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April 29, 2004
Stuff to read

Avedon Carol kindly reposts her article from the defunct DNO at Avedon's Other Weblog. First up: LatinAmericazation of the USA. (Sadly, the comments function on AOW has been disabled, but I do understand why someone whose daily readership numbers in the thousands can't afford to indulge in the extra bandwidth.)

Goodness. Ask people what they can't find on-line, and you get a flood of answers. Many of the complaints seemed to me to be a case of searching in the wrong place. Others were because people believe a search engine should use language the way a person does - intuiting appropriate context, format, and associations. All of which leads me to speculate that the first serious AI development will be in search engines.

Oooo! TalkLeft is discussing enemy combatants and that Supreme Court case. I look forward to expert analysis in the future.

I am appalled. Just appalled. In exactly what way is naming the names of the soldiers killed in Iraq "not in the public interest"? Is it not enough that their families have been denied the support of having the nation honor the returning caskets? Is a simple recitation of names somehow dangerous to democracy?

And it's comforting that soldiers responsible for this kind of abuse are being punished, but where were the commanding officers? Isn't preventing this kind of thing sort of part of their jobs? As Hal tells us, commanding officers are also facing charges. Maybe. That course of action is being "urged" anyhow.

This kind of thing, people is why we should not allow imprisonment without legislative and judicial oversight. No internment camps, no unregulated prisons, no "enemy combatants" not given access to legal representation. Soldiers in a war zone aren't the best judge of what actions are appropriate or otherwise and a few (to be charitable) over-zealous 'interrogations' can and should bring disaster.

"We need common-sense judges who understand our rights were derived from God."

That's Bush, in 2002. And that's not true.

Our rights are the product of hundreds of years of debate and evolution of thought. And the product of blood, sweat, and tears. The man is out of touch with reality, but that's a separate issue. The problem is that believing you're on a mission from God is how bloody crusades and massacres get started. This kind of thinking is dangerous.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:56 AM


The quote you post from George W. Bush from 2002 is worrisome. Thomas Jefferson I worded things more broadly when he wrote "... that all men are created equal, that they endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights..."

"Creator" is broad enough that an athiest like myself can assume it refers to my parents. "God" is a little too specific.

Posted by: Lawrence Krubner at April 29, 2004 08:08 PM

And, agnostic aesthistic waffler that I am :) I find his insistence on remaking the judiciary to match his version of Judeo-Christianity extremely worrying.

Although part of me is screaming for someone to notice that "activist" judges are presumably A-Okay as long as their activism doesn't lead them into the heresy of liberalism.

I'm far from thinking Bush seriously wants to lead a crusade to impose Christianity on the country, but so many things he says are open to that interpretation that it is, in my opinion, valid to assess the Bush Administration's policies for...let's say "nudges" in the direction of institutionalized fundamentalism.

Posted by: Anne at April 30, 2004 08:43 AM