Saturday, May 05, 2007

Ivy League provides academic cover for US dictatorship

The Case for the Strong Executive via The Agonist
by Harvey Mansfield, Professsor of Government at Harvard

Under some circumstances, the rule of law must yield to the need for energy.
Now the rule of law has two defects, each of which suggests the need for one-man rule. The first is that law is always imperfect by being universal, thus an average solution even in the best case, that is inferior to the living intelligence of a wise man on the spot, who can judge particular circumstances. This defect is discussed by Aristotle in the well-known passage in his "Politics" where he considers "whether it is more advantageous to be ruled by the best man or the best laws."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Giuliani’s Tie to Texas Law Firm May Pose Risk

This from the NY Times:

Mr. Giuliani has drawn support from Texans who were notable donors to President Bush, including a former Enron president, Richard D. Kinder, and business executives who direct many of the nation’s oil, gas and energy producers.

That affiliation adds to Mr. Giuliani’s personal wealth but also could pose political risks for him. The firm is perhaps the nation’s most aggressive lobbyist for coal-fired power plants, heavy emitters of air pollutants and carbon dioxide, a gas associated with global warming. Environmentalists say the firm played a significant role in persuading the Bush administration to roll back major provisions of the Clean Air Act.
This will indeed pose "political risks" but I see this as a clear sign that Giuliani will win the Republican nomination. Forget what you hear about the "Christian Right" having problems with this guy. From the perspective of the Republican power elites, they've got their man; a broadly popular (and electable) candidate firmly committed to "old economy" industry and wealth.

About his law firm Bracewell & Giuliani

A new chapter in a 60-year history of global excellence began during 2005, as Bracewell & Patterson became Bracewell & Giuliani. Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani joined the firm as a name partner and brought his international reputation to its newly established New York office. With a presence in the world’s financial capitals of New York and London, at the heart of political and regulatory leadership in Washington, DC, throughout the important international energy and trade centers of Texas, and in the rapidly expanding economy of Kazakhstan, Bracewell is strategically positioned to serve the commercial law needs of its worldwide client base.

Dreaming in Cuban

Dreaming in Cuban: An Historical Perspective
by Dorte Rasmussen

In Christina García’s Dreaming in Cuban from 1992, we learn about and experience the history and culture of Cuba from both inside and outside the Caribbean island. Three generations of women dominate this magically told story of a family divided by the political, social and geographical split, caused by the communist revolution in Cuba. García brilliantly intertwines the factual and historical aspect of Cuba with her own fictional and magical story of the woman, making Cuba an active and important character in the story, by using the history events as time reference to tell the story of the women.

read the entire article

US: Wal-Mart Denies Workers Basic Rights

"In the 210-page report, “Discounting Rights: Wal-Mart’s Violation of US Workers’ Right to Freedom of Association,” Human Rights Watch found that while many American companies use weak US laws to stop workers from organizing, the retail giant stands out for the sheer magnitude and aggressiveness of its anti-union apparatus. Many of its anti-union tactics are lawful in the United States, though they combine to undermine workers’ rights. Others run afoul of soft US laws."

"Wal-Mart workers have virtually no chance to organize because they’re up against unfair US labor laws and a giant company that will do just about anything to keep unions out. That one-two punch devastates workers’ right to form and join unions." ~Carol Pier, senior researcher on labor rights and trade at Human Rights Watch~