Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Left Behind Roundup

As usual, I'm too far behind to ever catch up with all the posts I wished to blog on. It's for exciting reasons, however: I'm giving a presentation summarizing my summer research before the Carleton community -- defined in this case as my immediate circle of friends, plus a few random people who heard of the event through word of mouth. I'm really looking forward to it, but it is a bit of a stress producer, and that cuts into my blogging. So, rather than let them disappear under the sands of time forever (because I am the sole barrier to that awful fate), you get a round-up.


Ezra Klein urges the mainstream media to stop avoiding the "L" word when politicians utter blatantly, er, "questionable" (to quote the WaPo) remarks.

Unfortunately, Ezra loses points for titling this post "There's A New Musharraf In Town."

Speaking of Pakistan, this Hilzoy post is absolutely must-read. Short story -- Islamist parties aren't that popular in Pakistan, and don't have a real shot at winning free elections.

Also at Obsidian Wings: Don't be a Playa Liberal Hatuh

More and more information is coming out about America's extraordinary rendition program. It's beyond clear now: yes, America does torture.

One of the saddest things I've ever read was a TNR article essentially arguing that every human rights abuse we condemn in Abu Gharib, we practice openly in Texas jails. Apparently, abusive treatment has now extended to detained immigrants. And of course, it's the whistleblower who is being punished.

Sex is the answer to the immigration problem. For a more serious take on the story in question, see Amp.

Mark Olson is lucky I follow links and know he doesn't support torture, because otherwise I'd have a field day with this post (particularly #3). I will briefly note that there is such thing as a secular, non-consequentialist argument. I will also note that, while past, say, 1950, there was not a single mainstream liberal who could be accurately described as "cozying [himself] up to the notion of torture and the defense of the regime of the gulag," whereas today the Republican Party as an institution is, at the very least, tolerant of America itself torturing people, and a great many mainstream conservative figures are far more explicitly in favor of it.


Link to the 2007 Weblog Award Polls: Vote Debate Link

The 2007 Weblog Awards


Mark said...

Your history of liberals in this country is not quite as I recall. I went to college in the 80's. It was certainly harder to find liberals who were critical of the Soviet regime than not. Of course that was post Stalin and they'd convinced themselves, erroneously, that the gulag and such things were relics of the past and had disappeared post-Stalin.

One might also note that Christopher Hitchens recently recounted the torture of the gulag, in that it attacked Christianity, as one of crowning highlights of Lenin's (in his words, illustrious) career. This remark was this year, which is admittedly somewhat after 1950. I don't, however, know Mr Hitchens is considered by you "on the left".

David Schraub said...

I'm talking about prominent figures. After, say, Henry Wallace, I can't think of a politically significant liberal politician who was objectively pro-Soviet, let alone pro-Soviet-torture. Today, I'd argue the majority of the Republican presidential field has expressed at least qualified support for torture (in so many words).