S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Saturday, February 22, 2003
EVEN MORE AFFIRMATIVE ACTION (after a two week hiatus)
I have just read a story about the plaintiffs, and this has been my first encounter with them.
Basically, three people from Michigan applied to the University of Michigan at Ann Harbor,
put all of their eggs in this one basket, did not get in, sued the University because they think,
in a self-pitying manner, that they did not get in because a few latinos, blacks and indians did
get in. The biggest flaw in their argument is that they assume they would have gotten in even
if the colored folks didn't. There are simply too many applicants (even without applicants of color)
for any single person to make a convincing case that he/she is a shoe-in at any competetive
college or university. If valedictorian/community servant/tri-varsity sports captain/homecoming
king rolled into one can get rejected by Harvard or Stanford or UChicago, then no one in this
country, save rich white preppy multi-legacy dumbass from Connecticut Jorge Doble-U Bush,
is safe from rejection from his first choice school; and even there I witnessed a few Dubya
prototypes from my prep school get rejected by Harvard, Yale, and UNC Chapel Hill despite
all of the presumed advantages they had had.
Here are some curious aspects of the plaintiffs' argument:
Like tens of thousands of applicants to colleges and graduate schools each year, the three —
Jennifer Gratz, Patrick Hamacher and Barbara Grutter — received rejection letters in the 1990's
from the institution that was their first choice.
But unlike so many others who have had their hearts broken by an admissions committee,
these three vented their anger and disappointment by suing. The three, all white, answered an
open call in 1997 from several Republican state legislators and a public interest law firm seeking
volunteers to challenge the university's race-conscious admissions policies.
But Mr. Hamacher, 23; Ms. Gratz, 25; and Ms. Grutter, 49, are ultimately pursuing a more
personal goal: an acknowledgment from the nation's highest court that, but for being white,
they were amply qualified to attain what was denied them.
Recalling the day she received her rejection letter, she said: "It was immediate that the racial
issue came to mind. I knew students that had been accepted to the University of Michigan.
I knew some of those students were minority students. I knew some of those kids had lesser
credentials than I did — lesser grades, lesser test scores, lesser activities."
Like Mr. Hamacher and Ms. Grutter, Ms. Gratz argues that her life would probably be better had
she been admitted to Ann Arbor. After her rejection, she said, she lost so much confidence in
herself that she gave up her intention to become a doctor, even before she had enrolled as a
But Michigan has rebutted the notion that anyone, no matter their academic qualifications, can
claim to have a rightful slot at any university, public or private.
All three plaintiffs acknowledge that they had been relatively confident they would be admitted to
Michigan and had done little to line up comparable backup choices.
Mindful that the Michigan law school was seeking diversity in its class, she said she thought
her high grades and respectable test scores, combined with her life experience, would make her
"Here I was, presenting an application that had to look totally different from what typically comes
in," she said in an interview that, like the others for this article, was monitored by phone by a lawyer
for the plaintiffs.
There is another pervasive assumption here. Its apparent that without any real evidence of a
racial or ethnic imbalance in admissions outcomes these people assumed from the start
that they did not get in because they are white. It is a rare occurrence that people in the
United States are rejected BECAUSE of their race.If the rejection of these kids can be boiled
down to "losing" admission because of their race, then that means millions of kids of all races
could make claim to being discriminated against by admissions offices. I did not get into Harvard,
I'm a "person of color," do I think I was good enough to go to Harvard, hells yeah, but do I think
the main reason I was rejected was because of my race? NO. Not everybody can get into every
school, capitalism gives us a competetive set of circumstances in which people receive advantages
The notion that the average white person has it worse than the average black
person is ridiculous, black communities have higher rates of crime, infant mortality, disease,
illiteracy, poverty, incarceration and economic stagnation than white communities, latino communities
often have it worse than the others, and affirmative action does not change a bit of it. Affirmative
action does not change the fact that NAFTA ships industrial jobs and production away from our
country, it does not change the fact that many big corporations hire illegal immigrants instead of
Americans for many jobs to avoid paying minimum wage.
The thing that annoys me most when discussing this issue with friends is the relatively dismissive
and passe attitude affirmative action opponents take whenever I compare minority applicants with
musicians, geographic minorities, ATHLETES, and legacies, who also receive preferences in
college admission. Such dismissiveness signals to me an implication that to have football players,
trustee kids and jazz musicians is more important than having latino people too.
It is important to have diversity of ideas, experiences and lifestyles in any institution or team.
I believe no institution is stronger than a diverse one, the notion of separation of powers is a
fundamental belief in diversity, as is the notion of democracy.
I continue to write blogs about this issue because every time I discuss the issue, even with people I
admire and respect, I notice their arguments are laced with an earnest conviction that minorities
(aka black people) are screwing over white people in the race for resources in this country. I will
write a blog later on where the true oversaturation of resources exists. Racial and ethnic
minorities do not dominate the reigns of power on any level in this country, public sector or
private sector. There are powerful minorities, but they do not wield power for all minorities any more
than the President wields power simply for the benefit of all whites. Oftentimes powerful blacks have
more in common with powerful non-blacks than they do with middle class people regardless of race.
The most striking disparities between poor and middle class whites and any other group is that
between the "white rural working class" and the "white rural rich." Any critical overview of the
history of racial politics reveals how the extremely wealthy generally exploited the racial fears of
working class whites to A) deflect anger that would be vented against the wealthy onto blacks and
B) to crush progressive reforms that would weaken their control of resources and material advantages.
So what are the institutions that are directing the fight against affirmative action? Who funds them?
What is their broader social agenda? What is their mission, political persuasion, inspiration?
What we at the blog will delve into soon is that the move against affirmative action is not a
social movement, it has social implications, but the movement is not a grassroots bottom up
"movement" like a labor movement or civil rights movement. This is a top down, elitist initiated
and carefully constructed movement fueled by money from a limited few number of conservative
extremists ... But that's a new blog right there...
Newlyweds Regret Saving Sex For Marriage
THE ONION REPORTS:
WETUMKA, OK—Two weeks after their Feb. 1 wedding, Matt and Liz Kuchen,
both 32, regret remaining virgins until marriage. "Why the hell did I wait?" Liz said
Tuesday. "I could've been having mind-blowing sex with dozens of guys these last
15 years, and instead I spent them making little uptight speeches about how it'll be
more special if I hold out." Matt agreed, saying, "Stacy Pratt totally would've done me.
Well, I hope our newly wedded friends have fun the rest of their lives... lol =)
SOME TRUTHS AND CANDOR FROM DEAD WHITE MEN
Whoever thought that Nazis and Republicans would make my points for me? I didn't,
but sometimes it is necessary to place tactics in the context of their associations.
Hitler's tactics and an American War hero's wisdom come together to say words I
couldn't string together alone...
"...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy.
All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists
for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any
- Hermann Goering, Hitler's chosen successor, at the Nuremberg War Trials, 1945
"Preventative war ... I don't believe in such a thing, and frankly I wouldn't even listen
seriously to anyone that came in and talked about such a thing."
REPUBLICAN President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954
Curious stuff, there will be more of these...
Friday, February 21, 2003
BRITISH PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASS ENCOURAGES BLOWJOBS AND CUNNILINGUS
This is for real, as reported by the Times of London:
A GOVERNMENT-backed course is encouraging pupils under 16 to experiment
with oral sex, as part of a drive to cut rates of teenage pregnancy.
Family campaigners believe that the course, called A Pause, is having the reverse
effect by exciting the sexual interest of children.
The scheme, which has been pioneered by Exeter University and is backed by
the Departments of Health and Education, trains teachers to discuss various
pre-sex “stopping points” with under-age teenagers.
It aims to reduce promiscuity by encouraging pupils to discover “levels of intimacy”,
including oral sex, instead of full sexual intercourse.
More than 100,000 children are now taking the course at one in every thirty secondary
schools. It forms part of efforts to tackle Britain’s teenage pregnancy rate, which is
the highest in Western Europe.
If the aim of this project is to reduce teenage pregnancy, wouldn't it be good to teach
good, effective condom and contraception use? Shouldn't they encourage abstinence?
Shouldn't they encourage kids to consider the unforeseen consequences of unprotected
and badly protected sex? I don't think a government school program should encourage or
stigmatize sexual activity among students, it should facilitate a critical discussion about
it and encourage kids to come to a confident decision and make sure the glove is tight
and lubricated if that is the decision. I suggest Britain start a "no glove, no love" campaign
in their schools...
Thursday, February 20, 2003
WILL MONTANA ALLOW NON-STRAIGHT MARRIAGE?
Ever since I started caring about this issue, I have wondered why the government cares
to deny particular families the rights that come with marriage. Montana is finally putting
forward a bill that will lift the anti-queer dehumanizing factors of marriage code forever:
HELENA -- A hearing on a proposal to legalize same-sex marriages attracted a
crowd Wednesday, with one lawmaker saying the measure would solidify Montana's
historic "live and let live" philosophy.
Rep. Tom Facey, D-Missoula, brought the issue forward with his House Bill 607, which
would strip all gender references to married partners from Montana law, leaving the
door open for same-sex couples legally to marry. A similar measure did not pass during
the 2001 session.
Proponents of the bill, which was heard before the House State Administration Committee,
said it would send a message of progress and equality. Opponents said it would jeopardize
family values and violate the sanctity of marriage.
That is one point I never understood about the conservative argument on this issue. How is
the SANCTITY of marriage destroyed if other gay/lesbian/transgender people get married?
The dictionary says sanctity is "the state or quality of being sacred or holy; holiness;
saintliness; moral purity; godliness."
Is the sanctity of life ruined when people die? Is the sanctity of daylight ruined by the moonlight?
What the conservatives mean to say is that the exclusivity of marriage would be ruined,
the sanctity of marriage is not at stake, but perhaps the government's discrimination is. Just
as the government cannot establish a church, it should not establish what is holy, sanctified, or
morally pure when it comes to issues that hurt nobody. Why does the government know what
is holy and what is impure? Why should opponents of open marriage determine and legislate
the godliness or ungodliness of marriage? Why do conservatives care?
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
ELAINE PARETSKY OF THE ONION GETS IT BETTER THAN THE CORPORATE MEDIA
The Onion features an excellent op-ed satire piece on the terrible, terrible media
shallacking of Michael Jackson. The piece is not without its equal opportunity
jabs at the 'King of Pop' but its the most critical media analysis of this situation
I have read. Here are my favorite segments:
I don't understand why some people have to build themselves up by tearing other
people down. Everywhere I go these days, I hear people making nasty comments
about Michael Jackson's appearance. Well, I think Michael Jackson looks very nice.
I don't know if Michael gets his hair fixed somewhere, but it's always done up very nice.
I don't particularly love his current style, with the hair down in front of his eyes, but that
is his choice and I still think it looks just fine. Certainly miles better than the other stars
you see out there, who look like they've never even heard of a comb.
Some people have to criticize, criticize, criticize all the time. Maybe if they had better
self-esteem, they wouldn't need to cut other people down. Don't you think? I'll admit,
his eyes do look a little bit strange, but we can't all be born looking like Cary Grant,
can we? Some of us have to make do with what the good Lord gave us. I don't care what
anyone says: I think he is a very handsome young man. And I just love his cute little button
From what I can tell, Michael seems like a very pleasant person. When I see him on awards
shows, he is always so polite and well-mannered. I can barely even hear his soft voice without
turning up the television. Yet all the talk-show hosts make fun of him. They show his picture,
and everyone in the audience laughs. Well, I don't see what's so darn funny. I don't think it's
ever appropriate to laugh at another person, especially someone who has gone through all
that he has, what with all those divorces...
A few weeks ago, there were all those pictures in the paper of Michael holding his baby,
and there was some brouhaha over it. Someone's always trying to stir up trouble. I couldn't tell,
but that baby looked cute as a button to me... Once, when I was in line at the supermarket, I
saw a magazine with a photo of Michael wearing a surgical mask. There was some nasty headline
above it, as if it's okay to make fun of someone for being sick. What has this world come to?
Michael, if you're reading this, just remember: If anyone says anything bad about you, it's only
because they're jealous.
SUPPORT MORE STRUGGLING, HARD WORKING MUSICIANS
Some more very good friends and Mike Musillami is a former teacher of mine on guitar
and bass. If you feel adventurous go and see this ensemble, they are truly on the
bleeding edge of musical advancement in the Jazz world. If you want to challenge your
musical preconceptions, I urge you to see Mike and Mario's ensemble at the Knitting
Factory either Friday night at 8 pm or Saturday night at 8 pm.
Knitting Factory New York
74 Leonard Street
New York, NY 10013
Tel: (212) 219-3006
You can take the 1 or 9 train to Franklin Street, walk one block south to Leonard, turn
left and walk a block & a half to the club.
You can take the A, C or E train to Canal Street, walk 4 blocks south and turn left on
You could also take the N or R train to Canal Street, walk down Broadway 4 blocks to
Leonard, turn right, and see the club at the far end of the block.
SUPPORT THE STRUGGLING MUSICIANS
This is my sax instructor Taimur's ensemble and, let me tell you, he's a nasty player. The other guys in
his group are amazing too. Come out and see them, they're not that far out s**t you sometimes
find me listening to, so get off your sorry, fat ass this Sunday and do something nice...
Sunday, February 23, 2003, 7pm
Christ & St. Stephen's Church
120 W. 69th Street
New York City
$10, $5 students/seniors
Hailed by the New York Times as "exciting and virtuosic" and praised by the Philadelphia
Inquirer for their ability to "move effortlessly between styles," PRISM presents
"Standard Time", an eclectic program of modern jazz and contemporary works. PRISM
is joined by former Miles Davis sideman Rick Margitza on saxophone; Ben Monder,
whose guitar stylings have been heard with sax man Lee Konitz; and Anthony Pinciotti,
former drummer for the legendary James Moody. Join us for "Standard Time", inspired
by classical, grounded in groove!
Funk Assault - Zack Browning
A Moody Time - David Liebman
Steady Study on the Boogie - Christian Lauba
God Bless the Child - Billie Holiday/Eric Dolphy (arr. Sullivan)
Elegy to Eric Dolphy - Paquito D'Rivera
Memento - Rick Margitza
'Round Midnight - Thelonious Monk
Serial Mood (premiere) - Matt Levy
Tim McAllister (soprano saxophone)
Michael Whitcombe (alto saxophone)
Matthew Levy (tenor saxophone)
Taimur Sullivan (baritone saxophone)
For more information call 212-544-0738, or email us at email@example.com.
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
4 DEMOCRATS ARGUE OVER THE WAR AT LABOR MEETING
Four Democratic presidential candidates clashed over war with Iraq before a labor audience in Iowa yesterday,
highlighting sharp divisions within the party over whether President Bush should launch military action without
the support of a broad international coalition.
The four candidates, however, found themselves in strong agreement on domestic and economic policies as
they pummeled the president as out of touch with average Americans, hostile to the interests of workers and
unions and protective of big corporations and special interests.
Before they had a chance to speak, federation President Mark Smith set the tone with an antiwar message
that asked why the Bush administration is ready to spend "billions to retire Saddam Hussein," Iraq's president,
but not to protect the retirement security of American workers. "We wonder: What's the hurry to go to war?" Smith said.
By the luck of the draw, the first two candidates to speak agreed with Smith. Dean, who has sought to use his
antiwar position to fire up liberal activists in Iowa, not only reminded the audience of his opposition, but also
sought to criticize unnamed rivals he said were trying to straddle the issue for political gain.
Praising Lieberman as someone who "stuck to his guns" in support of war, Dean said, "What we can't have is
somebody who says to you in Iowa the Iraq war is bad, goes back and votes in favor of the resolution and then
comes back and tells you at your county dinners why it's not a good thing."
Way to tell 'em Howie!!!! That is Governor Howard Dean, Democrat of Vermont.
SO IS THE CORPORATE MEDIA'S MICHAEL JACKSON SMEAR CAMPAIGN NEWS?
The corporate media has been on a recent tear against Michael Jackson. Barbara Walters had
the cajones to comment on Michael Jackson's plastic surgery. Does Barbara Walters get
up and look in the mirror every day? As I am fond of saying hypocrisy is my favorite vice and there
is no shortage of it when it comes to the corporate media and Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson
is truly no weirder than most of these hollywood/fifth avenue elitist snobs are, the corporate media
just plays games of innuendo, hearsay and fantasy, they have not proven one shred of any obscene
allegation against this guy, they just go after him because he's "weird."
What the hell has happened to critical thinking when it comes to these "investigative journalism"
shows and "news magazines" on television? 20/20 and Dateline are just as trashy as Dick Cheney's
used Charmin Extra Soft. We are living in a journalistic dark age in this country, in which we are
expected to swallow sex, violence, prejudice and misconceptions like oxygen. There is nothing
particularly wrong with doing that under the guise of comedy or entertainment, but when those
properties are applied to and found in the news and then sold as "investigative journalism" I tend
to feel insulted. But perhaps I'm a lone skeptic...
Here is part of a story by Rpger Friedman from FOX NEWS dot com about the NBC Dateline
smear against Michael Jackson:
NBC News' Dateline may have crossed the line Monday night not only in good taste, but in
ethics as well. There's a lot they didn't tell you about their reporting on Michael Jackson. Let
me tell you now.
For one thing, the show did not admit that they had offered Jackson $5 million for the rights
to his documentary outtakes. This is something we reported here exclusively. Also, Dateline
did not mention that they had offered to bump their own special — the one which ran Monday
night — if they got the rights to those outtakes...
Dateline also didn't tell you Monday night that a good deal of their reporting was based on
tabloid journalism — and I mean real supermarket tabloid journalism, the kind of stuff Tom
Brokaw has probably never read in his life.
Author Randy Taraborrelli, for example, is the author of a Jackson unauthorized biography
published by the late, lamented Birch Lane Press, a publisher that grew out of the old tabloidy
Lyle Stuart company. Furthermore, Taraborelli's Jackson book was published in 1991, long
before many of Jackson's scandals broke.
Dateline's other big journalistic "coup" was getting an interview with the editor of a new book
called Freak: Inside the Twisted World of Michael Jackson. What Dateline didn't bother to say
is that that book is published by American Media, the company that owns the National Enquirer,
The Star and The Globe. The book has no author per se.
I'd like to know what Tom Brokaw thinks of NBC using the National Enquirer as its source material.
Chet Huntley and John Chancellor must be rolling in their graves.
I am not even trying to begin to claim that Michael Jackson is not eccentric, he is very. He might
even be a child molester. But why is Dateline making value judgments about plastic surgery and
not investigating whether Michael Jackson is a child molester? Joe Millionaire was worthier of your
14 YEAR OLD GIRL GUNNED DOWN BY DEA DRUG WARRIORS
SAN ANTONIO -- A teenage girl, shot and killed by federal drug agents, was a victim of excessive
force from law officers who were investigating her father, relatives and friends say.
Ashley Villarreal, 14, died on Tuesday evening after family members requested that she be taken off
life support at Wilford Hall Medical Center.
A friend challenged Drug Enforcement Administration officials' account of how agents on Sunday had
shot the daughter of Joey Angel Villarreal, a three-time convicted drug offender who turned himself in
and was charged with cocaine trafficking a day after the shooting.
Ashley Villarreal had been hospitalized in critical condition since being shot once in the back of the head.
I hope she rests in peace. Read the rest of the story at the link above.
CANADIANS SAY 'NOT IN OUR NAME'
Yahoo News reports:
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada toughened its line on the Iraq crisis on Tuesday, saying it
had no intention of contributing to a possible U.S.-led attack that had not been blessed by the
United Nations (news - web sites) Security Council.
U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites) says if the U.N. backs away from the idea
of authorizing force to disarm Baghdad, he is prepared to wage war with what he calls a "coalition
of the willing".
Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien has until now refused to rule out contributing forces to a
possible unilateral U.S. attack, but on Tuesday he told Parliament this was not an option.
"We have not been asked and we do not intend to participate in a group of the willing," he said
in reply to a question asking whether Canada would join "a coalition of willing countries".
Chretien last week gave a speech in Chicago in which he strongly urged Bush to follow Canada's
lead and tackle the Iraq crisis within the United Nations.
"If they (the Americans) want to go there all alone, they can go there all alone but we say they must go
with the authorization of the United Nations. If they don't, the international system of peace and security
will probably be more destabilized than it need be," he said on Tuesday.
THE CANADIAN LEAD!!! HAHAHAHA!!! I love the Canadians, they are so diplomatic, its that
perfect combination between telling the Bushies to f**k off and handing Dubya a thorny rose. Also, isn't
Canadian syntax funny in a cute way? You've got to admire our neighbors to the north...
Monday, February 17, 2003
BE AN AMERICAN WHO
HAPPENS TO BE AGAINST THE WAR; MORE DISTINCTIONS AND VALUE JUDGMENTS
I just finished reading a great column by one (Georgetown University History Professor) Michael Kazin from the Boulder Daily Camera (www.thedailycamera.com). The points and historical citations this man pulls up in his article must never be forgotten by anyone who wants to change things for the better in this country:
Progressives once had such a vision, and they derived it from unimpeachable sources — the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. They articulated American ideals — of social equality, individual liberty and grass-roots democracy — and accused governing elites of betraying them in practice. Through most of U.S. history, this brand of patriotism was indispensable to the cause of social change. It made the protests and rebellions of leftists comprehensible to their fellow citizens and helped inscribe those movements within a common national narrative.
Thomas Paine, born in England, praised his adopted homeland as an "asylum for mankind" — which gave him a forum to denounce regressive taxes and propose free public education. Elizabeth Cady Stanton co-authored a "Declaration of Rights of Women" on the centennial of the Declaration of Independence and argued that denying the vote to women was a violation of the 14th Amendment. The Populists vowed to "restore the Government of the Republic to the hands of the 'plain people' with which class it originated" through such methods as an eight-hour day and nationalization of the railroads. In the 1930s, sit-down strikers proudly carried American flags into the auto plants they occupied and announced that they were battling for "industrial democracy." Twenty years later, Martin Luther King Jr. told his fellow bus boycotters, "If we are wrong — the Supreme Court of this nation is wrong" and proclaimed that "the great glory of American democracy is the right to protest for right."
It's difficult to think of any American radical or reformer who repudiated the national belief system and still had a major impact on U.S. politics and policy. The movement against the Vietnam War did include activists who preferred the Vietcong flag to the American one — and a few star-spangled banners were actually torched. But the antiwar insurgency grew powerful only toward the end of the 1960s, when it drew in people who looked for leadership to such liberal patriots as King, Walter Reuther and Eugene McCarthy rather than to Abbie Hoffman and the Weathermen.
Yet the left's cynical attitude toward Americanism has been a terrible mistake. Having abandoned their defense of national ideals, progressives also lost the ability to pose convincing alternatives for the nation as a whole. They could take credit for helping to reduce the sadism of our culture toward homosexuals and racial minorities. But the right set the political agenda, in part because its activists were willing to speak forcefully in the name of American principles that knit together disparate groups — such as anti-union businessmen, white evangelicals and Jewish neo-conservatives — for mutual ends.
When progressives abandoned that vision at the end of the '60s, they lost something precious and necessary. The left could no longer speak convincingly to individuals and groups who did not share its iconoclastic assumptions. The economic interests of many of those "Middle Americans" whom Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan lured to the GOP clashed with those of the pro-business right. But the left's grammar of protest, with its emphasis on rights for distinct and separate groups, failed to mobilize an aggrieved majority.
Those of you from Georgetown, please give my thanks to your articulate Professor Kazin for putting my feelings into words. Often times many progressives talk about the national move to the right in the past 30 or 40 years, there's a lot of talk about the Conservative political/propogandic machinery and infrastructure that has been built since the 1950s. I refuse to believe that after all of the momentum we had from the 1930s through the end of the 1960s that we (progressives) contributed nothing to our demise in the time period since. This article spells out the fact that AMERICAN POPULISM AND PROGRESSIVISM HAS LOST SOMETHING IN THE PAST 40 YEARS, IT HAS LOST CREDIBILITY, IT HAS LOST ITS ROOTS IN AMERICAN VALUES AND THAT AMERICAN VALUES LINKED WITH COMPASSIONATE LIBERAL PRINCIPLES MAKES PROGRESS, RATHER THAN COMMUNISM, ANARCHISM AND ANTI-AMERICANISM LINKED WITH LIBERALISM. This rant is over.
LET'S MAKE SOME DISTINCTIONS AND VALUE JUDGMENTS PART UNO
This weekend's protests reveal a global unity and consciousness that revolve around peace. I'm against war in Iraq. I'm for a global anti-terror crackdown. I'm against tyrants of all stripes and varieties. Most of all, I'm for the prosperity and preservation of the United States and of those ideals most central to its existence. In seeing the weekend protests I'm turned off by every reference to George W. Bush as Hitler, George W. Bush is not Hitler. To claim that the U.S. is acting like Nazi Germany dishonors the people who were victimized by Nazi aggression and inhumanity. By saying "BUSH IS HITLER!" you loose credibility, you give your rhetoric dung-pile value and shoot the peace movement in the foot. The point of protest is to impact policy makers, to affect how they make a decision, BUSH = HITLER banners do not help the cause of anti-war Congressmen who are the ones with the power to make decisioins. Name calling gets us nowhere in a debate about a serious issue. A debate about an invasion of Iraq is not about Bush, or Saddam, or Tony Blair, much less Hitler. A debate is about principles, intelligence and resolutions to a problem. In other words, what does the peace movement say after "NO BLOOD FOR OIL?" I think its time for the peace movement to offer a solution. We cannot make the case for Saddam, Saddam is no good, we have to make a case for the Iraqi innocents, the principle of sovereignty, the reality that a world cannot be run by the chaos that is "preemption." We have to make the case against empire and imperialism, we have to make the case against attacking first, orphaning babies unnecessarily and sending young men and women to fight an old man's war. We must not give the light of day to stupid, shallow arguments that have nothing to do with war, Hitler is not Bush and the U.S.A is not Nazi Germany. If, as anti-warriors, we presume that the U.S. is the evil empire then we'll just be cut down by the hawks... We must not make anti-war mean anti-American.
Sunday, February 16, 2003
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY'S WEBSITE HACKED
For a few minutes here, Sunday, the Columbia University web site was turned into a pornographer's heaven. The CU website, one of the most secure in the world, was cracked, hacked, and turned into "CUMSPLATTER.COM: A Fresh Cum-Guzzling Slut Fest." The Columbia University Acis force got on the job quickly and shut down the site in 15 minutes. Bummer. It was fun while it lasted...