] From jwz's blog:
] [urls above stories]
] # Presidential Powers: "To protect subordinates should they
] be charged with torture, the memo advised that Mr. Bush issue
] a 'presidential directive or other writing' that could serve
] as evidence, since authority to set aside the laws is
] 'inherent in the president.'"
] # Welcome to America: "'So you're a journalist,' he said,
] accusingly, and for the first time I sensed that, in his eyes,
] this was not a good thing to be. 'It seems that we will
] probably have to deport you.'"
] This is some bad shit, yo.
Agreed. But maybe we shouldn't let this off so lightly. You've hit on some really important issues here, most of all the first. It's said that people get the government that they deserve. Just as well there's an election comng up in the USA. "Bad shit" hardly says it at all. Do Americans read books like Orwell's 1984 or Huxley's Brave New World? Fiction, I agree, old fiction at that, poor fiction, perhaps, but nevertheless, I keep getting this sense of deja vu when I read the US news ...
Maybe a more recent book, by a Japanese about England, explains where US mentality now seems to be headed under the banner of so-called "patriotism". Thank God, in Europe, while we engendered it, we have mostly outgrown subservience in the name of freedom:
From a review of "The Remains of the Day": "Kazuo Ishiguro's butler is a perfect example of, what Nietzsche called, people who employ the wrong conjugation: they don't live, they are lived.
The main character in this book 'Stevens' has but one aim in his life: to become his master's perfect butler, his impeccable servant, the self-effacing loyal executioner of his master's desires. If his master plays the fascist's game, he will excuse him and protest that he is not an anti-Semite, but he will fire the Jewish household personnel without the slightest regret. If his master changes his ideas, no problem, he goes with him. That's what he calls 'dignity' or 'carrying out his duties to the best of his abilities'.
That is also what Eichmann said of the brutal executioners in Pol Pot's death camp. Those are the words of today's cold career men.
Stevens accepts unflinchingly his fatality:'that the likes of you and I will never be in a position to comprehend the great affairs of today's world, and our best course will always be to put our trust in an employer' (p.211) or 'The hard reality is that for the likes of you and me, there is little choice other than to leave our fate, ultimately, in the hands of those great gentlemen at the hub of this world who employ our service.' (p.257)
A terrible negation of one's own life and responsibilities.
Kazuo Ishiguro has written an implacable dark masterpiece."