News & Comment
..."Our colleague Mr. Jackson pointed out that even if we acted now, still about 300,000 people will die. We hope we can lower that number, but it will certainly be higher if we do not act.
"How many times have we heard the public outcry: 'Why didn’t we stop the killings?' This is a crisis. This is an emergency. We must act now to stop the slaughter of thousands of innocent people."
A Daily Kos diarist points to Seymour Hersh talking about government tapes of child rape at Abu Ghraib, and adult prisoners who were so humiliated by what happened to them that they wrote their relatives asking them to come kill them. When I read about what went on there, though, I'm the one who feels humiliated. How did my country allow this to happen to people? How is it that the humiliation isn't attached to those who stood idly by and did nothing after getting months of reports from aid agencies and concerned soldiers? I'm not sure, but I do know that it isn't the victims of abuse at Abu Ghraib in those terrible months that deserve to feel ashamed.
Talk Left on the 6th Circuit Court rules that a recent Supreme Court ruling invalidates mandatory sentencing guidelines, which may now only be used as guidelines, not imperatives. Also, the increasing erosion of genetic privacy.
A NY Times op-ed on convention blogging.
Alas, A Blog alerts readers to a CBC story about a judge in Canada's Yukon province ruling to allow gay marriage. According to the article, Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie believes it's an example of the court extending freedoms to more citizens.
Juan Cole on the mismanagement of Voice of America, the U.S. government foreign news service. VOA has long been admired for independent reporting in other countries, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the Bush administration has been tampering with it and misusing its resources in a shallow attempt to spread U.S. pop culture to the Arab world.
DunneIV finds a story about the depleted uranium (DU) contamination that's poisoning Iraq, a country whose cancer rates have skyrocketed since they were first showered with the radioactive dust in the first Gulf War. DU is ostensibly harmless when stored as ammunition slugs, but when a target explodes can give off dust that can lodge in the body and can't be removed. There are 4 million pounds of DU in Iraq.
An oldie, but goodie, from the Daily Howler. The history of the lies about Gore's mythical 'claim' to have invented the Internet. He never said it, not until he would later make wry commentary about the national joke it had become thanks to a host of lazy reporters and a few dishonest ones. Not a shining moment for the media, and not a one time incident, either.
The New Voters Project is working to get more people involved in politics, with a focus on young voters. I think it's a great idea, but it's probably even more important to make sure that more people see politics as an interesting subject that's highly relevant to their lives. Anyone who believes that can't be kept away from the polls. The organization talks about the downward spiral of young people not voting because they don't think politics has anything to do with them, and politicians not focusing on issues that have anything to do with them because they don't vote. Somebody has to give, but who will it be?
Over at Eschaton, there's a pointer to an article about a misbehaving bank that mysteriously has ties to the Bush family, though that isn't reported in the press articles about it. Scroll down past the entry for a comic skewering of Tom Delay, and to read about a conservative comparing Republican efforts to enshrine discrimination in the Constitution to the abolition of slavery.