Courage doesn’t always roar

Conservatives Nathaniel Blake at Human Events and his bud John Derbyshire eat some magic mushrooms in mom’s basement and publish their their strange visions, implying that Va. Tech students are cowards. More blaming the victim

Something is clearly wrong with the men in our culture. Among the first rules of manliness are fighting bad guys and protecting others: in a word, courage. And not a one of the healthy young fellows in the classrooms seems to have done that. …

Like Derb, I don’t know if I would live up to this myself, but I know that I should be heartily ashamed of myself if I didn’t. Am I noble, courageous and self-sacrificing? I don’t know; but I should hope to be so when necessary.

We’re not supposed to call them chicken hawks anymore so I leave it to the reader to come up with your own description. Experts at back seat heroism comes to mind.

update: Since this post there have been more reports about how events unfolded and there were several heroes, The Holocaust survivor who saved a classroom

Selective View of Fraud By Joe Conason

Harassing minority voters with bogus claims of fraud is a venerable tradition in the G.O.P., as anyone familiar with the career of the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist would know. Back in the early 60’s, when Rehnquist was just another ambitious young lawyer in Arizona, he ran a partisan campaign to confront black and Hispanic voters over their “qualifications.” Along with many of today’s generation of Republican leaders, he was a stalwart of the Goldwater campaign in 1964, which garnered its handful of electoral votes in the South by opposing the Voting Rights Act.

Then came Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy of nurturing racist grievances to build Republican majorities—around the time that a young operative named Karl Rove was rising in the party. Under his leadership, the G.O.P. has repeatedly been disgraced by conspiracies to diminish voter participation.

In 2002, Republican operatives used a telemarketing firm to illegally jam Democratic phone banks in New Hampshire to win the U.S. Senate seat now held by John Sununu. In 2004, Florida state officials sent armed officers into certain Orlando neighborhoods to scare elderly black registrants, while Republicans sought to challenge minority voters en masse in communities in Kentucky, Nevada, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Ohio, and paid for the destruction of Democratic voter registrations in Nevada and Oregon.

With such contempt for American values and an opposition party and the majority of independents so adamantly opposed to their agendas wouldn’t it just be easier for these democracy haters to move to some place like Uzbekistan. Bush and Cheney would love it, all authority no human rights 24/7. Kangaroo Tribunals Give a Kafkaesque Edge to Guantanamo

The prisoners at Guantanamo Bay — or Azkaban, as one of my clients, a Harry Potter fan, calls it — have had no access to a hearing in a court of law. Instead, Guantanamo’s inmates are subjected to two kangaroo procedures: Combatant Status Review Tribunals and Administrative Review Boards.

The tribunals determine whether an individual is an enemy combatant. Needless to say, the cards are stacked against the prisoner from the get-go. The tribunals are allowed to rely on hearsay evidence and information acquired though coercion. Any evidence deemed “secret” is withheld from the prisoner. Can you imagine trying to defend yourself against evidence kept secret from you?

Amazingly, my client Abdul Al-Ghizzawi (a Libyan who ran a bakery in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, before being handed to Americans for a bounty in late 2001), was found to have no ties to terrorism and not to be an enemy combatant. Unfortunately, the higher-ups intervened and the tribunal’s judgment was overturned six weeks later upon the miraculous discovery of “new evidence.” I saw the classified proceedings of my client’s tribunals, and I can assure you that no new material was considered. Mark and Joshua Denbeaux, authors of the study “No-Hearing Hearings,” have discovered that some prisoners went through as many as three hearings before the tribunals made the “correct” determination that a prisoner had ties to terrorism.

The Establishment Rethinks Globalization

Essentially, Gomory proposes to alter the profit incentives of US multinationals. If the government adds rules of behavior and enforces them through the tax code, companies will be compelled to seek profit in a different way–by adhering to the national interest and terms set by the US government. Other nations do this in various ways. Only the United States imagines the national interest doesn’t require it.

In recent months Gomory and Leo Hindery of the Horizon Project have been calling on Congress with these big ideas and getting respectful audiences. The two met with some thirty Democratic senators and Congressional staffers from both parties. Senator Byron Dorgan, with co-sponsors like Sherrod Brown, Russell Feingold and even Hillary Clinton, has introduced several bills to confront the trade deficits.

Gomory’s concept for multinational taxation is a tougher sell amid Washington lobbyists because it goes right to the bottom line of major US corporations. On the other hand, this proposal has stronger intuitive appeal for citizens, who reasonably ask why multinationals are allowed to undercut the national interest when they enjoy all the benefits of being “American” companies.

Then there is the back door subsidy that these companies get – not hiring, paying or insuring U.S. workers. These workers in turn get whatever job they can and are forced to depend on shopping at Wal-Mart where they buy products that are cheap because of very cheap labor, which in turn supports the world’s largest remaining communist country China. You remember communism, it was the world’s biggest threat until the Right decided to be financial partners and make Islam the newest biggest baddest threat. As conservatives spin so do the days of our lives.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher