"Extralegality is often perceived as a 'marginal' issue similar to black markets in advanced nations, or poverty, or unemployment. The extralegal world is typically viewed as a place where gangsters roam, sinister characters of interest only to the police, anthropologists, and missionaries."In fact it is legality that is marginal; extralegality has become the norm. The poor have already taken control of vast quantities of real estate and production. Those international agencies that jet their … [Read more...]


TORTURE MEMO: Here's a New York Times piece on the March 2003 "president can legally order torture" memo, in which weirdness abounds:"...The memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, also said that any executive branch officials, including those in the military, could be immune from domestic and international prohibitions against torture for a variety of reasons."One reason, the lawyers said, would be if military personnel believed that they were acting on orders from … [Read more...]


Blogwatch, blogwatch, blogwatch, Where did our love go?Church of the Masses on how to provoke a new Renaissance: "...There is nothing egalitarian about artistic talent, a fact that is an ongoing source of outrage to the melancholic Marxists who hold sway in pretty much every Humanities department at the top universities. I remember one of my grad school professors becoming enraged at me when I asked if she thought any of my class' final projects were ultimately any good. 'How dare you hinder … [Read more...]


"To get an idea of just how difficult the [rural-to-city] migrant's life was, my research team and I opened a small garment workshop on the outskirts of Lima, Peru. Our goal was to create a new and perfectly legal business. The team then began filling out the forms, standing in the lines, and making the bus trips into central Lima to get all the certifications required to operate, according to the letter of the law, a small business in Peru. They spent six hours a day at it and finally … [Read more...]


"THROUGH THE YEARS WE ALL WILL BE TOGETHER": IN THE BLEAK MID-WINTER. So I promised you guys Ray Bradbury pastiche. Then I promised you excellent aliens. Instead, you get a horrible depressing Christmas story.Sorry.Luckily for all of us, this one will be short--there should only be about four sections. The first installment is posted. The first problem I have noticed is that the dialogue-to-description ratio shifts randomly at different points in the narrative, because I am lame. Feel free … [Read more...]


POETRY WEDNESDAY, T -1: More poetry that is severely sub-great, but that gets dug into your head. This is clingy poetry, a guilty pleasure.Keats, of course. I've mentioned, yes, that I only admire one Keats poem? But that doesn't mean I can get this one out of my head.La Belle Dame Sans MerciO WHAT can ail thee, knight-at-arms, Alone and palely loitering? The sedge has wither'd from the lake, And no birds sing.O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms! So haggard and so … [Read more...]


NATAN SHARANSKY IN THE JERUSALEM POST (link requires free registration): In 1983, I was confined to an eight-by-ten-foot prison cell on the border of Siberia. My Soviet jailers gave me the privilege of reading the latest copy of Pravda. Splashed across the front page was a condemnation of President Ronald Reagan for having the temerity to call the Soviet Union an "evil empire." Tapping on walls and talking through toilets, word of Reagan's "provocation" quickly spread throughout the prison. We … [Read more...]