Judge, citing al-Qaida-Iraq link, awards $104 million to Sept. 11 families
A judge ruled yesterday that lack of evidence should be no barrier to suing people who cannot be found. "The judge wrote that lawyers relied heavily on 'classically hearsay' evidence, including reports that a Sept. 11 hijacker met an Iraqi consul to Prague, Secretary of State Colin Powell's remarks to the United Nations about connections between Iraq and terrorism, and defectors' descriptions of the use of an Iraq camp to train terrorists."
--This would hardly be the first documented example of a court being overtly political, but the judge himself has no problem commenting on how shoddy the case was. "The judge noted that the experts provided few actual facts that Iraq provided support to the terrorists."
--Apparently, the judge had just been waiting
for Saddam to cease to be a diplomatically immune head of state before ruling against him. Is the low standard of evidence needed for civil rulings allowing the courts to begin establishing something that the military and intelligence can't? [more inside]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
on May 8, 2003 -
Violence against women
is one issue where the current administration aligns itself with the "axis of evil" and "known terrorist supporting countries." I suppose they might feel it's oo bad the Taliban doesn't still rule Afghanistan so they could have one more ally.
"For too long, the feminists have been pushing a radical, special-interest agenda under the erroneous mantra made rhetorical cliche by Hillary Clinton: 'Women's rights are human rights,'" writes Janice Crouse, an official of the conservative group Concerned Women for America and a member of the U.S. delegation. ...
The alliance isn't new - it took root when the Bush administration took over. But it is often unseen. The United States has frequently sided at the UN with countries such as Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Iran and Iraq - when it was still controlled by Saddam Hussein - in battles over language involving women and children's rights.
posted by nofundy
on May 2, 2003 -
Don't like the US? Then Leave!
Somebody posted this
to a newsgroup I read from time to time. Evidently, if you sign an agreement to leave the US for a year, you'll get a portion of what has been donated to the website (currently $53).
posted by synecdoche
on Apr 1, 2003 -
U.S. loses faith in Canada
"We would be there for Canada, part of our family. And that is why so many in the United States are disappointed and upset that Canada is not fully supporting us now," says Paul Cellucci, U.S. ambassador to Canada. As pro-US sentiments from prominent Canadian figures are harshly criticized while blatant (and rather tasteless) anti-US remarks go more or less ignored by the government, has the relationship with our longtime friends up north been irreversibly soured?
posted by swank6
on Mar 30, 2003 -
U.S.-German Rift Reaches Schoolyard Level
"A Tennessee high school has called off an exchange with German students...The cancelation was another indication that the disagreement over Schroeder's anti-war stand is beginning to strain German-American friendship at its heart." [more inside]
posted by tippiedog
on Mar 26, 2003 -
Wanna bet we'll win the war?
No, seriously: you can
. Check it out yourself: Go here
and click on "World Events" to see the odds for "The US Embassy in Pakistan Being Blown Up By A Nuclear Weapon" or "Date Line In Which Osama Bin Laden Will Be Consigned (Dead or Alive) To US Authorities." Ah, America.
posted by adrober
on Mar 21, 2003 -
A new Pew Research poll
confirms the obvious. In 2002 world opinion of the US was slipping but still fairly high
(as discussed in this thread
). Pew now reports that favorable opinion of the US abroad has taken a nose dive. Of course, correllation does not indicate causation, but certainly this is driven by current events. It remains to be seen if this is indicative of a long-term trend.
posted by moonbiter
on Mar 19, 2003 -
is an provocative proponent of the American Empire
theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire
I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era
of The Whole Wide World
The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?
It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl
on Mar 13, 2003 -
Intellectual Dishonesty Intellectual dishonesty is pure poison to the enterprise of the law. Yet countless examples show intellectual dishonesty has now become a routine, expected part of American discourse. The most obvious half-truths and hypocrisies are greeted with shrugged shoulders and a grunt of "what did you expect?"
Is the ultimate goal more important than truth, honesty, integrity and "playing by the rules?" Or, put another way, does the end satisfy the means? "Restoring honor and integrity" would indicate not.
posted by nofundy
on Mar 6, 2003 -
Freedom Fries? Patriotism gone to far?
I can understand some people's disappointment that the french don't support the war in Iraq. But boycotting french wine, and other french imports? Maybe? But to start renaming things because they have the word french in them? That's what one restaurant owner is doing in North Carolina!
posted by tljenson
on Feb 19, 2003 -
How to love the US
is a story on the newly redesigned BBC pages, just recently mentioned here.
I was struck by the tone of the piece, which seemed to me to be a desperate bid to find good things to say about the US.
Have things really sunk so low? Is the US so despised that it needs the BBC to pimp it?
posted by jpburns
on Feb 19, 2003 -
Smokehammer Video Update
Wonderful video clip and mp3 put together by some Warp Records
video artists. George Dubya's "warped" rendition of the State of the Union is excellent. "Our first goal is to show utter contempt for the environment... For the first time we must offer every child in America 3 nuclear missles."
posted by meanie
on Feb 15, 2003 -
Since this is the first day of the new year, I thought it would be interesting to check current US
population numbers, and then compare those numbers on January 1st 2004, to see how much the world's population has grown or shrunk. Currently the clock shows 292,277,976 for the US, and 6,625,786,982 for the World. Metafilter readers from outside the US are welcome to post their countries current population level, as well.
posted by Beholder
on Jan 1, 2003 -
“A nation is little more and nothing less than a conversation. [T]he conversation that is the United States has continued for more than 200 years as a lover's quarrel between equality and justice.” A gallery of ways this “conversation” is still taking place in the ways we live the Constitution’s 27 Amendments
posted by arco
on Nov 27, 2002 -
U.S. states ranked according to smartness.
The ranking was based on such factors
as average high school dropout rate, how much teachers earn and how frequently they are attacked, etc. There are probably some other relevant factors they might have included, but didn't. What criteria do you think would be most appropriate for measuring a state's relative intelligence?
posted by shoos
on Nov 14, 2002 -
The First Measured Century
contains quite a bit of information about American society; population, work, education, religion, health, money, politics, crime and more. Everything from the median marriage age to the percentage of Americans who believe it is wrong to go to the movies on Sundays (13%).
posted by edlundart
on Oct 23, 2002 -
There are 202 initiatives on the ballot
in 40 states this election cycle. "53 of the measures represent direct democracy at work:
ideas placed on the ballot by citizen initiative, often
designed specifically to reverse legislative action."
Some of the initiatives make sense, some of them do not. I've
got a list of awards for various categories of initiatives. Some
of these awards are given with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
- Most Wasteful: This award goes to the initiative that
will waste the most tax-payer dollars. And the winner is
North Dakota's Youth Investment Initiative.
- Do-it-for-the-kids Award: Arnold Schwarzenegger may be
rehearsing for a political role as he leads the campaign for
Proposition 49, which would require state funding for
after-school programs. Shouldn't parents be taking care of
their kids after school? Why is the state of California
becoming a nanny?
- Highest Ballot Measure: Nevada's initiative to legalize
marijuana. 'Nuff said.
- Up-in-smoke Award: It's a tie between the Missouri
and Arizona initiatives increasing the tax on a pack of
- Dumbest Initiative: Animal rights activists have
place an initiative on the ballot in Florida to
protect pregnant pigs. This initiative is dumb because it
takes the extreme measure of making an amendment to the
- Smartest Initiative: "Politicians are like diapers,
they both must be changed frequently—and for the same
reason." Idaho's term-limits proposal takes this award. Runner
up goes to Oregon voters who will decide whether to list a
choice of "none of the above" on all state ballots.
Anybody else have any more nominations?
posted by jasontromm
on Oct 23, 2002 -
Bowling for Columbine
tomorrow. I know muckraking Michael Moore
is a touchy subject
but I found his first feature since Roger
insightful in its stubborn search for an answer to the question:
"Why is America so violent?" Other
Subtle he isn't, but when the news is as stark
as it is today, maybe subtlety is beside the point. I hope that even some of you
who aren't predisposed to agree with Moore will give this film a chance. Did I
mention it's also entertaining as hell?
posted by muckster
on Oct 10, 2002 -
U.S. helped Iraq start bioweapons program
"I don't think it would be accurate to say the United States government deliberately provided seed stocks to the Iraqis' biological weapons programs,'' said Jonathan Tucker, a former U.N. biological weapons inspector.
"But they did deliver samples that Iraq said had a legitimate public health purpose, which I think was naive to believe, even at the time."
-isn't iraq just another case of blowback
and is anyone asking what the next round of "blowback" will be if we go in again?
posted by specialk420
on Sep 30, 2002 -
'The guy who tried to kill my dad.'
Setting aside partisan bickering, this description of Saddam Hussein by George W. Bush today sent my mind reeling. Is this in reference to something published in the past that is just escaping my mind? The Reuters
version of the story adds that it is reference to "an Iraqi plot to kill former President George Bush after the 1991 Gulf War." Anyone have a link to that older story?
posted by bclark
on Sep 27, 2002 -
U.S. forces head to Ivory Coast
- with all the debate for/against military action in the middle-east, I'm pleased to see US forces being deployed to protect innocent people.
"Their first task may be to retrieve about 100 American children who have been trapped at a school in the city of Bouake for five days and to protect Americans in three or four Ivory Coast towns held by rebels. "
posted by Stuart_R
on Sep 24, 2002 -
Down with Free Speech?
Poll shows American support for the first Amendment down. Would any politician be stupid enough to try to capitalize on this sentiment? Should we all be watching our words?
posted by Hall
on Aug 30, 2002 -
Half a billion Americans?
The Economist crunches census data from both sides of the Atlantic and figures that the US will hit the 500 million mark sometime in the next few decades, surpassing the combined population of even the expanded EU. In typical style, the Economist looks at the economic and political reprecussions of this, but skips another interesting question: how will a doubling of the population change America itself? will it make the US more environmentally friendly? reduce urban sprawl? will the shifting population balance change the culture itself?
posted by costas
on Aug 23, 2002 -
The Saudis wanna sue. A group of Saudis plan to sue the U.S. government and media organizations for the alleged psychological and financial damage they suffered in the aftermath of Sept. 11, their lawyer said Wednesday.
posted by kayjay
on Aug 21, 2002 -
is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections. [more inside]
posted by acridrabbit
on Jul 20, 2002 -
Americans against World Empire.
This Conservative/Libertarian coalition presents analysis, articles, links, opinions and rants from every corner of the political spectrum. ""Perpetual war serves a number of purposes.....It is under wartime conditions that the U.S. state will, at least initially, face the least resistance as it finishes the......process of gutting the Bill of Rights and voiding inconvenient parts of the U.S. Constitution......It is under wartime conditons that all opponents of U.S. policies anywhere in the world, including within the U.S. itself, can be most easily labled 'terrorist.'" This statement would have come from a conservative in 1940. Today it is from the Left. (Alternative Press Review, spring 2002).
posted by Mack Twain
on Jul 14, 2002 -
The anomalies of the U.S. Constitution: what next?
Ok, not a serious 'polemical' post, more a request for your take on the mysteries which politics brings us...
- how come Wyoming has 3 Senators?
- how come DC has none?
- what other wierd stuff would you fix in the Constitution of your state, given the choice? (for my part, ditching the Windsors and embracing democracy would be a start...)
posted by dash_slot-
on Jul 3, 2002 -