April 7, 2008
Last week there was a very short news story about the U.S FINALLY charging one of the so-called high value detainees at Guantanamo Bay. We have learned more now. Ahmed Ghailani is charged with war crimes for his alleged role in the bombing in Tanzania that is the subject of a very good book called, In the Moment of Greatest Calamity: Terrorism, Grief, and the War on Terror. You should read this book. And, if you are in the Chicago area, come to our reading group about it April 17th.
But I digress . . . We charged someone!! He was held in secret prisons from 2004 – 2006 and in Guantanamo from 2006 until now. So war crimes — an interesting charge by this administration. And we will try him for these war crimes? I guess it would be too scary for us to allow the International War Crimes Tribunal do it because then we would be conceding that these international organizations have authority. And that could be scary for the people that detained this guy for FOUR YEARS before charging him with anything.
March 23, 2008
Channeling Garrison Keillor: it’s been a big year for my little hometown. First we get a Top 11 American Idol contestant. Now Bill Clinton is coming to little ol’ West Lafayette, Indiana. He’ll be at West Lafayette High School on Monday night.
My question to him is going to be something along these lines: “Mr. President, Senator Clinton said in February that she was honored to run against Senator Barack Obama. If she really meant that, I wonder, can you tell me, what kind of campaign she’d be running against someone she actually didn’t respect? I mean, you played the race card in South Carolina. You just played the patriotism card on Friday. And she personally played the Muslim card on 60 Minutes. So what’s left for her to do except just run as John McCain’s VP?”
Whaddya think? Snarky yet pointed? Humorous yet biting? Think you can do better? Feel free to supply suggestions until 6:30 p.m. Monday (eastern time–Indiana’s on Eastern time now!).
March 7, 2008
So I have been out of town for a few days — but I’m back and this really gets my goat:
I was watching the today show in a hotel room on Wednesday morning and Hillary said something like, It comes down to this: who would you want to hire for the job of being President, Obama or me?
This bugs me because racism in employment discrimination is RAMPANT in this country. I have mentioned the book before, but Devah Pager’s, Marked: Race, Crime and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration demonstrates quite convincingly that your chances of getting called for a job interview after submitting an application are significantly higher if you are a white man WITH A FELONY CONVICTION than if you are a similaryly qualified black man WITH NO FELONY CONVICTION.
To Recap: White FELONS have an easier time in the job market than black with no criminal record.
Now, do I think Hillary said this as a subtle encoding of race to get more votes? Not sure. But, encoded racial messages in elections are nothing new — another great book (I mean great book) about this is The Race Card: Campaign Strategy, Implicit Messages, and the Norm of Equality which shows how this stuff works by Tali Mendelberg. Put these 2 books together and it makes you think.
Just when I was convincing myself that Hillary could not have meant to do this kind of race-baiting, I heard her say on NPR that something like, McCain would bring experience to the white house, she would bring experience to the white house, and Obama would bring a speech. Seems like an encoded racial message about not working to me.
She is going to ruin him so effectively that if he is the nominee the Republicans won’t have to. I think it is outrageous and Democrats should not stand for it.