||Quotes that have touched me (page 4 of 16)
|Disclaimer: Citation of a quote,
below, does not necessarily imply that I agree with what it asserts
(under whatever interpretation); it does mean I feel the text says something
seriously worth thinking about.
|"Every sentence that I utter
should be regarded by you not as an assertion
but as a question." --Niels Bohr|
|"There is more to the surface
than meets the eye." --Aaron Beck|
|| Go to
more recent entries
In a closely watched case arising from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and pitting civil liberties
against national security, a federal appeals court ruled today that a public
defender cannot represent an American citizen who is suspected of being a Taliban fighter. [/]
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, acting only a day
after hearing the case of the American, Yaser Esam
Hamdi, did not rule explicitly on the larger issue of whether Mr.
Hamdi has the right to a lawyer and whether he can be held indefinitely
without being charged with anything or represented by a lawyer....
Mr. Hamdi, was born in Louisiana 21 years ago, raised in Saudi Arabia
and captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Mr.
Hamdi was sent to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, until officials
discovered he was born in the United States, and then moved him to the naval
brig in Norfolk, Va. He has been held there since April 5,
not charged with any crime or allowed to see a lawyer, although a district
court appointed a public defender to represent him. [/]
In oral arguments on Tuesday in Richmond, Chief Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson 3d of
the appeals court appeared incredulous at Mr.
Hamdi's lawyer's assertion that his client -- captured during battle and
designated an enemy combatant -- had any constitutional rights. [/]
"What is unconstitutional about the government detaining that
person and getting from that individual all the intelligence that might later
save American lives?" Judge Wilkinson asked Geremy Kamens,
an assistant federal public defender helping to represent Mr. Hamdi. [/]
Mr. Kamens said the Constitution prohibited the indefinite
detention of an American citizen, but the judge was quick to interrupt. [/]
Was [Kamens] suggesting that the government could not detain a citizen
"who has taken up arms against America?" the judge asked in a voice
that suggested he could not believe what he was hearing....
The government said, and the judge agreed, that intelligence-gathering
could be disrupted because the introduction of a third party could
break the atmosphere of trust that the government was trying to
establish with the prisoner, particularly if the lawyer urged the prisoner
to assert his rights against self-incrimination.
|Katharine Q. Seeyle,
"Public Defender Denied for Suspected American Taliban", The New York Times on the Web, 26Jun02.|
|Ed. comments: United States President
George W Bush seems to be using recent
AlQaeda [al-Qaida] attacks against American interests as
blanket justification for every abridgement
and suspension of American citizens' civil liberties he and his associates wish to
impose (See: Quote #213).|
|However repugnant we may find the Taliban regime in Afghanistan,
did they declare war on The United States?
Did American citizens who happened to be on the wrong side in Afghanistan at the moment United
States forces attacked, thereby forfeit their presumption of innocence until proven guilty?
Did they thereby forfeit their right to due process, including
"Habeas corpus", i.e., their right
either (1) to be released, or (2) to be charged with a crime, have access to legal
counsel, and be tried by a jury of their peers in a reasonable time?|
|Mr. Bush's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld,
(ref. lost[Please read: fn.54])
laughed when a reporter asked him when the persons
being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, would be charged with crimes. Rumsfeld smirkingly responded
that he(sic) was not interested in charging them, but in getting information out of
them. (See also: Quotes #212,
|(AP, 31Jul02, Filed at 8:19 p.m. ET)
"Rumsfeld defended the U.S. anti-terrorism war
effort... under sharp criticism from Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga.
Cleland said he was frustrated that the United States has not 'found Osama bin Laden and his terrorist
'You can be frustrated if you want, I'm not,' Rumsfeld said. 'We have a serious effort going on.'"|
|Such flaunting of personal "interest"
and disregard for accountability, can give rise to is limitless mischief (e.g., the
prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib) --
in the name of "patriotism", of course!|
|"A central challenge a free society faces in countering
terrorism is in... protecting its citizens while preserving what makes the society worth protecting in the first place. [/]
What is different here... is the prospect of an open-ended war, without a decisive victory or clear end point. [/]
'It's hard to imagine what war doesn't permit, if this really is war,' said Philip B. Heymann,
a former deputy attorney general under President Clinton....
'But while this is a more dangerous terrorism than we've ever know, it isn't war as we've
known it. To say that under these new circumstances, the president can,
as if at war, do everything without Congressional consent, that civil rights and liberties have to take
a back seat and that this will go on, not for five years, like World War II,
but as long as terrorism goes on, seems to me to be quite frightening.'"
(Alison Mitchell, "A War Like No Other: The Perilous Search for Security at Home"
NYT Week in Review, 28Jul02, pp.WK1,4)
(See: Quote #213, #221)|
|Meanwhile (28Aug02): Is the
Bush administration respecting due process in
|"A U.S. citizen held since late 2001 as an enemy combatant is to be sent to Saudi Arabia...
under an agreement to release him....
Yaser Esam Hamdi must give up his U.S. citizenship and renounce terrorism under the agreement,
which includes a number of other restrictions. Hamdi, whose case led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision
limiting the president's powers to indefinitely hold wartime combatants,
has been held without charges and will not be charged with any crime." (CBS/AP, CBSNEWS.com,
"U.S. To Free Hamdi This Week", 27Sep04)|
|"Hamdi's case, decided by the Supreme Court earlier this year ,
was supposed to represent a high-water mark for American freedoms during wartime.
He had fought for and won his day in court, an opportunity to question his captors,
and a chance at national vindication at the end of it all.
Hamdi's name stood for the proposition that the Bush administration couldn't run roughshod over
the courts and the law in its pursuit of the war on terror.
It now stands for precisely the opposite: With a yawn and a shrug,
the administration sidestepped the courts and the judicial process once again,
abandoning this criminal prosecution altogether and erasing the episode from our national memory.
Hamdi has been stripped of his citizenship and his freedom to travel, and sent packing to his family.
The rights and processes guaranteed him by the Supreme Court have been yanked away one last time,
by an executive branch that held him for years for no reason and smugly claims now that
it was finished with him anyhow." (Dahlia Lithwick, "Nevermind
Hamdi wasn't so bad after all", Slate, Posted Thursday, 23Sep04, at 2:37 PM PT)|
|"Department of State Press release, October 11, 2004:
The United States has transferred Saudi Yaser Esam Hamdi from United States detention at the Charleston Naval Brig in South Carolina to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Hamdi arrived in Saudi Arabia on October 11, 2004. The United States appreciates the cooperation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in facilitating this transfer....
Hamdi, born in the United States to Saudi parents, had been detained for almost three years
since being captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan during the U.S.-led fight against the Taliban regime."|
|Many of the nation's teaching hospitals,
already under financial pressure, are raising concerns about the
effect of new rules that... will limit the average
workweek... worked by medical residents... to 80 hours and restrict a resident's duty to no more than 24 hours at a time....
Dr. Holly Humphrey, who oversees the residents in
internal medicine... [a]t the
University of Chicago hospitals... is concerned that residency programs will "take on a mentality of shift work...".
Reed Abelson, "Limits on Residents' Hours Worry Teaching Hospitals", The New York Times on the Web, 14Jun02.
Abelson provides some background info (ibid.):
"Some hospitals consider residents an inexpensive source of labor. Some residents say they work 100 hours
or more a week. Having significantly cut back on nurses and other staff, hospitals rely heavily on these new
doctors, who spend several years training at a hospital after earning their medical degrees....
'The big cultural change is the institutions have to recognize and treat residents as students,' Dr. [Jon] Cohen of...
North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System... said."
(See also: improving considions for Harvard Law School students)
|In Poland... the very notion that
Western-style capitalism will work in the eastern nation
that embraced it perhaps most heartily is under attack....
[E]conomist... Krzysztof Bledowski... said... "There is an apropos graffiti[:] 'Free market, enslaved
people' ....The mood has shifted. Capitalism is not seen by many people as a system
for justice, growth, better times for kids and so on."
Ian Fisher, "As Poland Endures Hard Times, Capitalism Comes Under Attack", NYT, 12Jun02, p.A1 (emphasis added).
the man believed to have been the ringleader
of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, asked a Department of
Agriculture official... Johnell Bryant... for a loan in April or May 2000 to buy
a crop-duster and questioned her about security at the
World Trade Center and buildings in Washington, the
official said in an
interview that appeared last night on
ABC News.... The official... said she told Mr. Atta that
he could not have a loan of $650,000 to buy a twin-engine,
six-passenger plane, which he wanted to equip with a very
large tank. He then became agitated, Ms. Bryant said, and
asked her what was to keep him from slitting her throat and
stealing money from the safe behind the desk in her Florida
office. 'He started accusing me of discriminating against him
because he was not a United States citizen,' Ms. Bryant
said.... Ms. Bryant said she thought she was simply helping a new
immigrant learn about this country.
'Should I have picked up the telephone and called someone?'
she said. 'You can't ask me that more often than I have
asked myself that. I don't know how I could possibly expect
myself to have recognized what that man was. And yet
sometimes I haven't forgiven myself.'"
|Tina Kelley, "U.S. Official Says She Met Central Figure in 9/11 Plot",
The New York Times on the Web, 07Jun02 (emphasis added).
There is a lot more to the original article. About the only thing
Mr. Atta did not tell Ms. Bryant was that he was going to hijack a commercial
flight from Boston and fly the plane into the World Trade Center. Here is a
link to an ABC report about the interview, for as long as it lasts:
Click here and read!
And a link to the transcript of the interview, for as long as it lasts:
Click here and read!|
|Just to be clear about it, I "like" this item only in the sense that I find it
appalling: I find Ms. Bryant's behavior even more appalling (not that comparisons are useful in such circumstances...) than
Mr. Atta's behavior. Why? Because Mr. Atta is our enemy, so
we should expect him to try to hurt us (at least until we could have
won him over to our side!). Ms. Bryant, as presented in this interview, comes
across as an example of how America childrears, educates and socially conditions our own
citizens to be a threat to America. Yes, I know, Ms. Bryant had no malicious intentions: she was
just trying to be "helpful". She is evidence for the truth of the cliché that
the road to hell is paved with good intentions.|
|Ms. Bryant is not the problem. She
should probably be certified legally incompetent and remanded to rehab. The problem is the "system"
that produced her. If a market economy truly is governed by
"The Invisible Hand"-without-a-head
instead of by men (and women...), then there may indeed
be nobody to blame, and the real "answer" may pathetically be what Odysseus
replied to the Cyclops after Odysseus had poked the giant's eye out and the giant anguishedly implored: "Who did this to me?"
Odysseus replied: "Nobody [Nemo] did this to you." -- And the giant then exclaimed to his
friends who were about to rush to his aid as a result of his screams of agony:
"Nobody hurt me!" So his friends turned around and went about their business, because
their seemingly wounded comrade had reassured them there was no problem after all.
(But see, e.g., Quote #189.)|
|Not every American is as dysfunctional as Johnell Bryant. Read about
immigration officer Jose E. Melendez-Perez, immediately
|Contrast to Johnell Bryant!
"[A]n observant immigration inspector in Orlando...
Jose E. Melendez-Perez... recounted an interview he conducted with a Saudi national, Mohamed al Qahtani,
who investigators now believe was planning to meet Atta at the Orlando airport on Aug. 4, 2001.
Al Qahtani had no return ticket and no hotel reservations, and he refused to identify a friend who,
he said, would provide him with money and other assistance on his trip.
'The bottom line was, he gave me the creeps,' Melendez-Perez said in his prepared statement, adding that his first
impression was that al Qahtani was a 'hit man' because of his hostile and arrogant attitude and his refusal to disclose his plans.
'A 'hit man' doesn't know where he is going because if he is caught, that way he doesn't have any information to bargain with,' he said.
'My wife said I was watching too much movies.'
Before departing, al Qahtani turned to Melendez-Perez and said, in English: 'I'll be back.'
Melendez-Perez said he was taking a bit of a risk by refusing al Qahtani entry to the United States
because Saudis were generally treated more permissively than other foreign nationals by U.S. border agents. Al Qahtani --
who would later be apprehended by U.S. forces in Afghanistan -- was eventually escorted onto a flight bound for Dubai
via London, a decision that was applauded by the audience and the commission at yesterday's hearing.
'It is extremely possible, and perhaps probable, that Mohamed al Qahtani was to be the 20th hijacker,'
said Richard Ben-Veniste, a former Watergate prosecutor and Democratic member of the commission.
'It is entirely plausible to suggest that your actions . . . may well have contributed to saving the Capitol or the White House and
all the people who were in those buildings.'....
Said Melendez-Perez, a 12-year veteran of the immigration service, 'I was just doing my job.'"
(Dan Eggen, "9/11 Panel Faults U.S. For Letting Hijackers In", The Washington Post, 27Jan04, p.A01)|
|"Planning for an attack on the United States began
in October 1999 at the latest, and the hijackers had decided on their target six
months later... Germany's federal prosecutor... Kay Nehm, said. [/]
Mr. Nehm... said one of the hijackers, Marwan al-Shehhi, had mentioned
the World Trade Center as a target in a conversation with a librarian. [/]
'There will be thousands of dead,' Mr. Shehhi said, according to Mr. Nehm. 'You will all think of me.'"
(Desmond Butler, "Germany Says Hijackers Picked Trade Center as Target in 2000", The New York Times on the Web,
this week the Environmental Protection Agency
released a report confirming what the vast majority of
climatologists, and every other advanced-country
government, had already concluded: human activity is
causing global warming, and the consequences will be nasty.
But the E.P.A. did not propose any preventive action.
Instead, it talked only about adapting to the changes....|
|"Whatever he imagines,
Osama bin Laden can't destroy
Carbon dioxide can."||
Paul Krugman, "Evils of Access", OpEd, NYT, 07Jun02, p.A27. Krugman writes further (ibid.) about Bush's
response to the EPA report: "After
a curious pause, George W. Bush rejected his own
administration's analysis. 'I read the report put out by
the bureaucracy,' he sneered.... [/]
Many people believe that the Bush administration had a
special window of opportunity on global warming policy.
Politically, it could have been a Nixon-goes-to-China
moment: Mr. Bush could have passed legislation that would
have been totally out of reach for a Democrat. Furthermore,
many corporations were actually eager for guidelines that
would allow them to make long-term plans.
But because the administration continues to listen only to
the usual suspects [energy companies, and only
energy companies...], that window of opportunity is closing fast."|
|[ These items moved to
Quote #137, and
#138, bcause this page too big. ]|
"...24-7... relies upon its agents to abide by an agreement they must keep secret, even from themselves[:]... we will so conduct
ourselves that everything becomes an emergency. [/]
Under that agreement, stress is how reality feels."
|Thomas de Zengotita, "The Numbing of the American Mind", Harper's Magazine, April 2002, emphasis added
(quoted in: NetFuture, Issue #131).
Ed. note: Where there is no emergency, we will create one,
so that our feelings can correspond to reality
(See, e.g.: Quote #139, Quote #91).|
Cellphones are now so cheap that nobody has any excuse for not
having one: There is no excuse for not being involved
If you don't have a cell phone, why? What responsibilities to your family, your
community, your company and your country are you trying to evade?
Why are you being unmutual?|
|"First of all, I'd like to admit that one of the difficulties
that we do face in seminary life and in recruiting is made possible or made obvious when there does exist
within any given seminary a homosexual atmosphere or dynamic that makes heterosexual young men
think twice before entering into a seminary for fear that they would be identified with that orientation, or...
that they would be harassed."
|Bishop Wilton Gregory, President of the U.S. Bishops Conference [of the Roman Catholic Church]; NPR All Things Considered,
23Apr02, "Vatican: Cardinals Meeting", Sylvia Poggioli reporting, Poggioli goes on to to say Bishop Gregory said
that: "It is an ongoing struggle to ensure that the Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men".|
and battle-ready USS Cole returned to duty
with a flag-waving, horn-blasting send-off...
a year and a half after a terrorist
bombing in Yemen blew a hole in its side....
Mark Rozell, an Ingalls test engineer,
choked back emotion as he watched tugs
nudge the destroyer into the Gulf of Mexico
to the blasting horns of nearby vessels. He said the Cole bears a message to
'You can't destroy a destroyer,' Rozell said. 'She's proof of that.' ...
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network has been blamed by U.S. officials for
both the Sept. 11 attacks and the Cole blast, carried out by terrorists who
pulled an explosives-laden skiff alongside the destroyer as it refueled.
|April 19, 2002, "USS Cole Gets Flag-Waving Send Off",
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS,
Filed at 3:06 p.m. ET. Ed. note: As Mr. Rozell does not observe, "you"
can take one of the world's only remaining SuperPower's state-of-the-art
naval vessels out of service for over a year with one dinghy and a little
On the other hand, even though the American government has
shown itself wanting in military intelligence, no one can
question its capacity to orchestrate patriotic pageantry or
to promulgate official statements condemning the enemy and the enemy's actions.|
|To see picture of damage to Cole,
Please click here.
|Look at the Taliban. Look at the Vatican.
Now, look at the bonobo.
Bonobos, or pygmy chimpanzees, live in the equatorial rain forests of Congo,
and have an extraordinarily happy existence.
And why? Because in bonobo society, the females are dominant.
Just light dominance, so that it is more like a co-dominance, or equality between the sexes.
"They are less obsessed with power and status than their chimpanzee cousins,
and more consumed with Eros," The Times's Natalie Angier has written.
"Bonobos use sex to appease, to bond, to make up after a fight, to ease tensions, to cement alliances...."
The males were happy to give up a little dominance once they realized the deal they were
being offered: all those aggressive female primates, after a busy day of dominating their jungle,
were primed for sex, not for the withholding of it. There's no battle of the sexes in bonoboland.
"The Baby Bust", The New York Times on the Web, 10Apr2002.
See also: "From "Bonobo Sex and Society:
The behavior of a close relative challenges
assumptions about male supremacy in human evolution", Frans B. M. de Waal,
Mar95 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, pp. 82-88: "Male-biased evolutionary scenarios... are being
challenged by... the social life of one of our nearest relatives[,]... a relatively
unknown ape with an unorthodox repertoire of behavior: the
bonobo.... The species is best characterized as female-centered and
egalitarian and as one that substitutes sex for aggression.
Whereas in most other species sexual behavior is a fairly
distinct category, in the bonobo it is part and parcel of social relations....
Bonobos engage in sex in virtually every partner
combination (although such contact among close family
members may be suppressed). And sexual interactions occur
more often among bonobos than among other primates.
Despite the frequency of sex.... [a] female gives birth to a single infant at
intervals of between five and six years. So bonobos share
at least one very important characteristic with our own
species, namely, a partial separation between sex and
reproduction.... The split
between the human line of ancestry and the line of the
chimpanzee and the bonobo is believed to have occurred a
mere eight million years ago...." (See
my webpage about: Civilization and its Discontents.)|
|Genetically, humans and bonobos, a species of chimpanzee, are more than 98 percent similar.
Socially, it is another matter. Matriarchal as a rule, bonobos eschew conflict.
They do not fight over territory. They do not kill. Any small friction they resolve through sexual contact:
a playful rub, oral sex, full intercourse. (Somini Sangupta,
"The Gentlest of Beasts, Making Love, Ravaged by War", NYT, 03May04, p.A4)|
|[ This item moved to
Quote #135, bcause this page too big. ]|
|...[T]he principle should be "Protect the
worker, not the industry."
"Tariffs on steel: George Bush, protectionist: The president's decision to place
high tariffs on imports of steel is disgraceful", The Economist, 9-15Mar2002 (page ref. lost).
|[ This item moved to
Quote #136, bcause this page too big. ]|
|The business culture which may now
be ending, started twenty years ago as the Reagan era took hold and the bull market got
under way. Before that... corporate America was a... deeply un-cool place to be. A host of
structural changes nurtured this new climate -- deregulation.... My own favorite theory, however,
for what caused business to become such a compelling sport and transforming
experience was the advent of the spreadsheet... [f]irst Visicalc,
then Lotus 1-2-3, and then... Excel.... [O]ddly enough, during the eighties, bottom line
became a metaphor for something absolute and irreducible when, in fact, the bottom line
was becoming ever more elusive.... Financial strategy became like a war game.... Business
reality became wonderfully plastic....
|"We do have
an interest in the kind of stability in Afghanistan that will make it
less likely that Afghanistan will become a base for terrorist operations against us in the future,"
said Douglas J. Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy. But he bristled at the suggestion
that U.S. support for Karzai's government and its help in training and equipping
an Afghan army amounts to "nation building".
"We don't like the connotation of nation building
because it implies an ambition that we don't have," Feith said. "...[W]e're not trying to run Afghanistan."
Vernon Loeb, "Afghan Factions Test U.S. Forces:
Military Seeks Stable Regime Without Role in Internecine Fighting", The Washington Post, 21Feb02, P.A16.
|Rep. Frank R. Wolf [Republican, Virginia]...
was among the first members of Congress to visit Afghanistan
after the fall of the Taliban. When he returned, he wrote about his experience in the context of the debate
in Congress over the U.S. role there: "Clearly, the situation is desperate....
The West has a responsibility to help Afghanistan. After the Soviet withdrawal in 1989,
the West essentially walked away and civil war erupted. Over time, the Taliban gained control,
and life under the militant, extremist regime permanently scarred the nation and its people.
It also provided a training ground for Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorist network.
Some don't like the idea of 'nation building.'
But if there is not a plan to help guide Afghanistan --
whether it's a partnership with the West sending in the best and brightest in government and business
or something like the Marshall Plan, which rebuilt Europe after World War II --
I fear we will wind up right back where we were prior to Sept. 11,
with extremists controlling the country and terrorists being trained to kill innocent people
throughout the world. Too much is at stake to walk away a second time."
"We Can't Abandon Scarred, Fragile Afghanistan Again", The Washington Post,
14Feb02, P.VA05 (Emphasis added). See also: quote #131.
"You can't blame a company for looking at the bottom line, and making that move.
You can appeal to their patriotism, their national spirit.
You can appeal to the reality that if people
in the United States don't have jobs, to whom are they going to sell their product?"
||Jackie Northam, "Life Savers", NPR Morning Edition, 21Feb02.
Question asked by Albert McGeehan, mayor of Holland, Michigan. Kraft Foods
is closing their operation that has made Life Savers candy in Holland since 1967,
and moving it to Canada because the price of sugar (which is 99% of the
ingredients in Life Savers) is significantly cheaper there.
Gena Martin, a 20 year employee, who was let go in Nov. 2001 as part
of the first wave of layoffs: "[The Life Savers factory] had been here forever.
And it was I thought going to be here forever. And I thought it was something that I could
count on retiring with.... There was a lot of disbelief. Because our jobs were going out of the country....
I just do not understand how one little factor can create
so much hardship for people."|
|Ed note: This is a generic question for
the "new global economy", isn't it? If everything gets produced as cheaply as possible, wages must decline
and consequently purchasing power must contract. Since companies try to cut prices as little
but wages as much as they can, the expected result is nobody being able to afford to buy anything,
thus producing(sic) a new worldwide Depression.
This is the opposite of Henry Ford's idea of paying Ford workers a high enough wage to enable them to purchase the
Fords they produced, so that Ford could produce more Fords....|
|"...[T]his recession has something other
recessions didn't: the prospect of people going to jail. By the time we're done with
Enron and the telecommunications company
Global Crossing, executives and
board members and accountants may all have a
new and heightened fear of spending some time in the pokey...."
|Ev Ehrlich, "Recession Commentary", NPR Morning Edition, 21Feb02.|
||If you've read this far, and it has brought to your
mind some quote which is significant to you, I'd appreciate if you'd share it with me: