November 30, 2011

The Terror of Indefinite Detention

Credit: Shayan Sanyal
People generally pooh-pooh frightening things like indefinite detention by saying, "Oh, that wouldn't ever be misused. They're just trying to protect us against the terrorists." Why should we just 'trust' that the Government won't detain you or me indefinitely without charges or trial? If someone in the Government says that I am a terrorist, how am I supposed to prove that I'm not if I can't get a trial? (Even more importantly, isn't it the Government's responsibility to prove that I am?) I'd expect this from John McCain and Lindsay Graham -- but Carl Levin? At least Rand Paul is being intellectually consistent and opposing this vigorously.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act?

Credit: DonkeyHotey
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is slowly but surely succeeding in increasing healthcare coverage. I don't think the Republican nominee for President is going to get the level of support s/he needs from poorer white voters if s/he runs primarily on repealing the PPACA.

November 22, 2011

Robust Enough to Withstand Peaceful Protest

There really is no acceptable reason for the campus police's actions in this video.


Really, what would have happened if those protesters had just been left alone? Considering how peaceful these protests were, it's hard to ignore the possibility that it was the protesters' message, not their actions, that spurred the police to take such drastic action. I have to say that there really does seem to be a visceral distaste among many law enforcement personnel for peaceful protest. Sometimes I wonder if there isn't some sort of instinctive fear that pops up in those who are empowered by a societal system about those that protest against it -- almost as though once a system stops being accorded 100% deference, it is in danger of being overthrown, not just reformed. Shouldn't a system be robust enough to withstand peaceful protest?