Settling Accounts With Torturers

I recently finished A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers, Lawrence Wechsler's 1990 reports on post-dictatorship attempts at truth-telling and justice-seeking in Brazil and Uruguay. Wechsler is mostly an excellent writer; the book is really well-paced and there are sharp little descriptions ("his commanding wreck of a voice") and insightful uses of poetry. The afterword is overwritten but mostly Wechsler restrains the ego-driven need to assure his readers that he knows what … [Read more...]

“Why Won’t Candidates Run on This Life Issue?”

Well, I suppose I should start by disclaimering that I am not a canon lawyer, and this is not Official Catholic Advice.  But, hey, at least the issue I’m going to talk about is non-partisan.  And that’s the worse part; as the last foreign policy debate showed, callousness to human life, provided it’s that of the enemy (or people living in the same country as the enemy), isn’t even a campaign issue, it’s the new status quo. --Libresco; comments also worth reading, for example the Irish-history on … [Read more...]

“Democrats Retreat on Civil Liberties in 2012 Platform”

Which is especially sad and creepy when you realize they could just lie about it. That at least would help shift the rhetorical climate! … [Read more...]

“The President’s Leak Mystique”

Leaks that favor the president are shoveled out regardless of national security, while national security is twisted to pummel leaks that do not favor him. moreedited to add: A reader points out that some of these leaks may be, essentially, underlings bragging, rather than any kind of Obama-coordinated leak campaign. That's fair, and definitely we tend to assume more knowledge and control on the part of the President (or the head of any organization) than is realistic, but I don't think it … [Read more...]