Archive for December 4, 2010

I See Problems Down the Line

Down the Line, by Jose Gonzalez:

I see problems down the line
I know that I’m right.
There was a dirt upon your hands
doing the same mistake twice
making the same mistake twice

Come on over and be so caught up
its not about compromising.

I see problems down the line
I know that I’m right
I see darkness down the line
I know its hard to fight.
There was a dirt upon your hands
doing the same mistake twice
making the same mistake twice.

Come on over
be so caught up its all about compromise.

I see problems down the line
I know that I’m right.

Don’t let the darkness eat you up

Jose Gonzalez on MySpace here.

December 4, 2010 at 9:22 PM Leave a comment

Honor the Constitution — Keep Religion Out of Politics

Yesterday the Washington Post published an op-ed by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (John F. Kennedy’s and Teddy Kennedy’s niece and Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter) about why, Sarah Palin is Wrong About John F. Kennedy, Religion and Politics.

It is a concise, comprehensive piece that should be read and re-read over the next several years as a reminder of the importance of keeping religion out of politics while radicals like Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee — who don’t understand the Constitution — pander to the religious right and Tea Partiers, and drag it to the fore:

(Image via.)

In her new book, “America by Heart,” Palin objects to my uncle’s famous 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, in which he challenged the ministers – and the country – to judge him, a Catholic presidential candidate, by his views rather than his faith.

Palin’s argument seems to challenge a great American tradition, enshrined in the Constitution, stipulating that there be no religious test for public office. A careful reading of her book leads me to conclude that Palin wishes for precisely such a test. And she seems to think that she, and those who think like her, are qualified to judge who would pass and who would not.

If there is no religious test, then there is no need for a candidate’s religious affiliation to be “reconciled.” My uncle urged that religion be private, removed from politics, because he feared that making faith an arena for public contention would lead American politics into ill-disguised religious warfare, with candidates tempted to use faith to manipulate voters and demean their opponents.

But Palin insists on evaluating and acting as an authority on candidates’ faith. She faults Kennedy for not “telling the country how his faith had enriched him.” With that line, she proceeds down a path fraught with danger – precisely the path my uncle warned against when he said that a president’s religious views should be “neither imposed by him upon the nation or imposed by the nation upon him as a condition to holding that office.”

After all, a candidate’s faith will matter most to those who believe that they have the right to serve as arbiters of that faith. Is it worthy? Is it deep? Is it reflected in a certain ideology?

Do we really want to go to a place where our politicians judge whether your religion, or mine, is acceptable, or not?

Think about the potential ramifications of that.

December 4, 2010 at 8:51 PM 2 comments

Remember the Notion of Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

It is truly amazing how far to the right the United States has moved.  These days it’s okay to publicly call for the assassination of someone like Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, ignoring the once-revered belief in the principle of innocent until proven guilty and a trial by a jury of one’s peers.  Journalists and politicians might as well throw the flag itself on the ground and grind it into shreds.

This is how people who respect the Constitution and the rule of law react to what’s happening to Julian Assange:

Reporters Without Borders condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at cablegate.wikileaks.org, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

[...]

After being ousted from Amazon, WikiLeaks found a refuge for part of its content with the French Internet company OVH. But French digital economy minister Eric Besson today said the French government was looking at ways to ban hosting of the site. WikiLeaks was also recently dropped by its domain name provider EveryDNS. Meanwhile, several countries well known for their disregard of freedom of expression and information, including Thailand and China, have blocked access to cablegate.wikileaks.org.

This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international community level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency. We are shocked to find countries such as France and the United States suddenly bringing their policies on freedom of expression into line with those of China. We point out that in France and the United States, it is up to the courts, not politicians, to decide whether or not a website should be closed.

December 4, 2010 at 10:39 AM Leave a comment


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