"Decadence is the word of evening,

vespers said by artists about the

lives of men and nations."

-Earl Shorris, American Vespers

It is an elegantly written essay, but I don't know if I agree with Mr. Shorris' analysis because I'm not sure I understand what he means when he says Reagan removed ethics from politics and that this was the beginning of the death of America. If he means that men, politicians and those in positions of power, don't care to be moral anymore, then I agree. But if he means that politics should be concerned with ethics or questions of ought or should, then I think he is wrong. He says, "Without ethics, politics has no limits. America broke the rules of living systems, and lost its balance. All the oxygen flowed to a smaller and smaller section of the body politic. The history is brief and unquestionable: close to toppling, the society momentarily pulled itself upright, and then became even less ethical, less balanced, more endangered than ever as a lawless financial system came back from death, and like a foolish patient after a heart bypass operation, continued in its old ways." But hasn't it always been that way? An essay opening with "my descent toward death" isn't all that inviting, but it really is an interesting read.

Let the People Come

On April 23rd Governor Brewer of Arizona signed the most stringent anti-immigration bill to date, aimed to identify, prosecute, and deport illegal immigrants. President Obama has voiced strong criticisms and called it misguided, and protests have sprung up across the country representing the faction of Americans who consider it to be racist and bigoted policy.

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Truth & Reconciliation in Lower Manhattan

By now you’ve all heard of Park 51 and the Cordoba House, but probably by another name. Today the Landmarks Preservation Commission of New York City voted 9 to 0 against granting historic protection to the building in lower Manhattan, thereby allowing the start of construction on the $100 million center dubbed by right wing opponents as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”

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I Disapprove Of Your Dress

Banning the burqa is a bad idea. It took me awhile to come to that conclusion for a number of reasons, one of the most important being that the burqa is perceived to be, and in some cases is, a tool of oppression directed at women. The burqa also serves as a visual representation of gender inequality in the Muslim world. Countries like Belgium moved to enforce a ban on burqa-wearing, and more recently, the French Parliament approved a resolution against full-face cover"

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Big Tents

In a previous essay, I argued for liberaltarianism, that is, some kind of alliance between libertarians and American liberals, the Democrats.  Yesterday I read an article by a colleague, which explains in detail why he believes a third party will never capture the presidency in the American political system.

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