The Polite Liberal

A rant-free discussion of liberal philosophy and policies.


The Polite Liberal is the pseudonym of a "nontraditional" graduate student in mathematics (for nonacademics, "nontraditional," is a polite way of saying, "older than 25.") The Polite Liberal is an attempt to spur real policy debate, instead of partisan insults and conspiracy theories. Conservatives (and liberals, of course!) are welcome.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Isn't the problem Guantanamo itself?

In the middle of this furor over the recent Newsweek article and retraction, I have to ask: Is the problem one badly-sourced paragraph in a news report, or the fact that we're running a detention facility under almost bizarre secrecy at which we're loudly proclaiming that we're not obliged to honor the Geneva Conventions?

We've been hearing reports of questionable practices at Guantanamo Bay for more than two years now. The place is an abomination--not a POW camp, nor a jail, but something undefined with all the rules of Calvinball.

I know folks on the right object to treating the "war on terror" as though it were a criminal matter, but could we at least consistently treat it as though it were a war? This "9/11 justifies damn near anything" mindset is dangerous--as we're now seeing.

Monday, May 16, 2005

I agree with Scalia? Agaist Stevens?

This may be one of the signs of the apocalypse, but the Supreme Court has just issued an
on which I agree with Kennedy and Scalia, and against Stevens. Granted, unless you live over here in California, this ruling's probably not crucial to you, but it's been a sore point for some time.

If you live in one of those states where it's abruptly legal to order wine directly from California, you might want to take the opportunity to discover that along with left-of-center political opinion, my heavily-populated home state makes an enormous amount of really, really good wine. If you're over twenty-one and have neither anywhere to drive nor heavy machinery to operate, check out Meeker, Rabbit Ridge, and the rest of California's collection of small wineries.

Sorry for the home-state boosterism, folks--sometimes I just can't resist.