Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Are you now, or have you ever been ..?"


  1. Part of the idea, Hanns. But they suggest the binary style of the interrogation, too; and it's hoped this will resonate with Americans, whose culture suffers horrifically from the Manichaean Heresy in persecution, from education to politics. The United States is saturated in the model of this trial, hence the tenacious grip of Right-wing fanaticism.

  2. Hello:
    We think, therefore we are. [With apologies to Sartre].

  3. By every account I’ve read, this was a ferociously invasive and rigged trial of identity, using the techniques of calumny which institutions arising from the occasion - the Inquisition, England’s Star Chamber, other ecclesiastical Courts and the United States Congress - perfected with such exemplary effect. I write this blog for people of this age to see the point of such things as the right against self-incrimination (habeas corpus, the Fifth Amendment), which they are very often raised to revile as sentimental at best and unpatriotic at worst; and I’m not about to let this persecution and trial be recalled here without observing its allure among our grossest hypocrites.

    The New York Times reports this today: “Baylor expects students not to participate in advocacy groups promoting an understanding of sexuality that is contrary to biblical teaching,” said Lori Fogleman, a university spokeswoman. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/us/19gays.html?_r=1&src=

    We don't have universities for learning, and we don't have courts for justice under such scruples. No wonder we have churches for partisans.

    Thank you for bringing the perspective of your lives to this page.

  4. Cher Laurent,

    One of your best comments ever. Mazel Tov.

    U.S. Constitution is increasingly ignored. Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure. Important for all those of us who write.

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    Totally ignored. Government even searches our library searches!

    Please forgive one for noting a comment today posted in which one assumes attribution is owed to Descartes ("cogito ergo sum") rather than Sartre, even if the reference is in the first person plural. No offense meant toward Sartre or those delightful commentators who referenced Sartre. After all, it is about being or nothingness, and they are clearly being.

    Your use of "hypocrites" is perfect. One of the most often used negative descriptions in that book extremists blaspheme most often to justify their own shortcomings and hate.

  5. David, to begin, one knew the Cartesian reference, but one never rules out Sartre without more attention than I've given him. And then there was Le Corbusier, who said he occupied space, and thus he existed. Probably we can establish a higher consensus for existence than for its mechanisms, and this is a very hopeful thought, yes?

    Thank you for the celebration of the Fourth Amendment. As you indicate, its compromise for library searches (and computer records) all but nullifies whole principles clustered within the right against self-incrimination, which still has a slender cachet de jure, but almost none de facto