Ron Cobb / San Francisco Express Times / 1968
“Since I am a preacher by trade, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor—both black and white—through the Poverty Program. Then came the build-up in Vietnam, and I watched the program broken and eviscerated, as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.
“Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the young black men who had been crippled by our society and sending them 8000 miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.”
Quote from Declaration of Independence from the War in Vietnam, Martin Luther King’s landmark anti-war speech at Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967
As a person’s IQ increases, so too does his or her ability to filter out distracting background motion and concentrate on the foreground.
Sure, they’re better able to focus on the foreground object but maybe the background is just as important. Context isn’t necessarily a distraction.
Given my administration’s relentless pursuit of al Qaeda’s leadership, there is no justification beyond politics for Congress to prevent us from closing a facility that should have never have been opened. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Excuse me, President Obama —
THE PRESIDENT: So — let me finish, ma’am. So today, once again —
AUDIENCE MEMBER: There are 102 people on a hunger strike. These are desperate people.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m about to address it, ma’am, but you’ve got to let me speak. I’m about to address it.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: You’re our Commander-In-Chief —
THE PRESIDENT: Let me address it.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: — you an close Guantanamo Bay.
THE PRESIDENT: Why don’t you let me address it, ma’am.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: There’s still prisoners —
THE PRESIDENT: Why don’t you sit down and I will tell you exactly what I’m going to do.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: That includes 57 Yemenis.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, ma’am. Thank you. (Applause.) Ma’am, thank you. You should let me finish my sentence.
Today, I once again call on Congress to lift the restrictions on detainee transfers from GTMO. (Applause.)
I have asked the Department of Defense to designate a site in the United States where we can hold military commissions. I’m appointing a new senior envoy at the State Department and Defense Department whose sole responsibility will be to achieve the transfer of detainees to third countries.
I am lifting the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen so we can review them on a case-by-case basis. To the greatest extent possible, we will transfer detainees who have been cleared to go to other countries.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: — prisoners already. Release them today.
THE PRESIDENT: Where appropriate, we will bring terrorists to justice in our courts and our military justice system. And we will insist that judicial review be available for every detainee.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: It needs to be —
THE PRESIDENT: Now, ma’am, let me finish. Let me finish, ma’am. Part of free speech is you being able to speak, but also, you listening and me being able to speak. (Applause.)
Now, even after we take these steps one issue will remain — just how to deal with those GTMO detainees who we know have participated in dangerous plots or attacks but who cannot be prosecuted, for example, because the evidence against them has been compromised or is inadmissible in a court of law. But once we commit to a process of closing GTMO, I am confident that this legacy problem can be resolved, consistent with our commitment to the rule of law.
I know the politics are hard. But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to end it. Imagine a future — 10 years from now or 20 years from now — when the United States of America is still holding people who have been charged with no crime on a piece of land that is not part of our country. Look at the current situation, where we are force-feeding detainees who are being held on a hunger strike. I’m willing to cut the young lady who interrupted me some slack because it’s worth being passionate about. Is this who we are? Is that something our Founders foresaw? Is that the America we want to leave our children? Our sense of justice is stronger than that.
Why the persecution complex, Christians?
And why can’t we all work toward peace instead of wishing for it?
Leaving aside the injustices and cruelties that humans inflict on each—those are easily blamed by Christians on debased human nature—I wonder how natural disasters are the result of original sin.
And then I realize that when the founts of the deep broke up before the flood of Noah, it set in motion natural processes that God would allow to continually punish humanity for Adam’s sin. Disregard how their occurrence cannot be correlated with any contemporary sins (although Christian commentators attempt to do so) and dwell on the deep injustice of these perpetually-recurring punishments. Is there penance enough to end them?
Even if it harms innocents (like those in Oklahoma, which is among the most religious states in the US), humanity is getting what it still deserves. Make a donation to help those in Moore, OK who were undeserving of this natural disaster.
In Japanese, tsundoku means, “the act of buying books and not reading them, leaving them to pile up.”
For more of this morning’s roundup, click here.
Besides being a mundane time period to visit, the span of time that intelligent human life has existed on earth is infinitesimal so think about hitting that moving target in time (and space).
Improbabilities upon possibly impossibilities.
Is it because time travel is physically impossible or is it that our time period is just too boring?
Ours is not a destination time period but it’s the one in which we are living so it feels exceptional and worthwhile.
An exponential trend in the % of population in areas where laws have been passed recognizing the rights of same sex couples to marry. But I’m not sure about the term ‘homogamy’, is that a commonly accepted term?
Regardless, I hope the trend continues upward.
From Family Inequality.
The concept of nullification has had a resurgence since the beginning of President Obama’s administration. More than a dozen states have introduced bills to nullify Obamacare.
The Tenth Amendment Center, a group that advocates nullification as the solution to a range of policy issues, from marijuana legalization to Obamacare, publishes model gun nullification language.
— Posted without irony. But now it feels like that was an ironic statement. I sincerely like this article. Sincerely. Eh, you can’t win.
(Source: The New York Times)
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be moving to D.C. in June to join Al Jazeera America’s flagship news program in a senior role as a...