links for 2009-07-18

  • "Of course, judges should seek to apply the law with impartiality, but, with every case, a judge has to hear and weigh facts, and make choices about how to view and interpret those facts. If this were a simple task of plugging a few statements into a syllogism or numbers into an equation, we would have a computer program to decide cases and not humans. It is exactly a diversity of perspectives and experiences, the variety of ways that a case can be approached and the information processed, that brings us closer to truth and closer to justice. A senator that wants only one perspective isn't really concerned with truth or justice, but with the maintenance of historic dominance and control."
  • "Nothing hints at its secrets.

    It blends into the streetscape, tucked behind the Library of Congress, a few steps from the Cannon House Office Building, a few more steps to the Capitol. This is just the way its residents want it to be. Almost invisible.

    But through one week's events, this stately old pad — a pile of sturdy brick that once housed a convent — has become the very nexus of American scandal, a curious marker in the gallery of capital shame."

  • "From their earliest involvement in politics, Marx and Engels were radical democrats who wanted to dramatically expand democratic control of society and to create conditions that would permit human freedom to flourish. They were led to communism when they concluded that private control of society’s forces of production was antithetical to both of these goals."

    "If workers were able to carry out a successful revolution, Marx believed that they would need to use state power to prevent the old ruling class from staging a counterrevolution. At the same time, however, society would become much more democratic, because workers and their allies would make up the vast majority of the population."

    "… the fate which overtook the plebeians of ancient Rome. They were originally free peasants, each cultivating his own piece of land on his own account. In the course of Roman history they were expropriated."

  • "The goal of socialism and how we get there are inextricably linked. Any idea that some small group of more "enlightened" people – intellectuals, party leaders, Presidents, guerrilla army leaders, etc. – can emancipate humanity from capitalism misses the point.

    Workers can only come to a realisation of their own potential through their own struggles."

  • "SocialistWorker.org is the Web site for Socialist Worker, a national newspaper founded in 1977 and published by the International Socialist Organization.

    In its more than three decades of existence, Socialist Worker has strived to be a source of information like no other, presenting a socialist analysis of the events and forces that have shaped today's world and sharing the voices of those involved in the many efforts to try to change that world."

  • "People who bought Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm for their Kindle were surprised to discover that it had disappeared from their devices overnight. It turns out the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic version, and Amazon caved into their demand to sneak into people's electronic libraries and take back the book at the publisher's request."
  • "For what it's worth, I'm a litigator at a large national law firm (at least until I figure out how to make a living doing this). Until then, I'll just have to go by A.L."
  • "Yoo is not even trying to make honest arguments here. He would be laughed out of court if he ever made any of these claims before an actual judge. But for some reason he continues to be given valuable op-ed space (and a professorship at Berkeley!) to make these completely disingenuous and unsupportable claims."
  • automating twitter via applescript or cron