Posted by: quiscus | April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010

1.  “Analysis of 40-year-old tape may reveal whether Ohio Guardsmen were ordered to fire on Kent State protesters

The question of why 28 Guardsmen pivoted, raised their rifles, pistols and shotguns and fired 67 times at the students is the central mystery from that bloody Monday long ago.

Some of the soldiers, who had been pelted by rocks before the shooting, said students were advancing on them and they feared for their lives, although the presidential commission that investigated the event found that the leading edge of the crowd was at least 60 feet away.

A few students and Guardsmen claimed they heard something that sounded like an order to fire, but most of the men who acknowledged using their weapons later testified they acted spontaneously. The presidential commission, while acknowledging that the facts were in “bitter dispute,” reported that “the weight of evidence” indicated no such firing command was given, either verbally or by gesture.”

2.  “How Wars Are Born: China versus the U.S.

Beijing Challenges American Expansionism

Those of us making the “radical” claim that wars are the result of economic/corporate interests pushed abroad, were recently given a nod of approval from a typically unfriendly source, The New York Times.

The corporate controlled New York Times published a revealing article about how U.S. foreign policy really works, and why.  The motive behind the sincerity is that China’s foreign policy was being attacked. However, the article soon made it clear that China’s policy is the same as the U.S.’s :  dominating regions that are of “economic (corporate) interest” — raw materials, cheap labor, shipping lanes, markets, etc. — through military buildup.

China’s economic and military rise is pushing up against territory dominated by the U.S. military, which is pushing back.  Military “incidents” are increasingly likely in this situation, which can be used as a pretext for war.

Behind the military jockeying for power are economic interests.  Controlling the U.S. economy are powerful corporations, who rely on the U.S. military to ensure them super profits overseas, including domination over whole regions — the Middle East, Latin America, the Pacific — that are viewed as the “exclusive economic zones” of U.S. corporations.  The fact that China is now declaring itself master of its own zones is intolerable for U.S. corporations, which will stop at nothing — including war — to maintain U.S. military dominance over the globe. ”

3.  “Obama’s criticisms of the Warren and Burger courts

The absolute dumbest political platitude in the vast canon of right-wing idiocies has long been the premise that courts act improperly — are engaged in “judicial activism” — whenever they declare a democratically enacted law invalid on the ground that it is unconstitutional.  That’s one of the central functions of the courts, a linchpin of how our Constitutional Republic operates.  We’re not a pure democracy precisely because there are limits on what democratic majorities are permitted to do, and those limits are set forth in the Constitution, which courts have the responsibility to interpret and apply.  When judges strike down laws because they violate Constitutional guarantees, that’s not a subversion of our political system; it’s a vindication, a crucial safeguarding of it.

But now, here is Obama giving credence to that idiocy with his sweeping, unspecified condemnation of the Warren and Burger Courts as “judicial activists.”  If, as Obama argues, some (or many) of the decisions of that era are “errors” of activist overreaching, wouldn’t the current Court be justified in reversing them?  And won’t Republican Senators be justified in demanding that Obama refrain from nominating to the Court anyone whose records seems compatible with the defining judicial approach of those courts (since, after all, even Obama acknowledges they were in “error”)?  Why is Barack Obama walking around echoing the right-wing/Limbaughian view that the Supreme Court’s decisions of the 1960s and 1970s were illegitimate, anti-democratic power grabs?

It’s one thing to argue, as Obama has previously, that it sometimes makes more sense to accomplish political goals democratically rather than through the courts, and that liberals in the past have been too reliant on judicial victories in lieu of persuasion and organizing.  As a general strategic proposition, I don’t disagree with that view.  But that has nothing to do with the proper role of judges, which is to strike down any and all laws brought before them which violate the Constitution.  That core principle is the one Obama is disparaging.:

4.  “Truck Driver Forced to Show Birth Certificate Claims Racial-profiling “


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