Liberty & Power: Group Blog
Airports are also poised to institute the much-discussed trusted-traveler card in order to speed up waiting in clogged security-check lines. According to Wired,"While civil liberties groups have questioned the plan's merits, travel industry groups have welcomed it." Again, business joins hands with government to violate privacy rights. One of the reasons the travel industry welcomes the card is because it accomplishes much the same goal as CAPPS without the controversy caused by the legislation. If the card is successful with business travellers, I suspect it will become a required piece of identification for anyone wishing to board a plane in the US within five years. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is trying to make end-runs around the"privacy problem." For example, Wired reports that the TSA has appointed"a vocal critic of its privacy practices to write its privacy policies, perhaps in a move to placate congressional critics and privacy advocates. Lisa Dean, who has worked as the Washington policy liaison for the Electronic Frontier Foundation since June 2003, is scheduled to start as the chief privacy officer of the TSA ..." I think we can expect a great level of sophistication in how plans to violate civil liberties are worded and in the TSA's PR outreach to privacy watchdog groups.
For more commentary, please see McBlog.
March 26, 2004 | Daily Mislead Archive
White House, 4/01: Focus on Bin Laden"A Mistake"
A previously forgotten report from April 2001 (four months before 9/11) shows that the Bush Administration officially declared it"a mistake" to focus"so much energy on Osama bin Laden." The report directly contradicts the White House's continued assertion that fighting terrorism was its"top priority" before the 9/11 attacks 1.
Specifically, on April 30, 2001, CNN reported that the Bush Administration's release of the government's annual terrorism report contained a serious change:"there was no extensive mention of alleged terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden" as there had been in previous years. When asked why the Administration had reduced the focus,"a senior Bush State Department official told CNN the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden." 2.
The move to downgrade the fight against Al Qaeda before 9/11 was not the only instance where the Administration ignored repeated warnings that an Al Qaeda attack was imminent 3. Specifically, the Associated Press reported in 2002 that"President Bush's national security leadership met formally nearly 100 times in the months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks yet terrorism was the topic during only two of those sessions" 4. Meanwhile, Newsweek has reported that internal government documents show that the Bush Administration moved to"de-emphasize" counterterrorism prior to 9/11 5. When"FBI officials sought to add hundreds more counterintelligence agents" to deal with the problem,"they got shot down" by the White House.
1. Press Briefing by Scott McClellan , 03/22/2004.
2. CNN, 04/30/2001.
3. Bush Was Warned of Hijackings Before 9/11; Lawmakers Want Public Inquiry , ABC News, 05/16/2002.
4."Top security advisers met just twice on terrorism before Sept. 11 attacks", Detroit News, 07/01/2002.
5. Freedom of Information Center , 05/27/2002.
President Bush: My fellow Americans, good evening. I want to announce tonight that I have sent American forces into Iran. We intend to use overwhelming force so that this conflict can be brought to a swift conclusion with a minimum of casualties. I'll let you know why we are doing this when the war is over. God bless America. Goodnight.
Clarke’s Coziness With the Media Might Help Him Win War With Bush
By Harry Jaffe
If you want the real book on Richard Clarke—minus the Bush-administration attacks and Clarke’s self-promotion—read Ghost Wars, Steve Coll’s new book on the CIA in Afghanistan.
“His enemies regarded him as not only mean, but dangerous,” writes Coll, managing editor of the Washington Post. “So palpably did he thrive on an air of sinister mystery,” Coll writes, that Clarke chose Oliver North’s old White House office.
Coll is not the first journalist to detect and use Clarke’s knowledge of the sinister and mysterious. While Clarke was White House terrorism czar, he often showed up in news dispatches as an unnamed source. Interviews with reporters on the terrorism beat suggest that Clarke has always been savvy in using the press.
“He was known to be a source for a select group of journalists,” says one print reporter.
Adds a TV reporter: “There were periods when he was available and periods when he went underground.”
Clarke was mentioned by name in nearly 1,000 stories over the years, and he was the unnamed source for many more. Fox News reporter Jim Angle this week outed Clarke as the source of a White House background interview.
“Over the years he’s been in contact with a lot of journalists in town,” says Coll in an interview on Friday. Coll himself spent many hours with Clarke.
Clarke’s history with journalists does not bode well for his detractors in the Bush White House. As they try to discredit Clarke, they are running into journalists who have known him for years. Most reporters came away trusting Clarke.
“Credible?” asked one reporter. “I think he is.”
Coll portrays Clarke as a gruff bureaucratic infighter who did his best to fight terrorism before terrorism was thought to be a real threat.
Coll’s 695-page tome has set the stage for Clarke’s own book— Against All Enemies —and his explosive testimony before the September 11 panel, in which he contended the Bush administration ignored his pleas to combat terrorism before 9/11.
“Clarke revels in public theater,” Coll said in an interview. “A hearing, in the middle of a presidential campaign—he loved it.”
Coll describes Clarke as “a shadowy member of Washington’s permanent intelligence and bureaucratic classes . . . who seemed to wield enormous power precisely because hardly anyone knew who he was or what exactly he did for a living.”
Coll writes that Clarke sometimes acted as a freelance power broker and trickster abroad. When he was at the State Department, investigators “concluded that Clarke had usurped his superiors, turning himself into a one-man foreign policy czar and arms-trafficking shop.”
Clarke worked his way up to become President Clinton’s terrorism czar in 1998, where he began his crusade: “Clarke declared that America faced a new era of terrorist threats for which it was woefully unprepared.”
In an interview, Coll says Clarke’s status was extraordinary: “He’s an amazing figure in that way. He rose effectively to Cabinet rank.”
From that job, Clarke put Osama bin Laden in his crosshairs and “sometimes pushed harder for action on bin Laden than the CIA’s own officers recommended.”
When the Bush administration took over in 2001 and decided to reduce Clarke’s power, Coll writes what Clarke this week told the 9/11 committee: He tried to warn Bush officials that terrorism was a major threat, but they ignored his pleas.
Now that both books are on the stands and Clarke is on TV, Coll has become a reservoir of information for Post reporters looking for guidance on Clarke. Given Coll’s respect for Clarke, it’s fair to assume that he will get fair if not favorable coverage from the Post.
Coll did come away from watching Clarke’s testimony with one question: “It’s a mystery why he chose to deliver the force of his moment so explicitly against the Bush administration,” he says in an interview. “Clinton’s people were involved as well.”
Some would even call it a sinister mystery.
Salon.com March 26, 2004
"We should have had orange or red-type of alert in June or July of 2001"
By Eric Boehlert
A former FBI wiretap translator with top-secret security clearance, who has been called"very credible" by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has told Salon she recently testified to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States that the FBI had detailed information prior to Sept. 11, 2001, that a terrorist attack involving airplanes was being plotted.
Referring to the Homeland Security Department's color-coded warnings instituted in the wake of 9/11, the former translator, Sibel Edmonds, told Salon,"We should have had orange or red-type of alert in June or July of 2001. There was that much information available." Edmonds is offended by the Bush White House claim that it lacked foreknowledge of the kind of attacks made by al-Qaida on 9/11."Especially after reading National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice [Washington Post Op-Ed on March 22] where she said, we had no specific information whatsoever of domestic threat or that they might use airplanes. That's an outrageous lie. And documents can prove it's a lie."
Edmonds' charge comes when the Bush White House is trying to fend off former counterterrorism chief Richard A. Clarke's testimony that it did not take serious measures to combat the threat of Islamic terrorism, and al-Qaida specifically, in the months leading up to 9/11.
The entire article is available to subscribers of Salon.com
Roderick T. Long
Long: The Great Divorce, Part 1 Machan: Some Initial Replies Long: The Absent State? Machan: 'Government' vs. 'State' Long: The Great Divorce, Part 2
That it why importance of what is happening to Howard Stern needs to be better and more widely understood. Clear Channel communications canceled Stern’s radio show in six markets, including Pittsburgh, Orlando, San Diego, and Rochester, New York. The public reason given, that this occurred because Howard Stern’s show is obscene, strikes me as being a lie. Clear Channel’s executives have contributed heavily to the Bush’s campaigns and the GOP. I can speak from first hand knowledge that Stern had changed from supporting George Bush to opposing him before he got into trouble. Howard had in fact become increasingly critical of the President on a daily basis (something I thoroughly enjoyed listening to) before they silenced his voice in those six cities. And, is it not convenient for Bush’s reelection bid that there will be less criticism of him in such battleground, electoral vote rich, states as Pennsylvania, Florida, California, and New York? When Clear Channel took this action they committed an act of censorship for political reasons.
Now, I believe that Clear Channel, as a private company, had every right to do that, although, they do need to pay him the money they owe him. Also, Stern, depending upon what kind of contract he had and if Clear Channel is honoring it, should be able to go back on the air in those markets with other stations.
However, Clear Channel is not the only entity taking action. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is is busy handing out fines and seeking new powers, which will be used to eliminate Howard Stern and his criticism of Bush from the airwaves. The hammerheads in Congress, who, with the exception of Ron Paul seem to care nothing for the First Amendment, have passed legislation that allows the FCC, headed by the son of George Bush’s Secretary of State, to silence anyone they please by alleging an action that is not really defined. Not only that but it is an FCC with a well-documented history of treating different people in different ways. For example, they had no quarrel with this discussion (the link is on Stern’s website, don’t listen to it with your children) heard on the Oprah Winfrey show. This is not just a problem for Howard Stern; it is a problem for all of us. If anyone thinks that this kind of political speech suppression will be confined to broadcast radio they are in for a rude surprise. Censorship of cable TV and satellite radio are already in the works. Today, I learned that all government computers are blocking Howard Stern’s website. There is nothing obscene on this site it is overtly political, check for yourself with the above link.
As of now the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation has unanimously passed S. 2056, the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, the companion law to the one passed by the House. All of us need to realize the very real danger that is upon us and act accordingly. What would Thomas Paine do?
If George Bush and his minions at the FCC are allowed to silence Howard Stern then this country will have taken a gigantic step down the road to serfdom.
“In the early 1980s the occupation authorities encouraged the founders of Hamas, hoping that they would create a counter-weight to Yasser Arafat and the PLO. Even after the start of the first intifada, the army and the security services gave preferential treatment of Hamas.” —Uri Avnery, long-time Israeli writer and peace activist
Hamas's suicide bombing is what they call "blowback".
(It shouldn't be necessary to add this, but it is:"blowback" is not a synonym for"justified.")
There was Bush looking under furniture in a fruitless, frustrating search."Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere," he said.
Somewhere in the Starr Report, if I recall correctly, there's a section where Bill Clinton is on the phone with a congressman, trying to drum up support for putting troops in Bosnia. At the same time Monica is ministering to Bill under the desk. I remember thinking that that didn't really reflect the sort of moral seriousness and gravity that I'd like to imagine in a commander-in-chief putting troops in harm's way. The current CINC's WMD yukfest may make for a less lurid image. But it's just as repulsive and classless.
Hat tip Atrios.
Perhaps President Bush might want to try his"oops, I started a war" shtick out on this audience.
Robert L. Campbell
Harold Bloom doesn’t get off the hook, just because Naomi Wolf has the bad faith to bring out the old victimological ploys while denying that what she is up to.
Assuming that things went roughly as she recounted them, Harold Bloom did do something wrong. He didn’t just get drunk and put a crude move on a student whose work he was grading, he blew off his basic responsibilities as an instructor. A professor who takes on a student for an independent study course is expected to give the student assignments, to track progress on them, and to meet with the student weekly. It isn’t clear from Wolf’s account whether he met with her in his office once or twice, or never bothered to at all. But soon enough, if she is telling the truth, he was dodging meetings with her. There was only the fateful dinner, and afterward, no further contact—she says her poems went into his box in the department mailroom, and his final grade report was mailed to her. Simply for failing to hold up his end of an independent study course, Bloom deserved to get chewed out by his department chair. (Unless, of course, Bloom had been extended the privilege of enrolling students in independent study courses without having to meet with them. In that case, his department and the upper administration needed to review the wisdom of keeping such a prima donna on the payroll.)
Wolf had multiple opportunities to seek justice, or at least some acknowledgment of wrongdoing. She says she was too scared to try any of them. She was convinced that her academic adviser would rate Bloom’s interests over hers. She doesn’t mention either Bloom’s department chair or the dean of the college (though at one point she insists that a trip to the dean’s office is “intimidating” to students per se). She says she wanted to file a grievance… and was talked out of it. In fact, “some women friends” talked her out of speaking to “anyone official.” “In the absence of transparent procedures, decoding the right rumors was how you survived.” You would think Wolf and her friends were helpless inmates of some total institution, not students at an elite university.
Undergraduates are not known for their deep knowledge of the way a university works. If any of Wolf’s friends had ever filed a grievance against a faculty member, she doesn’t mention it. One supposedly told her about a woman whose complaint against a male graduate student was not upheld by the Grievance Board—with the alleged result that the woman had a breakdown and dropped out of Yale. (Other portions of Wolf’s account suggest that some of her friends were Bloomian acolytes themselves. Could any of them have been more interested in protecting the guru than in supporting her?)
I should note that Jennifer Weiner, an Ivy League contemporary of Wolf’s, has little patience with this kind of story:
As someone who attended a similar institution in roughly the same era that Wolf did, I can assure you that Ivy League undergrads are practically marinated in entitlement. If you had a beef with anything, be it person or policy, you felt perfectly entitled, justified, and encouraged to tell someone. Even if you were on financial aid. Even if you were female. By the time I got to Princeton, in the heyday of P.C., especially the women.
In any event, Naomi Wolf never talked to a faculty member or an administrator about her run-in with Bloom. Her parents asked a professor they knew to intervene—she says he declined to get involved—and that was the end of it.
The New York Observer article indicates that she would never have had to be alone in a room with Harold Bloom during grievance hearings, undermining at least one of her stated reasons for avoiding the process. I will add that faculty members often make the opposite complaint from Wolf’s: they think that grievance procedures of the kind that Yale was using are tilted against the professor, not the student, when sexual misconduct is being alleged.
That said, I have a little sympathy with Wolf concerning institutional grievance proceedings. Flagrantly political decisions can happen in the best of them. Where witnesses cannot be cross-examined (a lot of grievance procedures do not allow it), some may lie with impunity to the grievance panel.
However we might evaluate it, the extreme confidentiality that Wolf complains about is commonplace. (I have seen how grievance proceedings work, both in a three-initial corporation where I was once employed, and in academia where I am now, so I think I have some basis for generalizing). A fair and reliable procedure will be able to find for an employee against a manager, or for a student against a professor, when the manager or the professor is in the wrong. But the penalty assessed against the offender is frequently not revealed to the person who filed the successful grievance (it never was in the three-initial corporation’s process, just as Wolf says it never is at Yale). Naturally, if the offender is pushed into quitting, or is removed from a management position, the outcome will be visible—but how and why it occurred will be known to very few. Lesser sanctions will be kept officially quiet, and may not even become the subject of rumor.
Wolf, then, is at best naïve when she complains about lack of transparency as though it is unique to Yale University (“as secretive as a Masonic lodge,” she laments). Suppose an irate alumna of Clemson University called the president’s office, or a dean’s office, and demanded to know the outcome of a particular grievance not involving herself. Or suppose she demanded to know what penalties had been imposed against administrators or professors who had been on the losing side in grievance procedures over the past so many years. She would be told that these were personnel matters, grievance proceedings are highly confidential--now please go away. If a former employee were to call the offices of a high-level manager in a three-initial corporation, asking questions of this kind, the response would be identical in content, and probably brusquer in manner.
We can certainly debate the rationale for such policies. I have heard it said that corporate managers would never consent to be subject to grievance proceedings, unless they could be spared public humiliation when the rulings went against them. Maybe so, but that’s a strictly pragmatic appeal to existing “power relations.” Wolf correctly recognizes that “the reputation of the university” and “damage control” are highly motivating to university administrators. Naturally, fear of lawsuits stimulates wagon-circling, and some of those suits are filed under Federal sexual harassment law (as Wolf is aware, both the Federal law and Yale policies and procedures mandated by a Federal judge were in place by the time of her run-in with Bloom). But it isn’t just sexual improprieties that prompt such fears. She’d have gotten no further, in her conversations with Yale administrators, had she demanded to know how administrators had been penalized when they were found to have misused university funds, or how professors were disciplined, when they were caught issuing fraudulent grades or driving drunk with students on board. Wolf doesn’t let such details complicate the picture.
What’s clearly false is Wolf’s assertion that university grievance boards (or administrative rulings made without a grievance procedure) never go in favor of female students who have brought complaints against male professors. On the contrary, sometimes they have found for female students whose charges against male professors were overblown, or fabricated outright. Daphne Patai’s book Heterophobia: Sexual Harassment and the Future of Feminism presents a number of documented cases. For instance, Leroy Young was fired summarily from a tenured faculty position by the president of Plymouth State College--without an investigation, immediately after Young had prevailed on appeal against a student who claimed that he had sexually harassed her. But you’d never know that from Wolf’s sample of unidentified size, drawn from an unknown number of unnamed universities: “Not one of the women I have heard from had an outcome that was not worse for her than silence… No one was met by a coherent process that was not weighted against them.” Really? Another female student sued Leroy Young—who had passed a polygraph test denying her charges—and ended up collecting $115,000 from his former university.
What’s more, any decently conducted grievance proceeding would not have permitted Wolf to make unsupported assertions, as she does in her article, that Harold Bloom was propositioning other female students, or subjecting them to unwanted touching, or having affairs with them. Her entire evidence to those effects consists of rumors that she heard in 1983 plus rumors that a couple of her sources heard at other times. If Bloom was laying his racket all over town, why couldn’t Wolf, with her extensive connections, turn up one other Yale alumna who wanted to describe her bad experience with him? Maybe Wolf was just being lazy, as somewhat better quality sources have suggested that Bloom had affairs. For instance, a published interview in GQ from 1990 described how the door to Bloom’s home was opened by a younger woman, obviously not his wife, who stuck around the entire time that the interviewer was on the premises. But you’d think Wolf would have regarded corroboration as vitally important…
Indeed, a grievance proceeding might have led to challenges to her story. Until the other two diners depart, and Wolf puts her poems in front of Bloom, we have no idea from her published accounts what sort of interaction was going on between them, for she retells not one word of their conversation. Or is asking “What did you say to him?” as off-limits as asking “What were you wearing”?
Continued in Part IV.
Robert L. Campbell
Naomi Wolf’s 1993 book urged women to stop playing the victim role. Her 2004 article re-embraced it. All the same, there are two passages in the book that I found eerily premonitory of what she would do ten years later. They suggest an agenda far removed from whistle blowing.
Fire with Fire begins by celebrating the galvanizing force of Anita Hill’s testimony during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Wolf exultantly describes how it set off a “genderquake,” rallying women to donate money, support political campaigns, demand legislation.
The vote was delayed, Professor Hill testified, the hearings were televised, and the balance of power around gender changed, possibly for good. The story of sexual harassment and how men and women saw it differently shook the country; the he-said/she-said dialogue went national.
We may never know the truth or falsehood of what was alleged in the hearing room, but what is certain is that something critical to the sustenance of patriarchy died in the confrontation, and something new was born. (p. 5, my emphasis)
To this day, no one besides Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas knows whether Hill was telling the truth. (And while Clarence Thomas wasn’t kept off the Supreme Court, his reputation has been permanently tarnished.) But Naomi Wolf drew a lesson from those confirmation hearings. When the subject is one that can be counted on to make a lot of women angry, and the forces are properly aligned, tremendous political capital can be derived from public accusations that no one else is in a position to verify.
In Fire with Fire, Clarence Thomas is a complete cipher. He rates less than 2 pages all told; his character and actions are irrelevant; his judicial philosophy is never mentioned. Of what he allegedly said or did to Anita Hill, not a single detail is provided. All that matters is how Hill and her supporters socked it to the powerful white men who backed him.
The fourth image that fueled the rebirth of feminism was one of clear and simple retaliation: It was an advertisement underwritten by the National Women’s Political Caucus. It was a roughly sketched scene of seven women sitting in judgment of Clarence Thomas, who is seated alone, looking up, beneath them, in the docket. Let’s not kid ourselves: This was not a pious image of democratic representation. No, the scene was one of vengeance: See what it feels like? (p. 48)
Did Wolf expect another “genderquake” to follow her public accusations directed at Harold Bloom?
Just as relevant today is a passage comes at the very end of Fire with Fire. Wolf declares that to overcome victim status once and for all, women need to own and honor the “bad girl” who still dwells within each of them. For full impact, everyone should read all seven paragraphs that Wolf devotes to the bad girl; here some pale excerpts will have to do:
She is between eighteen months and five years old. Sparks come off her; she cannot keep still. She turns objects upside down; she revels in the mess; her hair is electric…
Every molecule of the child seeks every pleasure. She is sensuous, grasping, self-absorbed, fierce, greedy, megalomaniacal, and utterly certain that she is entitled to have her ego, her power, and her way. … She has no manners. She is a very naughty girl.
And she in all her badness is the other, unacknowledged side of female consciousness. At her worst, she is narcissistic and destructive; at her best, she is the force of creativity, rebellion against injustice, and primal self-respect. If we are trying to grow strong at all, we will spend the rest of our lives looking to find her again, even as we think we spend our lives trying to bury her. (pp. 319-320)
There is a word for the kind of person who is low on courage but high on need for attention, and is prone to rage at anyone who inflicts a puncture on his or her inflated ego. That word isn’t “whistleblower.” As the author of this hymn of praise to her inner bad girl very well knows, it’s “narcissist.”
It’s fair to say that the reaction to her article was not what Wolf anticipated. No genderquake; barely an aftershock. Her story was received with palpable disbelief. Female newspaper columnists across a wide spectrum of political opinion responded cynically and caustically. Cristina Odone, writing in The Observer, blasted Wolf, throwing three of her four books back at her:
Wolf's most unforgivable disservice to feminism… lies in her constant portrayal of herself as a victim. Thus, we have had Naomi the victim of her youthful good looks (The Beauty Myth), Naomi the victim of her sexual allure (Promiscuities), Naomi the victim of motherhood (Misconceptions). The whingeing oeuvre has brought her international celebrity and not a few dollars.
It could be that Naomi Wolf is getting what she said she wanted in 1993. For today there are signs that victim feminism is on the run. As Wendy McElroy has noted in her latest column, prominent feminists who play the victim card and tell uncorroborated tales of woe can no longer expect political rewards, or credulous treatment in the media. I hope that most readers here will regard that as a salutary trend, not proof that Right-wing culture warriors are taking over.
I won’t be quite so cynical as some of these commentators, because I actually think that Wolf was psychologically vulnerable back in 1983. Not because “powerful men” at Yale had jointly resolved to keep powerless women down, but because Wolf personally craved the approval of certain older men in positions of authority, whose power she magnified in her own eyes. (Narcissists regard themselves as superior to others, but their belief in their own superiority does not preclude exaggerated deference to a few authority figures.) The problem is, neither power-feminist doctrine nor victim-feminist tactics will keep a 19-year-old woman with Daddy issues from being drawn to the likes of Harold Bloom. Nor will they safeguard her from being hurt when he fails to respond as she wished.
In insisting that she needed protection from Bloom, Wolf is implying that she also needed protection from herself. The administration of a university may of course decide to protect its students from themselves, as well as from professors and administrators. Since 1996 Yale has categorically forbidden any kind of sexual relationship between professors and students whom they are evaluating. But everyone had better be up front about the implications of such a policy. As Margaret Wente noted in the Globe and Mail, “not so long ago, female students were objecting that the university administration had no business being sex police. My girlfriends would have been insulted by the notion that they couldn’t make such decisions for themselves.” Like many other universities, Yale has gone right back to acting in loco parentis, which risks infantilizing young adults. In particular, anyone who thinks that universities ought to be compelled by law to adopt such policies ought to take a close look at some other legislated “solutions” to social problems that involve young adults, such as selective prohibition of alcohol for those aged 18 to 21.
I find Daphne Patai’s view of university life a good deal saner and more inspiring:
university students are not children who need to be guarded against predatory adults. Nor are they mental health patients requiring tender care. Universities are, in fact, splendid places where mature and young adults—all postpubescent, most of them with the right to vote, to reproduce or not (through elective abortion), and to kill and be killed in military service—congregate, teach and learn, get to know one another, pursue personal relationships…, behave sensibly and foolishly, and generally get on with their interesting lives. (xv-xvi)
I suspect that many libertarians will take the same view.
David T. Beito
Also, on Sunday morning at 9:00 am., I will be speaking on "Fraternalism and Civil Rights in the Mississippi Delta, 1942-1967" at the annual conference of the Organization of American Historians.
It was brilliant, and put to bed the absurd notion (first uttered by CNN's Jeff Greenfield, I believe) that with the 3,000+ souls it took that day, al-Qaeda also killed irony, and that it simply wasn't permissible to laugh anymore.
The Pulitzer folks missed an opportunity.
That is, indeed, how the system works. Did Kristol mean to give so much away?
David T. Beito
Many advocates of preferences have increasingly dismissed Harlan as a pie-in-the-sky believer in a" color-blind society." This, of course, is untrue. Harlan never argued that a color-blind society was realistic, at least in the short-term, but he did believe that the law and the constitution should be color-blind. In fact, as Bernstein notes, Harlan often emphasized how governmental intervention detracted from this goal. The critics of Harlan often forget this important distinction.