@4 months ago with 81 notes
#Politics #Robert Reich #Chuck Hagel #Neocons #Israel
If the neocons in the GOP who brought us the Iraqi war and conjured up “weapons of mass destruction” to justify it are against Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary, Hagel gets bonus points in my book.
They’re the hawkish, bellicose bunch in the Republican Party — William Kristol, Richard Perle, and Ellott Abrams — who shaped DIck Cheney’s and Don Rumsfeld’s disastrous foreign policy.
These are also the people who have supported Israel’s rightward lurch in recent years. They don’t want a two-state solution. They eschew any possibility of talks with Hamas or Iran. They favor building more settlements in the West Bank.
Yes, it was dumb for Hagel to use the term “Jewish lobby” instead of “Israel lobby,” but that alone shouldn’t disqualify him. Everyone in official Washington knows how much power is wielded in that city by the Sheldon Adelsons of American politics who think Israel can do no wrong.
The problem is Washington pays too little attention to the large number of Americans — Jewish and non-Jewish — who think Israel is doing a lot that’s wrong, and worry that the path it’s on threatens its long-term survival.
The real question is what Hagel believes about the appropriate use of American power.
That the neocons hate him is the best sign yet that Chuck Hagel may be the right person for the job.
"The (…) revolution was so complex and nonviolent that is was hard to see it as a revolution at all, at the time; more like a shift in a ongoing argument, a change in the tide, a punctuation of equilibrium."
Blue Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
@4 months ago with 2 notes
#Science Fiction #Blue Mars #Kim Stanley Robinson #politics #society #nonviolence #revolution #change
@5 months ago with 159 notes
#Politics #guns #gun control #rights #limits on rights #Newtown #gun massacres #american political culture
Alas, too much of our discussion of gun rights these days starts and ends from a primitive understanding of the relationship between the Constitution’s statements about our rights and the real-world applications of those rights.
Put simply, the Constitution is almost always direct and simple. Amendment 1, for example, says ”Congress shall make no law” limiting speech, or imposing religion, or interfering with your practice of religion, or limiting the press. What could be clearer? “No law” means “NO LAW,” right?
But practice is always murkier. Thus, while I have freedom of speech, we all know I can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater (when no fire is present). Likewise, if I oppose scientific medicine on religious grounds, I have the religious freedom to refuse to go to the doctor. However, the law says I have to take my son to the doctor regardless of my beliefs. And of course I have the right to assemble peaceably to petition government for redress of grievances, but I can’t block traffic just because I want to. No right is absolute and inviolable regardless of circumstance or context.
But not, according to the gun nuts, the second amendment. The gun wackos quote the second amendment—which has a limiting amendatory preface that the first amendment lacks—as if it is gospel. No limitation of any kind can be accepted … because the Constitution says so! The Second Amendment, then, is special, different: the one that is not subject to any kind of real world analysis or compromise.
It’s analytically primitive twaddle, but it drives our discourse about guns in America. We are the worse for it.
"I met an unusual man. He didn’t walk into the room with a political agenda. He didn’t walk in with his mind made up. He genuinely wanted to do what he thought was best. He didn’t mind saying the words I don’t know."
The character Toby Ziegler from the episode ‘Mr. Willis of Ohio’ of The West Wing
@5 months ago with 13 notes
#The West Wing #politics #honesty #intelligence
Lawmaker's election a victory for all of us
@6 months ago
#Maine #politics #Farming #food #election 2012 #lgbt #democrats
”(…) they proved that it doesn’t matter what you look like or who you love or how you walk or talk — it only matters what you do,” Hickman said. “And that is a victory for all of us.”