I've just read an interesting diary by Julie Gulden asking whether the Supreme Court perhaps does permit (pending any further ruling) racial profiling in certain circumstances. I don't know the answer, but one thought did occur: is it possible that, whilst repudiating racial profiling entirely, the Supreme Court could allow SB1070 to stand?
See below for the issue I want to raise - I Am Not A Lawyer (maybe in a couple of years, but not in the US), simply seeking some expert opinion on this issue.
In case it needs saying, the Arizona law disgusts me, and nothing written here should be interpreted as a defence of either its letter or spirit. I simply want to know how the legal battle might play out.
So I've read the FP article by Angry Mouse, and some other diaries about why Liberals should hate the Second Amendment, and I wanted to humbly submit that there are two separate debates going on here, and that a compromise is perhaps possible.
One is about constitutional rights and whether they deserve our absolute support, and the other is about whether the Second Amendment is substantially a good right for people to have. I don't see why you have to be pro-gun (or anti-gun) on both debates - I think you can be pro-gun on the former question, and anti-gun on the latter.
In the interests of transparency, I don't have a particular dog in this fight - I'm British (most guns are essentially banned since the Dunblane tragedy), and I have recently stopped living in New York, so little of this affects me. With those caveats I hope you don't mind me commenting anyways.
Part of this is thought experiment, but I'd love to get your thoughts.
Stunning news out of the UK, where the General Election will take place on May 6th, 2010.
Following the first ever televised debate between the three party leaders (PM Gordon Brown for Labour, David Cameron for the Conservatives, and Nick Clegg for the Liberal Democrats), the pundits quickly declared Nick Clegg the clear winner.
Yesterday, a handful of polls showed the Liberal Democrats in second place, above the governing Labour Party (this had only previously happened on 31st May 2009, and 29th Sept 2009 - the governing party has never been third in the polls during a General Election campaign).
This evening, news has broken of two polls (albeit from less trustworthy pollsters) that have the Liberal Democrats in the lead, over both the Conservatives and the Labour Party.
More details at http://politicalbetting.com
So I normally go out of my way to avoid certain subjects on Daily Kos - Israel/Palestine, obvioulsy, and usually any diary about abortion rights too. But I did click on this recent offering, called 'Progressively Pro-Life' and I wanted to throw something into the mix.
Essentially, I think they guy has a point, and the response "you have no right to control women's bodies" - whilst it is correct - isn't necessariy the best argument for Progressives to use.
The first thing I ever heard about Iris Robinson was that she was quoted as saying that
"There can be no viler act, apart from homosexuality and sodomy, than sexually abusing innocent children"
You did read that right. She said that homosexuality was worse than child abuse. This would be disturbing coming from an ill-educated man-on-the-street, but is yet more worrying that it comes from one of Northern Ireland's most-important legislators, who is also the wife of the First Minister of Northern Ireland.
But for those who like their schadenfreude served chilled, it now seems that Iris Robinson, and her husband Peter, are now likely to be run out of every public office they hold after one of the strangest scandals in recent years.
More below the fold.
I very much doubt that many of you have heard of the sleepy market town of Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire, England. With a population of around 12,000, it rarely makes headline news, but is now the battleground over the limits of freedome of expression and the nature of protest.
Wootton Bassett is close to RAF Lyneham - an airforce base that is the destination for the coffins of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although overt patriotism of this kind were rare between WWII and the end of the 20th century, the citizens of Wootton Bassett and other towns now line the streets to salute the sacrifice made by British soliders, and to welcome back both the coffins and the marching battallions of those who servive to fight another tour of duty.
Now the town has made the news because an extreme Islamist group, Islam4UK, have chosen the small town for a demonstration of their own - carrying coffins to represent the innocent Muslims they accuse 'Anglian' troops of slaying. Islam4UK are the British 'platform' for the banned extremist group Al-Muhajiroun, and seek Sharia law for the UK, and that Britain should become an Islamic State.
I've been meaning to pen this for a while, but the Islam diary today has reminded me that this is an issue that needs some definition.
Two observations: Firstly, there are from time to time diaries on Daily Kos that attack Catholicism in strident terms. I know that plenty of Kossacks find these diaries and the ensuing comments bigoted, and that many other Kossacks react with equal vigour that the Catholic Church is in many aspects an enemy of the progressive movement and deserves attacking.
Secondly, there are from time to time diaries that are critical of Islam, and many of the comments reprimand those diaries for being bigoted or racist. The diarists often defend themselves by saying that Islam is not a race and is an enemy of the progressive movement and deserves attacking.
I don't want to take sides on this, per se, but I would like to try and come to some definitional agreements so that our conversations about race, religion and bigotry can be a little more constructive. This is my first draft on it, and I'd appreciate your feedback, so that DKos can be more constructive in discussing issues related to religion and bigotry, and we can do away with some of the egregious anger and violent rhetoric.
The BBC is now reporting that China has proceeded with the execution of Akmal Shaikh, a mentally-ill father-of-three from London, on charges of drug traffiking.
Shaikh was discovered with 4kg of heroin in his luggage attempting to enter the country. 50 grams is enough to invoke the possibility of the death penalty under Chinese law. His defenders claim that he is mentally ill, and his daughter has said that her father, whose decision-making capability was in question, was used as an unwitting mule by Polish smugglers who promised to make him a pop star in China.
The British government had lobbied for clemency, hoping for a Presidential pardon at the last minute. However, the Chinese government claimed that separation of powers meant it would be improper for the Government to interfere in a judicial decision.
There are mixed reports, but it seems likely that Shaikh was killed either by lethal injection or by firing squad
What this says about global diplomacy and the future of the EU is below the fold...
Following on from the Recommended Diary from my European neo-compatriot, I thought I'd pen a few lines on the British experience, and realistic lessons that can be learned regarding the US HCR bill.
Clearly a fully nationalised system is less-likely in the short-term than even a more modest Single Payer system, but there are lessons nonetheless to be learnt from the European model more generally. I hope some of this might prove useful for American activists and strategists looking to move the debate forward from here. Some of the ideas are a bit odd, but I thought they deserved an airing.
I should state that I am somewhat on the fence regarding the US HCR bill (but I live in New York, so have some vested interest), so none of this should be read as implicit support or opposition to the bill that President Obama will probably sign.
I'm assuming that, by now, most of you will have readthis piece on HuffPo, claiming that 2 sources have told them of Rahm Emanuel's pressing Sen Reid to cave to Sen Lieberman.
Rahm Emanuel visited Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in his Capitol office on Sunday evening and personally urged him to cut a deal with recalcitrant Sen. Joe Lieberman, two Democratic sources familiar with the situation told the Huffington Post.
Emanuel, President Obama's chief of staff, has long been identified as leading a faction of White House advisers who have been pushing the Senate simply to pass any health care bill, no matter how weak.
His direct message to Reid (D-Nev.), according to a source close to the negotiations: "Get it done. Just get it done."
We can't get rid of Lieberman until 2012, we can't get rid of Reid until next year, but with sufficient pressure, the architect of the death of the Public Option - Rahm Emanuel - could be gone by Christmas.
This isn't a political diary for once, but I wanted to put something in writing - a sort of public thanks to the generosity of America and the people I've met here. I'm writing this from the 4th state I've visited to date.
I first visited America for 2 weeks in May 2007 - my first flight, if you can believe that! - where I had a training course in northern Illinois with my new American company. We spent some time in Chicago, and I resolved to live here one day. State One was ILLINOIS.
My second visit to the US was to spend a week with y'all in Denver for that unspeakably wonderful Convention Week at Big Tent. I started actually applying for things that would help me move here. State Two was COLORADO.
The third time I flew to America, I landed at JFK with two bags and a suitcase, got my visa stamped, caught a taxi and moved into the smallest room in Manhattan with the best view. State Three: NEW YORK
Now I'm somewhere in northern MASSACHUSSETS and I've just celebrated my First Thanksgiving...
This evening, an historic agreement between 27 heads of government under the stewardship of the Swedish premier saw Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy named the inaugural permanent President of the European Council.
As the new top job created by the finally-ratified Lisbon Treaty went to a centre-right man from a small country, it was always likely that the second job (High Representative for Foreign and Security Affairs) would go to a centre-left woman from a big country. On this basis, and thanks to a wonderful source last week, I tipped the UK's EU Commissioner Baroness Ashton in spite of her almost complete lack of diplomatic experience.
I am based in New York so can't bet online, but my editor and some other friends at PoliticalBetting.com managed to get money on her at 50/1 (they tipped Obama for POTUS in May 2005 at the same odds!) and are very happy this evening!
So what does this mean? Is this man now the "President of Europe"?
Quite simply "no", but the reasons why are a little complicated...come see