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De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
2000 Light Years Away
Remember the argument, facilitated by Ralph Nader's Green Party campaign back in 2000, that the difference between George W. Bush and Al Gore wasn't meaningful enough to matter in the long run? Whatever your ideological orientation, I think the spate of recent decisions handed down by the John Roberts-led Supreme Court confirm, just as much as the war in Iraq, how misguided it was. The two-party system may be status quo, but much of what the Bush Administration has been doing constitutes total war against it. Unless, of course, your idea of "status quo" is the American social order before the Depression.

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From: (Anonymous) Date: June 28th, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Is that Green Day I spy?
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 30th, 2007 02:41 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
An enigmatic comment. American Idiot or Welcome To Paradise?
flw From: flw Date: June 28th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

wa wah.

I heard to the radio about the "Bowl Case" (I was hearing it). Basically, there was an appeal of some sort and the (lower) court said, "file your appeal by this date." They filed by the deadline, but it turned out there was a law saying that the date was past the deadline. So, what applies? Well, they ruled that the law applies in this case. So, basically, courts can tell you to file by June 20th knowing FULL WELL that June 1st is the deadline, thus giving themselves a sort of "pocket veto" on cases they don't want to deal with on appeal. The commentator said it was the cruelest ruling the court ruled on (5-4, of course) since the Dred Scott case.

Basically, the Supreme Court has given courts the right to LIE about appeal deadlines, which is bizarre.
grandissimus From: grandissimus Date: June 28th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
On NPR (Talk of the Nation, I believe) pundits opined that the Roberts Court's agenda was precisely what you say, a stealthy dismantling of all case law precedent since the thirties, if not earlier -- a return to the high old times of plutocracy. Only now instead of having Pinkerton agents to gun down strikers and protesters, BushCo can deploy Blackwater (What hath the Brothers Doobie wrought?).
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 28th, 2007 11:48 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yes, it's hard to see the recent decisions as indication of anything else. We all knew it would be bad, but I'm surprised at just how tightly everything is marching forward in lockstep.
From: catfishvegas Date: June 29th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
My best argument against the Nader position is the DNA Theory of Political Parties.
Sure, Dems and Repubs may be very very very very similar, but remember that chimps and humans have DNA that is about 98 percent the same. Look at how much small differences matter...
From: bobo_amargo Date: June 29th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Hi, Charlie--long time no post.

I still disagree with this line of reasoning. I voted for Nader in 2000 and do not regret it. Perhaps it comes down to a distinction between a consequentialist ethos and, for lack of a more modern term, a deontological ethos. I recently read an argument by a very competent philosopher to the effect that refusing to eat meat on the principle that the meat industry is brutally cruel to the animals they slaughter is an ethical act only inasmuch as it actually affects the meat industry. Since most such actual acts of refusal, even when taken together, do not substantially affect the meat industry, there's no point in indulging in them. QED.

I see the argument against Naderites (Nadirists?) on analogy. As to the repercussions of the Roberts court, yes, it's all to the bad, but I actually think that the Realpolitik repercussions of policies, e.g., like NAFTA and, by extension, CAFTA (brought to us by a southerner whose DNA is, purportedly, different from that of W) are far worse.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: June 30th, 2007 02:25 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
So nice to hear from you again!

The thing about NAFTA and CAFTA is that they need to be understood in relation to all the border hysteria of today, perhaps even -- dare I say it? -- dialectically. Living in Southern Arizona, where anxiety about immigration mounts daily, but the effects of NAFTA are everywere, I can see that with great clarity.

I have some very close friends, people I respect more than myself, who share your view on voting for Nader in 2000. Maybe it's because I'm living down here, so far from the Bay Area in every sense, that I stick to the line of reasoning articulated in my entry. It's a tough topic to discuss, obviously.

Incidentally, you might check out the comment above from catfishvegas, which makes an interesting analogy.

Anyway, I'm just delighted to hear from you again. I plan to start a different kind of blog soon, one devoted to examining particular texts in a leisurely, idiosyncratic fashion. I'll keep you posted, because I think -- hope -- you'll like the idea when put into practice. Take care!
From: bobo_amargo Date: July 2nd, 2007 05:30 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

La frontera

I'm not sure I follow what you mean re: the relation between border hysteria and NAFTA/CAFTA (unless you mean that those who are hysterical tend to support these policies). RE: the DNA analogy, I'm troubled by it. I love fine distinctions, and the comparison obviously depends on seeing political ideology as on analogy with genetic coding, but the unavoidable suggestion (which is clearly not the argumentative upshot of the analogy) that there's a genetic difference between Demos and Reps is problematic enough that I would look elsewhere for analogies. For instance, though the differences between humans and higher primates are fascinating, I would want to draw conclusions with extreme care about how those differences should issue in our behavior toward members of each group, etc.

I might add as well that my support of Nader was not so much support of the man (though his history as an advocate for basic democratic principles and people's welfare is more impressive than not) as support of the introduction of third, fourth, fifth, and, eventually, manifold parties into "our" political system. But you're right. It's a difficult discussion.

As to the new blog, it sounds great. I've been wanting to do something like that myself, so maybe I can gain inspiration, as I already have from "de file," from the new generation.
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