“A writer’s notebook is not a diary. Writers react. Writers need a place to record these reactions. That’s what a writer’s notebook is for. It gives you a place to write down what makes you angry or sad or amazed, to write down what you noticed and don’t want to forget. A writer’s notebook gives you a place to live like a writer.” - Ralph Fletcher
Over and over in the United States, we proclaim our commitment to the rule of law - we are a nation of laws not men. If that were the case, we would turn over to the International Court of Justice high-ranking figures from the Bush administration, which initiated the war; from the Obama administration, which continued the war; from Congress, which enabled the war; and from the military, which prosecuted the war. We would determine the amount of reparations we owe Iraq and begin to make payments. And we would apologize to the Iraqi people and to the world.
Why is that unthinkable in our political culture? Perhaps it is because we worship power rather than respect law. Perhaps it is because we have no intention of acting on the moral principles we routinely impose on others.
Perhaps it is because we are not the people we tell ourselves we are.
Timothy Patrick McCarthy
With climate change intensifying weather cataclysms, with the economy still on the verge of collapse and with foreign conflicts showing no sign of slowing down, America faces emergencies of no less than biblical proportions. Literally, biblical — wars,drought, famine and crushing poverty, to name a few. And yet, in the face of this, there’s more often than not total apathy and rampant disdain for the mere idea of political activism.
Except, of course, when it comes to the bizarre nexus of fast food and homophobia.
Then and only then, it seems, do the masses rise up in solidarity to miraculously transform stuffing one’s face with processed junk food into a proud way of opposing equal rights for gay people. Then and only then do people seem willing to drive out of their way and stand on long lines — all to somehow transform gluttonous gorging into a form of anti-gay protest.
William D. Hartung
—assassination has been thoroughly institutionalized, normalized, and bureaucratized around the figure of the president. Without the help of or any oversight from the American people or their elected representatives, he alone is now responsible for regular killings thousands of miles away, including those of civilians and even children. He is, in other words, if not a king, at least the king of American assassinations. On that score, his power is total and completely unchecked. He can prescribe death for anyone “nominated,” choosing any of the “baseball cards” (PowerPoint bios) on that kill list and then order the drones to take them (or others in the neighborhood) out.
He and he alone can decide that assassinating known individuals isn’t enough and that the CIA’s drones can instead strike at suspicious “patterns of behavior” on the ground in Yemen or Pakistan. He can stop any attack, any killing, but there is no one, nor any mechanism that can stop him. An American global killing machine (quite literally so, given that growing force of drones) is now at the beck and call of a single, unaccountable individual. This is the nightmare the founding fathers tried to protect us from.