Monday, April 04, 2005

Fred Korematsu dead at 86.

The Seattle Times:

Fred Korematsu, 86, the Japanese American whose court case over his refusal to be interned during World War II went to the U.S. Supreme Court and became synonymous with this nation's agonized debate over civil liberties during time of war, has died.

In February 1942, 120,000 U.S. residents of Japanese ancestry — both citizens and noncitizens — were ordered into internment camps following Japan's Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.

Mr. Korematsu did not turn himself in and was arrested, jailed and convicted for failing to report for evacuation.

Mr. Korematsu was one of several who challenged the constitutionality of President Roosevelt's Executive Order 9066 authorizing internment. His case eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court and, in 1944, the court upheld the order. But, as was discovered many years later, the court — and the nation — had been gravely misled about the potential dangers from Japanese Americans.

Indeed, Mr. Korematsu's case was cited as recently as April 2004. At issue before the Supreme Court was whether U.S. courts could review challenges to the incarceration of mostly Afghan prisoners held at Guant√°namo Bay Naval Station in Cuba in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Mr. Korematsu, then 84, filed a friend-of-the-court brief saying, "The extreme nature of the government's position is all too familiar."

I wrote back in November about a Seattle middle school that was trying to teach this story, but had come into conflict with a bunch of wackos who thought letting kids know about the shameful way we treated our fellow Americans of Japanese decent would undermine the president's war on terror.

Note also, my girlfriend's grandfather served in the 100th battalion even as his entire family was locked behind barbed wire at a consentration camp in Arizona.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Right-wingers make ATC quake in their boots.

What is with NPR these days? Lately, every time I turn on ATC there's a 15-minute story about right-wing Christians protesting abortion or thinking or something. I'm still waiting for the story about the left wing churches organizing anti-war protests.

Today's ATC spent way too long on "Young activists demonstrating against abortion and for prolonging the life of Terri Schiavo... [Who have been] a near-constant presence in the nation's news in recent months. Host Debbie Elliott profiles Robin Shannon, a member of a group of professional activists collectively known as the House of Prayer."

These people have been a near-constant presence on ATC anyway. Ever since the presidential elections they've been drinking the "values issues" kool-aid. Whereas most media has sort of backed off the daily pieces about right-wing Christians and their absolutely "massive influence" in the country, NPR's mission appears to be to cover every single nut-job and crackpot out there who professes a fanatical devotion to "life," (Except for death row inmates, of course.) whatever that means.

There are left-wing Christians out there like Bill Moyers for instance, who is very up front about his religion. On his former PBS show "Now" he did a story on the Christian left.

See, ATC, it can be done.

What about the Quakers (Sorry, the Friends.) ? They've been pacifists for centuries, no time to cover them?

By the way, didn't the Pope strongly oppose the war in Iraq as immoral? But you can't bring that up because W is praising the Pope right now and highlighting this type of contradiction might confuse NPR's listeners and might also inspire right-wingers to accuse them of "left-wing bias." That accusation makes NPR poop its pants every time.

The Pope: on the Iraq war.

Monday, January 13, 2003 Posted: 8:47 AM EST (1347 GMT)

The Pope "made clear his opposition in his yearly "State of the World" address to diplomats accredited to the Vatican on Monday, saying diplomacy is the way forward.

"No to war! War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity," the 82-year-old pontiff said.

"And what are we to say of the threat of a war which could strike Iraq, the land of the Prophets, a people already sorely tried by more than 12 years of embargo?," he said.

"War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations."

Lefty wacko!

And get this; he was against the death penalty.

"Rory Carroll in Rome, Monday January 24, 2000.

The Guardian

"Pope John Paul II has pitched his moral force into today's Iowa primary by begging George W Bush, the Republican frontrunner, to commute a death sentence scheduled for tomorrow. The Pope has stepped up pressure on Mr Bush, as governor of Texas, to spare the life of Glen McGinnis, who was 17 when he shot dead an attendant in a dry cleaner's in a bungled burglary in 1991.

In a letter to Mr Bush, the Pope wrote: "Every human life is sacred and I pray that McGinnis is saved."

Mr Bush, who is expected to win in Iowa, has approved 116 executions, more than any other US governor in modern times. He also opposed a bill banning executions of the mentally handicapped or ill."

No luck, McGinnis was killed on 25 January 2000. Way to show compassion and respect for life W!

Will someone please donate a spine to NPR? Screw it, I'm going to PRI and Pacifica.
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