the only thing that abortion proponents and opponents agree on is that abortion should be minimized. this is the right approach to the flag-burning issue as well, which is why i am so enthusiastic about the guantanmo decision, a shocking bitch-slap to the totalitarians. that is, it reduces the necessity of burning the flag. so i'm trying to cut down.
if you're wondering what the hell is up w/www.crispinsartwell.com, so am i: i'm not able update it, and you're not able to read it. well, my people, the "new freedom data center" (nfdc) tell me that someone in china has been continually trying to "hack into" my site. so they've shut it down to prevent...whatever the chinese might have in mind. maybe you can explain this. i can't.
Scalia added that police might put their lives in danger if they
were uncertain when and if entry was legally permissible. "If the
consequences of running afoul of the law were so massive, officers
would be inclined to wait longer than the law requires -- producing
inevitable violence against officers in some cases, and the destruction
of evidence in many others."
well. let's falsify this by making sure we are always ready to assault police officers without taking time to ask for a warrant or fumbling for our weapons. and check the agitator, who would no doubt be dismayed to be associated with such sentiments. thanks, adam.
so as you may know, i despise blogs of the daily kos variety: in thrall to someone's agenda: nonindividuated voices that point to the future of the blog as a forum for advertising. that anyone gets excited by this libertarian democrat manifesto is a tribute merely to blankness that is american party politics. of course, the idea is horseshit, except fot this: it's a way of expressing the obvious fact that there is no longer any libertarian element in the *republican* party. and i guess it could be a way to start this negative vs positive freedom thing up again: though the hacks should leave that kind of stuff to the experts. here's the nut, though: "the Libertarian Dem doesn't believe government is the solution for everything. But it sure as heck is effective in checking the power of corporations." ok, so kos: what exactly are the agenda items of the libertarian democrats that do not involve the expansion of the state? and this idea that government is "sure as heck" effective in checking the power of corporations" is an unbelievably simplistic approach to an unbelievably difficult question: ask halliburton what they think, or clearchannel, or the corporate lobbyists, flies feedding on the shitpile of the state.
well, first of all, an amazing fantasy series: "the prince of nothing," by r. scott bakker. it's got gritty, fucked-up violence and political machinations a la george r.r. martin (whose last, "a feast for crows," was a bitter disappointment). but it's also got genuinely deep religious and philosophical insights: quite amazing. it's based roughly on the crusades, with a hero bound to appeal to the likes of me: a broken-down philosopher/wizard with an alcohol problem and a lover who's a ho. truly epic, with a set of histories and languages to rival tolkien, but featuring phrases like "bung-banger." "truth is where the sandal of the world meets the scrotum of man," says a prophet. marion keeps catching me sneaking upstairs to read in bed.
"john brown: abolitionist," by david s. reynolds. this starts kind of slow, with a lot of gratuitous foreshadowing in the contemporary fashion in pop nonfiction: chapters that end: little did anyone know that it would all in in victory: disastrous victory, or some crap. you can't have foreshadowing when everyone already knows the end. still, this is one of the most remarkable stories in human history: a man of shall we say limited effectiveness but limitless commitment, changing history by sheer perverse almost idiotic will. the tale gains remarkable momentum, and some of the best material is at the end, concerning the use of brown in as a symbol, first by emerson and thoreau, then by union troops, then in history. i just kept thinking: where is he when we need him? alberto gonzales? meet john brown. everyone chooses sides on brown: insane terrorist or hero of liberty? reynolds tries to seem neutral, but definitely this book is in the latter camp.
"the reformation," by patrick collinson: a tiny masterwork by an historian who has reached a degree of eminence where he doesn't have to fuck around: unbelievably fank and revealing generalizations are tossed off casually. i'm teaching a course in the fall called "the idea of freedom," and i had wanted to use this book. but i don't think i will, because it is not essentially about ideas, but rather events and personalities. i wanted it to explore the origin of individualism, but it didn't. still, i ran through it at a pace with pleasure.
meanwhile, my little anarchist book "against the legitimacy of the state" is almost done. i'd send it to you as a file if you wanna read it and tell me what you think.
yo i guess i am one burned-out little pundit, taking a break and learning to juggle. here is my last column for creators. i'll be back on the op-ed circuit as a freelance when my polemical energy returns.
Thank God for Bigotry By Crispin Sartwell
Since at latest around 1970, we Americans have been congratulating ourselves for having overcome our history of bigotry and exclusion. This supposed triumph has always been overrated, but if we ever gave up on prejudice, we're certainly right back at it now, with a good conscience. The current political attacks on gay people and immigrants are about nothing but sheer bigotry, and they deploy that combined strategy that you find almost anywhere you find people: to insult or spit on you is simultaneously to improve my self-esteem. Your inferiority and my superiority are, of course, the very same fact. "Crime," "activist judges," "national security," and so on: these are of course the merest distractions from the heart of the matter: we hate wetbacks and fags, and we don't regard them as fully human, as deserving the same sort of respect that we demand for ourselves. The idea that the basic problem with illegal immigrants is a matter of national security and border protection is deeply dishonest. The last military or terrorist threat we faced from Mexico was at the Alamo. And yet here we are, affirming legislatively, for example, that English is our "national language." It is, in precisely the same sense that WASP is our national ethnicity and torture our national interrogation technique. Let this go a little longer and we will have - even more than we do already - a national system of internment and deportation camps for people whose status is basically detectible by their skin-tone and language. Gay marriage is as clearly and directly an issue of civil rights as anything could possibly be. All it demands is the extension of equal rights to a group of previously excluded persons. Furthermore, such an extension does absolutely no damage to anyone in the dominant group. It doesn't require busing, increased taxation, or even a cure for homophobia. What it does, merely, is damage "the institution of marriage," which means, as far as I can tell, that it throws into slight doubt the God-given superiority of heterosexuals. In other words, it throws into doubt the bigotry of God. Mary Cheney has famously said that if the Republicans oppose gay marriage, they will find themselves on the wrong side of history. I'm not so certain about this, because if history teaches us anything, it's that, though bigotries come and go, bigotry never dies. At the moment of a particular prejudice's ascendency, there are a thousand seemingly plausible causes or justifications for the hatred in one's heart, and a thousand ways to convince yourself that your hatred is righteousness, truth, or even love. That is, segregation, exclusion, exploitation, and denunciation never appear as evil at the moment of their lurid bloom as they do in retrospect. When our grandchildren look back at this era, they will be shocked by our explicit violation of our professed values. They will see our hypocrisy with perfect clarity, as we see clearly the injustice of racial apartheid or laws prohibiting women from voting. But even as they do, they will be busily rationalizing their hatred of the Norwegians or men who cook or people who speak Pig Latin. It's the only way they'll be able to live with themselves.