Friday, February 21, 2020
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I’ll Be Discussing “American Politics 2016” This Wednesday Evening in Harrisonburg

This is a revised edition, going beyond the information in the flyer to flesh things out a bit. I'll be talking with people about "American...

The US Goverment killing in our name – SECRETLY

By now most people who pay attention to the news of such things know that an American citizen,  Anwar al-Awlaki, was targeted for death and killed by a CIA drone on in Yemen on September 30.   Among the other three killed in the attack - not targeted and thus "collateral damage" - was another American citizen, Samir Khan.   Today's New York Times has two pieces I consider a must-read for all of us that address this topic.

Charlie Savage, who when he worked for the Boston Globe did magnificent journalism in exposing the extensive use of signing statements by the Bush administration, has a piece on the front page titled Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen.  The public editor, Arthur Brisbane, devotes his Sunday column to the topic as well, under the title The Secrets of Government Killing.  

There are several issues of importance in this matter.   The first is that the administration has authorized the killing of American citizens not in ordinary acts of war and not even in a true combat zone, but in what can only be called a targeted assassination.   The second, perhaps of even more significance, is that the authorization was granted by a memorandum that has even now not been disclosed to the American people, you know, the "We, the people of the United States" who are the legitimate sovereigns of this nation on whose behalf the government is supposed to be acting.

I do not propose to fully go through either piece - that is why I have provided the links.  I do wish to explore a few aspects of the issue and fully intend to offer my own thoughts, which will be neither complimentary towards or supportive of this administration.

Obama and energy – the lack of a real policy

It is a Saturday morning.   The school year is now official 3/4 complete.  Normally I would write something about school, about students, about teaching.  But this morning I read Derrick Jackson's column in the Boston Globe, It's still oil and nuclear power for Obama, and found my mind occupied by thoughts flowing from reading it.  The subtitle read "US sits idly by as other nations heavily invest in renewable power" and that perhaps explains why my mind is so occupied.

Others here are far more knowledgeable than am I on energy issues.  People like A Siegel, Jerome a Paris and Meteor Blades have been on this topic since before the first Yearly Kos convention in Las Vegas in 2006.  

This is an issue as important as any we face.   It certainly connects with my concerns about public education.

So this morning I find myself impelled to bring attention to Jackson's op ed, to explore the related issues, and if possible to make an argument as broadly as possible about why an appropriate national energy policy is of immediate and critical necessity.  

Citizenship and terrorism

is the topic of an important op ed in today's Washington Post.  David Cole is a professor at Georgetown Law, and today he offers Bill to expatriate those who support terrorists more symbol than substance.  It is of course his response to the idiotic proposal by Joe Lieberman, Scott Brown and others to strip American citizenship from those who provide material support for terrorism.  

Cole is on the left of legal thoughts.  Disclosure:  I have once been a guest in his home more almost two decades ago when he hosted a Tikkun magazine salon which featured Rabbi Michael Lerner.  At that time Cole told me he was an adherent of Critical Legal Studies.   Having said that, and also acknowledged that I am not a lawyer, I found his op ed both useful and troubling, which is why I both urge you to read and ponder his words, and invite you to explore my reaction to the issues he raises.