Federal judge rules "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" protected; The New Melian Dialogue of the West Bank
Batch O Goodies: Small victory for the First Amendment. And bongs.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An Alaska high school violated a student's free speech rights by suspending him after he unfurled a banner reading "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" across the street from the school, a federal court ruled on Friday.
Joseph Frederick, a student at Juneau-Douglas High School in Alaska, displayed the banner -- which refers to smoking marijuana -- in January 2002 to try to get on television as the Olympic torch relay was passing the school. Friday's ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned a decision by a federal court in Alaska that backed Frederick's suspension and said his rights were not violated. "Public schools are instrumentalities of government, and government is not entitled to suppress speech that undermines whatever missions it defines for itself," Judge Andrew Kleinfeld wrote in the court's opinion. The court also cleared the way for Frederick to seek damages, saying Morse was aware of relevant case law and should have known her actions violated his rights.
Russ Feingold is on point these days, and CNN sucks in their coverage of the censure thing. What else is new?
Guardian: US postwar Iraq strategy a mess, Blair was told. In pretty blunt language, the British staff was honest about so much of the bad stuff, so long ago.
Israel is the New Athens: Time to gank some land already: Guardian: Israel sets four year deadline to draw final borders:
Mr Olmert, who is strongly favoured to win a general election in three weeks, told the Jerusalem Post that by 2010 he intended to "get to Israel's permanent borders, whereby we will completely separate from the majority of the Palestinian population and preserve a large and stable Jewish majority in Israel".
He did not specify the route of the new frontier, which he said would be decided after an "internal dialogue inside Israel" and consultations with Israel's foreign allies. But he repeated his intention to annex the main settlement blocks in the West Bank and retain control of the Jordan river area "as a security border", resulting in a Palestinian state entirely surrounded by territory under Israeli control.
The plan outlined by Mr Olmert would require the removal of about 60,000 Israelis from settlements deeper inside the West Bank but leave about 350,000 in the main blocks and East Jerusalem.
As they used to say in the Greek times, "Take it, bitch." The Thrasymachus principle of political power. Things haven't changed much since 431 BC: "History of the Peloponnesian War" by Thucydides: Chapter XVII: Sixteenth year of the war: The Melian Conference (aka The Melian Dialogue):
The Melians are a colony of Lacedaemon that would not submit to the Athenians like the other islanders, and at first remained neutral and took no part in the struggle, but afterwards upon the Athenians using violence and plundering their territory, assumed an attitude of open hostility. [Athenian generals] Cleomedes and Tisias, encamping in their territory with the above armament, before doing any harm to their land, sent envoys to negotiate. The Athenian envoys spoke as follows:
.....Athenians: For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious pretences - either of how we have a right to our empire because we overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you have done us - and make a long speech which would not be believed; and in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by saying that you did not join the Lacedaemonians, although their colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.
....Athenians: When you speak of the favour of the gods, we may as fairly hope for that as yourselves; neither our pretensions nor our conduct being in any way contrary to what men believe of the gods, or practise among themselves. Of the gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever they can. And it is not as if we were the first to make this law, or to act upon it when made: we found it existing before us, and shall leave it to exist for ever after us; all we do is to make use of it, knowing that you and everybody else, having the same power as we have, would do the same as we do. Thus, as far as the gods are concerned, we have no fear and no reason to fear that we shall be at a disadvantage.
Thucydides: Summer was now over. ...the Melians again took another part of the Athenian lines which were but feebly garrisoned. Reinforcements afterwards arriving from Athens in consequence, under the command of Philocrates, son of Demeas, the siege was now pressed vigorously; and some treachery taking place inside, the Melians surrendered at discretion to the Athenians, who put to death all the grown men whom they took, and sold the women and children for slaves, and subsequently sent out five hundred colonists and inhabited the place themselves.
Old boss, same as the new boss. Thanks, Leo Strauss. Power => Morality.
Dubai deal and racism: Raimondo: Dubai and Demagoguery. Juan Cole basically notes that, well, if you spend five years whipping up racist nationalism, it can sort of spill over in ways you don't expect. Not that it's happened before. The Big Lie eventually catches up with you. There's more good stuff in this one about Islamic theology & how it relates to Christians... in other words, the backstory that the 'hatemongers' never ever talk about.
The hatemongers are well known. Rupert Murdoch's Fox Cable News, Rush Limbaugh's radio program and its many clones, telebimbos like Ann Coulter, Evangelical leaders like Franklin Graham, Congressmen like Tom Tancredo, and a slew of far rightwing Zionists who would vote for Netanyahu (or Kach) if they lived in Israel-- Frank Gaffney, Daniel Pipes, Michael Rubin, David Horowitz, etc., etc. And finally, there are many Muslims who have an interest in whipping up anti-Islamic feeling. Ahmad Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress helped maneuver the US into a war against Iraq with lies about a Saddam-al-Qaeda connection and illusory WMD. The dissident Islamic Marxist group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) is now placing equally false stories about Iran in the Western press and retailing them to Congress and the Pentagon.
More goodies coming. I had to get the Melian thing in though.
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