds reasonable, sane and articulate. She's a republican who has explicitly rejected a social and political order emerging out of "biblical truth." All interpretations, however attentive to textual meanings must also integrate both the context of the writer[s] as well as the context of us, the readers.
I am a militant moderate: be reasonable or else! Some elements of the militant moderate philosphy:
Liberals exist to keep the neanderthals from ruling the world. conservatives exist to keep the pointy-heads from ruling the world.
The liberals have the arts, the media, and education. The conservatives have business and the military. Sounds fair and balanced to me.
Monday, July 11, 2005
On today's show NYU's Bernard Haykel refuted Tom Friedman's assertion that "to this day - no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden."
In fact, says Haykel, plenty of Muslims, including Muslim clerics, have condemned terror against civilians committed ...