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Archive for April, 2004

Thursday, April 29th, 2004


Many liberals object quite rightly to talk radio conservative criticism of various anti-war positions as evidence of ” hating America”, particularly when the broad brush of rhetoric lumps them in with the wingnuts and Communist front groups like ANSWER.

However, in some instances the charge is accurate and the ” anti-” position being taken is less ” anti-war ” than visceral ” anti-Americanism “- a reflexive and instinctive loathing of mainstream America for it’s virtues rather than it’s vices. This poisonous mindset is overrepresented in our universities and was exemplified by outbursts from academics like Nicholas DeGenova and various pro-Terrorist student Muslim activist groups led by Islamists and secular Marxist radicals. Here’s a new one. Read it and ask yourself what the author really is objecting to in this piece.

Thursday, April 29th, 2004


Milt Rosenberg has pointed on his blog to an H-Net book review of Micheal Burleigh’s The Third Reich: A New History – a book I’m about half finished reading. I too recommend that you read the review (as well as the book) but here’s my take thus far on Burleigh. It’s excellent – to sum it up, even more than Ian Kershaw, Burleigh demystifies the glamor of evil that enshrouds Nazi Germany as a historical subject. His thesis meshes nicely with that of Paul Berman’s analysis of Islamism as a phenomena deeply influenced by 20th century totalitarianism in Terror and Liberalism. “Political Religion ” appears to be an analytical trend these days.

Speaking of which….

Jeff at Caerdroia has an interesting essay ” A Broader Jihad ” on the congruent nihilism of various totalitarian philosophies and Islamism posted today.

Thursday, April 29th, 2004


Go here.

If you like your dictators with a South Slavic flavor here’s a psychological profile of Slobodan Milosevic.

Thursday, April 29th, 2004


Earl at Prometheus 6 reports that intelligence agencies are going to start monitoring blogs. For all of you out there who get goofy, untraceable .mil and .gov details on your sitemeter this should come as no surprise, it’s been happening informally for a long time. Most so-called spooks are simply Ph.d’s or bright, global, analytical thinkers with an affinity for seeing patterns among disparate variables. They have varied interests and like anybody else get bored at work and surf the web where the blogosphere – at it’s best anyway – offers well-informed discussion and provocative ideas.

It would be really amusing to see how NSA type computers would pull out patterns from the blogosphere as a whole based upon particular keywords and discover what type of events cause the widest memetic dispersion. Of course, once the DARPA geniuses do that and discover the particularly potent emotive-memetic ” triggers ” the temptation to direct the conversation or engage in disinformation will become overwhelming…which will then ruin some of the blogosphere’s value as a source of intelligence.

Hard to keep that cake once you’ve eaten it.

Wednesday, April 28th, 2004


My guess is that the high Court will split on Hamdi and Padilla, upholding the military detention of the former but not the latter. In other words, a decision that will synthesize the opinions in Ex Parte Milligan and Ex Parte Quirin on the subject of American citizens and military authority. ( Hamdi clearly was not a civilian, captured while bearing arms on a battlefield, Padilla was arrested at O’Hare airport in Chicago- unless the Justices wish to extend civilian trials to all POWS captured in future wars, Hamdi is going to stay in the hands of the Pentagon. Padilla could go either way depending how the Justices view al Qaida membership…..or they may just horse-trade on votes and rationalize the difference ).

The Solicitor – General missed an opportunity to more heavily ground his argument in the fact that a Congressional resolution to use force and a declaration of war are legally indistinct under international law and the Constitution. The difference in wording is strictly for political consumption and has no bearing on the war powers of either the Executive or the Legislative branches.

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