Strange paradox: I received an email from my buddies at the American Civil Liberties Union urging me to write a letter to Obama protesting the newest wrinkle on his "preventive detention forever" program, which is the "preventive detention forever even after you've been acquitted in a trial" program. Curiouser and curiouser, as Lewis Carroll said. It was only about nine months ago that I was in Mangonia Park, Florida, as a precinct lawyer for O Himself, eating chicken and artichoke casserole with the poll workers and laughing with joy at the prospect of Obama's certain victory. In Mangonia Park, about 99% minority and most of that African-American, you could really feel the good vibe. Times were a-changin'. I preferred that feeling to the slightly sick one I get when I read an email from the ACLU asking me to help rein in the tyrannical excesses of the Obama Administration.
July 09, 2009
July 07, 2009
The key to it all is here, thanks to Professor Waldenswimmer (the family name or nom de blogue), a simple graphing of happiness on the y axis, as measured by a researcher named Veerhoven at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, as against the x axis measurement of energy use per capita, translated to metabolic equivalents. (To enlarge, hit ctrl + on your keyboard; if I place a large picture, it tends to go out of frame on Blogspot.)
July 06, 2009
I can recall that during the darkest days of the Bush Administration, various liberal pundits (Paul Krugman comes to mind) used to console themselves by imagining that golden era when all of the fetid secrets of the Bush years would be revealed by a new, Democratic Administration, and then all the guesswork about what had actually been going on behind the scenes would be made...what's the word?..transparent. I've been following three stories relevant to that fantasy. The first is the 2004 CIA Inspector General's Report detailing the uses of torture, and the effectiveness thereof. The second concerns the notes taken by the FBI during its interrogation of Dick Cheney in the middle of the Valerie Plame investigation. And the third concerns the second set of photos of Iraqi detainee abuse.