On Looking Back Four Years

I like to read Tom Tomorrow’s cartoons. He’s a political cartoonist, and his weekly cartoon–entitled This Modern World–are usually carried in the alt-weeklies. In Raleigh I read them in The Independant. Here in Baltimore I find them in City Paper. If you have an alt-weekly, chances are you can read Tom Tomorrow. Alternatively, you canContinue reading “On Looking Back Four Years”

On War Powers

After two attempts in the Senate to pass a non-binding resolution expressing discontent with the President’s plan to “surge” twenty-one thousand troops to Iraq the Senate leadership is planning a new move, to rescind the President’s war-making authority in Iraq. Four years ago, Congress passed legislation authorizing President Bush to go to war in Iraq.Continue reading “On War Powers”

On the Senate and the Iraq Troop Surge

Yesterday Republican Senators were able to block debate and a full Senate vote on a non-binding resolution expressing disapproval of President Bush’s decision to “surge” American troops into Iraq. For the forty-seven Senators who voted against cloture on the resolution, their votes amounted to an approval of the President’s decision to keep the United StatesContinue reading “On the Senate and the Iraq Troop Surge”

On Rumsfeld and War Crimes

I just realized. I may hold the odd distinction of writing the only Star Trek story to name-check Donald Rumsfeld. But what might that have to do with anything? Former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld may be facing a new challenge in the weeks and months ahead: war crimes prosecution. Charges will be filed in Germany nextContinue reading “On Rumsfeld and War Crimes”

On Failures

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo makes an interesting analogy to President Bush’s Iraq policy and his insistence upon “stay[ing] the course”–Iraq is a business start-up, and President Bush knows business start-ups. Unfortunately, what Bush knows of business start-ups is how to fail at business start-ups, as Josh explains: Setting aside the vast costs inContinue reading “On Failures”

On John Yoo

I'm sure many of you have heard about the NPR interview with legal scholar John Yoo. Yoo, in case you don't know, is the legal theorist behind many of President Bush's philosophies. Signing statements, the unitary executive–they all originate in the writings of John Yoo. Yoo was interviewed by NPR yesterday on the Congressional billContinue reading “On John Yoo”

On Interrogation, War Crimes, the President, and Congress

The above-the-fold article in Saturday’s Washington Post covered President Bush’s press conference yesterday. From the two opening paragraphs: President Bush warned defiant Republican senators yesterday that he will close down a CIA interrogation program that he credited with thwarting terrorist attacks if they pass a proposal regulating detention of enemy combatants, escalating a politically chargedContinue reading “On Interrogation, War Crimes, the President, and Congress”

On the Things We Now Know

Bernard Weiner, at the Crisis Papers, has written an essay about the “Twenty Things We Now Know Five Years After 9/11.” Now that we’re five years past the events of that Tuesday morning in September, Weiner takes stock of what’s happened to the United States in that span of time. His observations? Not good. InContinue reading “On the Things We Now Know”

On Staying the Course, and Insanity

Last night, in an on-line chat, a friend brought up a defintion of insanity–doing the same thing repeatedly, but expecting different results. I’m not certain who came up with that defintion–I’ve heard it was Albert Einstein, but it may predate even him–and it’s not a definition I’ve always agreed with–circumstances do change, and that canContinue reading “On Staying the Course, and Insanity”

On Defending V For Vendetta

Last night, browsing one of the bulletin boards I frequent, I chanced across a thread blasting V For Vendetta, the adaptation of Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s graphic novel about an anarchist fighting a near-future fascist British government, for being, and I quote, “boring.” Said the writer of the post: If this was supposed toContinue reading “On Defending V For Vendetta”